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In recognition of valued service to the educational emancipation movement for Indigenous peoples and the pursuit of dignity, well-being and the reaffirmation that Indigenous peoples, in the exercise of their rights are free from discrimination.

Circle of Honours

Chiefs of Indigenous Leadership

Dr. Bavagarh Dagalomai Jolan Hsieh 謝若蘭

Dr. Jolan Hsieh (Bavaragh Dagalomai) is from Siraya Nation of Taiwan. She is a professor at the Dept. of Ethnic Relations and Cultures and Director of Center for International Indigenous Affairs from College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan.

She received her Ph. D degree in Justice Studies (2002) from Arizona State University - Tempe, USA. Her research expertise are Human Rights, Law and Society, Gender / Ethnic / Class Studies, Critical Legal Studies and Transitional Justice, Global Indigenous Movements and Politics, Indigenous Education and Mainstreaming Policy.

Jolan served as advisor to the Presidential Office's Indigenous Peoples' Historical and Transitional Justice Committee and Convener of Subcommittee on Reconciliation.

Once again, like Elmer, Jolan has provided the WINEC executive and board with exceptional leadership. 

Dr. Elmer J. Guy

Since 2006, Dr. Elmer Guy has served as the president of Navajo Technical University (NTU), which is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), a community of 37 tribally and federally chartered institutions of higher education. Navajo Technical University offers certificate to master’s degree programs. Prior to becoming president, Dr. Guy also served at NTU as its vice president of academics and student services and its dean of instruction. In 2011 and 2012, under Dr. Guy’s leadership, NTU was named one of the top 120 community colleges in the United States by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. Before joining NTU, Dr. Guy was appointed by the Navajo Nation president to serve as both the executive director and deputy director of the Navajo Nation Department of Education. During his tenure with the Navajo Nation Department of Education, several needed programs were successfully developed and implemented, including two trusts for the handicapped ($7 million) and for vocational education programs ($6 million); the Navajo Medicine Man Apprentice School; and a comprehensive teacher education program, all of which have been institutionalized and remain in full operation. Dr.

Guy earned his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona, and in between, a graduate degree from the University of San Francisco. Dr. Guy serves on the board of the American Indian High Education Consortium, the American Indian College Fund board, the College Board’s Community Colleges Advisory Panel, as well as other regional and national associations. We bestow this award as over the past four years he has contributed his strong leadership, experiences and qualifications to WINHEC as co-Chair

Elders of Indigenous Wisdom

Dr. Veronica Arbon

Dr Veronica Arbon was the Director of Batchelor Institute from 1999 – 2005. After attending the early WINHEC meetings in Calgary and NZ she returned to the Institute with a renewed vision to place Aboriginal culture front and centre of all Institute operations particularly teaching and learning. Batchelor owe their continued success to her as a strong and proud First Nations place of learning. Dr Arbon has held many positions within mainstream universities fiercely fighting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews to be recognised within the western academy.

She rolled out the cultural standards at Batchelor Institute and established the framework with which we were successful in the 10-year accreditation with WINHEC. Dr Arbon continues to work with our post graduate students as supervisor, in Masterclass on confirmation panels gently sharing her experience and wisdom with the next generation of scholars. She also continues to work with the Arabunna Association to protect her homelands and reclaim Arabunna language. Veronica continues in her retirement to be a source of Eldership as mentor and supervisor in the Graduate School at the Batchelor Institute.

Her many career highlight include: Director, Wirltu Yarlu, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide Chair Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin

University Senior Research Fellow, Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit, University of Adelaide Director, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education Assistant Director Academic Development, Batchelor College Head, School of Community Studies, Batchelor College Director, Koori Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney Acting Director, Aboriginal Education Centre, University of Sydney and Aboriginal Education Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW Senior Lecturer, Aboriginal Education Unit, School of Community Health, Cumberland College of Health Sciences, Sydney, NSW Acting Head of School, School of Community Health, Cumberland College of Health Sciences, Sydney, NSW Her book 'Arlathirnda, Ngurkurnda Ityrnda, Being, Knowing and Doing; De-Colonising Indigenous Tertiary Education' continues to be an inspiration for many of us who dare to theorise and articulate complex thoughts in a language other than english.

