Linc Kesler (PhD – University of Toronto) is currently on secondment as the Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. Linc has been with First Nations and Indigenous Studies since 2003 when he came to UBC as the first director of the program. He has designed and up until recently, taught FNIS 310, 320 and 400. From 2003 through 2012, Linc was the Director and then Chair of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program. Beginning in 2007, he was the co-chair of a succession of committees that drafted UBC’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan. In January 2009, while still serving as Chair of FNIS, Linc was appointed Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. Linc has been involved with various FNIS Initiatives, including Indigenous Foundations and the development of the Interactive Video/Transcript Viewer used for viewing oral history archives. In the 2008-2009 academic year, Linc was the recipient the UBC Dean of Arts Award, and in 2013 was the recipient of the Henry Roe Cloud Native Alumni Achievement Award at Yale University. Linc remains an associate professor for the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program.
I grew up in Chicago. My mother was Oglala-Lakota from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, my father a German American from segregationist rural North Carolina. There wasn’t much in our family uninflected by race, and our yearly trips to Pine Ridge and North Carolina covered quite a lot of territory, both geographic and otherwise.
I went to Yale University during the tumultuous Vietnam and civil rights era and later to grad school at the University of Toronto, where I specialized in semiotics and early modern English literature. Following a year working in the People’s Republic of China, my wife and I moved to Oregon where I taught at Oregon State University for nineteen years. While there, while teaching early modern literatures and linguistics, I helped to establish and maintain the Oregon Indian Coalition on Post-Secondary Education, worked with American Indian and other minority student groups, and coordinated the establishment of an Indian Education Office (later replicated in three other minority offices) and the state’s only Ethnic Studies department. I also developed curriculum in the English department on American Indian and other ethnic minority literatures and established an oral history project in collaboration with elders from the Klamath tribes in southern Oregon (now available on Indigenous Foundations).
I came to UBC in January 2003 to be the first director of FNSP (now FNIS) — a truly exciting opportunity. My research work focuses on the relationship between technological change and the representation of knowledge, a topic as vital to strategizing the survival of Indigenous communities as it is to understanding the development of industrialism in the west, and I’m interested in developing uses of emerging and interactive technologies that truly serve the needs and interests of Indigenous communities.
In my current role, I am continuing to work on strategic planning initiatives that will provide a better environment for programs such as FNIS to develop and grow.
Linc Kesler is currently on secondment as the Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. Linc has been with the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program since its inception in 2003. He has designed and up until recently, taught FNIS 310, 320 and 400.