David Kirk is VCC's new Dean, Curriculum and Pedagogy
A message from David Wells, Vice President, Academic & Applied Research
On behalf of Vancouver Community College (VCC) I am pleased to announce that David Kirk will be joining the college as VCC’s Dean, Curriculum and Pedagogy.
David is originally from the Tzeachten First Nation which is part of the Stó:lō Nation in the Fraser Valley. He grew up in Vancouver and presently resides on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. David identifies as a Two-Spirited man and his pronouns are he/him/his.
As David reflects on his own education journey, he feels blessed to be where he is today. After dropping out of high school in grade 11, David enrolled in college prep courses at Native Education College before transferring to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to obtain an undergraduate degree in Social Work. He went on to complete his Master’s in Education at UBC as an adult learner. These experiences have allowed him a great understanding and compassion for the challenges that Indigenous students may face in their own educational and life journeys.
For 17 years, David was the Indigenous Faculty Advisor and instructor for Capilano University. Throughout his time there, he was an advocate for Indigenous learners on campus and in the community. He taught and developed various courses and supported faculty in their journey learning about Reconciliation and Indigenization. His passion is to share the teachings he has learned from Elders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and colleagues. David is a knowledge holder with the lived, learned, and led experience necessary to inform and guide the work ahead of us.
Through the office of the Vice President Academic & Applied Research and the Associate Vice President Academic Innovation, VCC will begin a dialogue with the college community about how it can best serve its diverse population and continue acting as a place of transformation. VCC has always been about the “other”, and the place on which we conduct our work (Skwachàys) was held as a place of transformation long before VCC’s physical form came into being; a purpose defined and articulated by an Indigenous counter-narrative of being, thinking, and doing. Central to this purpose is a commitment to engage with truth, co-create knowledge, and positively disrupt existing practice in post secondary.
We must look to subversive leaders, knowledge-holders, and change agents like David as a model for leading and inspiring change through the lens of the “other”. The college is tremendously fortunate to have engaged David’s leadership, knowledge, and experience in this important work, which will help define VCC’s academic purpose and ensure the college continues to provide hands-on, practical, and relevant education and skills training for learners of all backgrounds to achieve their fullest potential.
A welcoming ceremony with the college community is being planned for David when he begins in August. The ceremony will be organized in partnership with the Indigenous Education and Community Engagement department and in consideration of Squamish Nation traditions.
Vice President, Academic & Applied Research