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February 7, 2024
FORT SMITH, NT – The Aurora College Board of Governors is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Angela James as the new president of Aurora College. She will begin her renewable five-year term on August 1, 2024 and will lead the College into the next phase of transformation into a polytechnic university.
Dr. James is a proud Indigenous woman and educator who has dedicated her career to education in the Northwest Territories. As president of Aurora College, she plans to focus on celebrating and sharing the many good news stories elevating Aurora College towards transformation to a polytechnic university, as well as building relationships with internal and community stakeholders, ensuring collaborative external relations, and grounding decisions in research and data that understand the political, economic, social and cultural landscape of the NWT.
Since September 2023, Dr. James has served as Special Advisor to the President at Aurora College, responsible for leading the development of the selection process of the new Indigenous Knowledge Holders Council, which will be in place by March, 2024. Previously, she has worked as a classroom teacher, Indigenous cultural camp coordinator, school principal and GNWT education director. She has led numerous adult and post-secondary education initiatives, including spearheading several Indigenous language programs with Aurora College and University of Victoria, and providing leadership presentations to Aurora College’s Community Adult Educators.
Dr. James received her Doctor of Education degree from Simon Fraser University; her dissertation was on Indigenous education in the NWT.
Dr. James is Manitoba Métis whose great-grandmother was first cousin to Louis Riel. She moved to Yellowknife many years ago, marrying into a Dëne Súłine (Chipewyan) family, and combines the traditions, culture and languages into her home and family life. She recently entered into her most important role in life – that of being a Grandmother – Sets’úne – to twin grandsons and a granddaughter – bringing love and joy into her and her husband’s ‘good life’!
“We are excited that Dr. Angela James has accepted the position as president. She is a tireless advocate for education in the Northwest Territories and has a history of leading successful educational initiatives that improve the lives of Indigenous people and all Northerners. We look forward to her carrying on that tradition with Aurora College.”
Joe Handley, Chair, Aurora College Board of Governors
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take on the challenge of leading Aurora College during this important period of growth and change. I see my appointment, as an Indigenous woman, as an act of reconciliation and look forward to using my experience and education to continue to create meaningful education opportunities in the North, for the North, and with Northerners.”
Dr. Angela James, Incoming President, Aurora College
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Aurora College delivers academic upgrading, trades and industrial training, certificate, diploma and degree programs to students at three campuses, 19 Community Learning Centres and other community sites in the Northwest Territories. Community-centred post-secondary programs reflect Northern culture and the needs of the Northern labour market. Aurora College’s research division, Aurora Research Institute, conducts and supports research in the NWT. Research centres are located in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.
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Manager, Communications & College Relations