Dr. Sheila Gruner, Associate Professor, Algoma University and Visiting Academic Universidad Javeriana and Carleton University
Sheila Gruner, PhD (OISE/UT) is an Associate Professor in Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) at Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, in Northern Ontario, critical educator, researcher and human rights advocate. She works with women’s, Indigenous, Afro-descendant, rural/worker and environmental organizations in Canada, Colombia and has experience in other locations in North and Latin America. Through her research she has examined relationships between development, displacement/forced migration, conflict/violence and peace, interrogating transversal elements related to gender, racialization, the environment and decolonization. She has lead curriculum projects towards making university education more accessible to First Nation and under-represented communities in Ontario and in rural, black and indigenous communities in Colombia. Dr. Gruner is currently researching issues related to the implementation of the Colombian peace accords in Indigenous and Black communities and the implications for women, local economies and ethno-territorial movements. She works closely with Afro-Colombian communities in the area of collective territorial and political rights, while also making parallels based on experience working alongside Mushkegowuk Cree communities in Northern Ontario, where she accompanied a community-based research project emphasizing self-governance and indigenous approaches to land mapping, and where she carried out a detailed critical examination of institutional approaches to land use planning, environmental and development policy. Dr. Gruner is a visiting professor at Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and a visiting scholar at Carleton University in Ottawa, currently on a sabbatical/research leave during 2019-2020.