Lavaus Aluguyan 陳利友妹

In 2021, Lavaus Aluguyan, also known as Chen Liyoumei (陳利友妹) in Mandarin, was officially recognized by the Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture as the preserver of the nationally important intangible cultural heritage, the "Traditional Embroidery of the Paiwan Nation (Kinavatjesan)." She preserves the traditional embroidery techniques and various patterns of the Paiwan peoples, along with her unique color combinations, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural characteristics of the eastern Paiwan region. She is also the first living national treasure in Taitung County.

After marriage, Lavaus Aluguyan followed her husband to work and own property in Kaohsiung Harbor. However, due to her husband's illness, they returned to Taimali at Taitung County to reside in 1986. At that time, Lavaus Aluguyan ran a grocery store while modifying clothes and doing embroidery. Having previously worked in an export garment factory in a big city, she had broadened her horizons and gained exposure. Whether it was materials, color combinations, or designs, she not only conveyed indigenous characteristics but also understood the preferences of her customers.

In the year 2000, during the millennium, Taimali became the first place in Taiwan to witness the sunrise, attracting live broadcasts from 25 countries worldwide. The rural area suddenly became lively. At that time, a television reporter noticed the sign designed by Lavaus Aluguyan 's daughter, featuring an Indigenous person holding two snakes, and found it interesting. Out of curiosity, the reporter entered the grocery store and was amazed by the displayed embroidery works. The reporter then introduced Lavaus Aluguyan to the audience. This news report brought Lavaus Aluguyan into the spotlight, and afterwards, many celebrities visited her, along with numerous foreign media interviews.

After her embroidery works gained popularity, Lavaus Aluguyan closed her grocery store and focused solely on embroidery. She proactively contacted the airport, prehistoric cultural museum, and several renowned hotels in Taitung to sell her embroidery products at places where international tourists would visit. These products, such as bags, clothing, and hats, which were rich in Indigenous features, were loved by tourists from various countries. This success gave Lavaus Aluguyan more confidence and happiness in her work.

To this day, Lavaus Aluguyan wholeheartedly devotes herself to embroidery teaching and designing products. She constantly unleashes her creativity by combining traditional Paiwan patterns with modern fabric materials, complemented by vibrant embroidery threads, creating one colorful and beautiful product after another. Lavaus Aluguyan says she is not afraid of others imitating her products because her inspiration is endless, and she continues to innovate, constantly introducing new products to the world.

At 82 years old this year, Lavaus Aluguyan happily shares that after becoming a national treasure, she has two grandchildren by her side. Among them, Haoyu is her administrative assistant, and Tingyu is one of the three art students she has taken under her wing, and also her successor. Lavaus Aluguyan says that her grandson Tingyu has been raised by her since

he was young, and he has been exposed to embroidery from an early age. Now, he is formally apprenticing and showing exceptional talent.

Lavaus Aluguyan has not only become known as the "perfect woman" among her people for her embroidery skills but also through each stitch, she sews her family's hearts tightly together.

The Paiwan Naion has a population of approximately 100,000 people, making it the second largest Indigenous group among the current 16 recognized Indigenous Nations in Taiwan. Depending on the region of residence, the Paiwan Peoples can be further divided into North Paiwan, Central Paiwan, South Paiwan, and East Paiwan. Among them, the Bacaaro group in East Paiwan incorporates some elements of the Bunun Nation in their clothing, but the patterns still maintain the orthodox Paiwan style.

Being skilled in tailoring and embroidery, the Paiwan Nations has a hierarchical social system consisting of four classes: leaders, nobles, warriors, and commoners. The leader serves as the head of a tribe, and among the children, the eldest (regardless of gender) inherits the leadership position. Other siblings also have the lineage of the leader's family and can choose to establish their own tribe with 5 to 6 households. If they do not wish to establish an independent tribe, they become nobles.

Marriage within the Paiwan Peoples also emphasizes social compatibility, and the ideal marriage is between individuals of the same class. Lavaus Aluguyan 's great-grandfather was a tribal leader, and her great-grandmother was the daughter of a leader and a princess with the status of a shaman (pulingau). As a result, Lavaus Aluguyan 's mother also belongs to the lineage of the leader's family and holds the status of a princess, while her father comes from a noble family.

Ellen Inga O Hætta

Ellen Inga O. Hætta was born 17.06.1953. She left us earlier this year, February 22nd after diagnosed with cancer summer 2022.

She initiated and led the Sámi High School and Reindeer Husbandry School through the process to become a member of the WINHEC family, and the school was accredited in 2017.

She started her service as a teacher back in 1973 and finished her teacher training in 1980. She worked at the elementary school in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino) as a teacher, student-adviser, and principal. After serving as mayor, the first woman Sámi to hold this position, of the municipality, she started as the director of the Sámi education council, which later became the department of education at the Sámi Parliament of Norway. For a period of ten years, just interrupted of one year as state secretary for the minister of Sámi issues in Norway, she worked as the head of the reindeer husbandry administration before she returned to education as the principal of the Sámi High School and Reindeer Husbandry School. Here she worked until she retired in 2021. She also worked hard to get approval and funding from the government for a new school building, facilities together with the Sámi national theatre Beaivváš. This was a difficult task, she stated when the funding was finalized.

She has been an important person and leader in the Sámi society. She has served in many many different boards, here we name just a few as an example; the board for the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, the board for the University of Tromsø, member of the board for the Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš, member of the board for Northern Norway Regional Health Authority, just to name a few.

For Hætta, education was closest to her heart. She saw education to be one of the cornerstones in building, strengthening, and developing the Sámi society. She was always working hard to have Sámi education to thrive. She wanted Sámi students to thrive. She wanted them to achieve their goals, and always stressed that she would like them to experience the world, and then come back, because they are needed in Sápmi, they are needed whatever profession they choose. This is also reflected in her work for and with Winhec. She wanted our youth to learn from our indigenous sisters and brothers, she wanted our ways and our knowledge, especially our traditional knowledge to be acknowledged, but she also saw the value of our youth to know and understand the western world, thus, to be able to fight for our rights.

Service to Indigenous Education

Dr. Shu-Ya Lin (Posthumous) 林淑雅

Dr. Lin Shu-ya (林淑雅) was a well known Taiwanese legal scholar and advocate for Indigenous rights. She was a Doctor of Laws, an assistant professor at Taiwan’s Providence University, and an enduring advocate for Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples and human rights.

Dr. Lin authored the book "The First Nation: The Constitutional Significance of Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples' Movement," in which she analysed the possible legal frameworks for "collective rights of Indigenous Peoples" and Indigenous autonomy from the perspectives of fundamental rights theory and constitutional organisation law. Dr. Lin’s English book chapter titled "Demarcation of Indigenous traditional territories: A wrong turn toward reconciliation" was published in the book "Indigenous Reconciliation in Contemporary Taiwan – From Stigma to Hope," which WINHEC co-chair Dr. Jolan Hsieh co-edited with Scott Simon and Peter Kang. The book was officially published in November 2022 by the internationally renowned publisher Routledge as part of the Contemporary Asia series. Dr. Lin contributed this valuable book chapter, which documents the challenges and difficulties you encountered through your practical involvement in the legal changes during Taiwan's societal transformation.

Since 2009, Dr. Lin has been serving as an assistant professor at Providence University, offering courses on constitutional law and engaging in discussions with students on topics such as human rights and wrongful convictions. Dr. Lin has also been instrumental in establishing the "Bachelor's Degree Program in Law - Indigenous Peoples Class" at Providence University and co-organizing the "Seediq Program" with the Seediq National Council.

Dr. Lin actively involved in public service, advocating for human rights, addressing wrongful convictions, and promoting issues related to Taiwan's indigenous peoples and other public

affairs. She has been involved in indigenous transitional justice, indigenous peoples' rights, environmental protection movements, and legal matters such as traditional domain delineation. Dr. Lin has held positions such as Secretary-General of Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Chairperson of Amnesty International Taiwan, and a member of the Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee. During the 2014 Sunflower Movement, she showed support by visiting the site and encouraging indigenous youth to convey information regarding the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement to their tribes. In early 2019, when Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan," Dr. Lin was the main author of the response letter titled "A Letter to Mr. Xi Jinping" issued by the Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee.

Dr. Lin was killed as a single fatality of MRT accident in Taichung on 2023/5/10, where a train ran into a construction crane that had fallen onto the tracks, injuring 10 others. Her loss has been felt widely throughout Taiwan.

Dr. Berice Anning

Dr Anning has bloodlines to the Keinjan, Gambuwal, Bidjara and Goomeroi peoples. She has held senior leadership positions since 1998. Throughout these appointments Dr Anning has worked tirelessly to ensure staff and students at her institutions are empowered, with their voices heard. Indeed, she is a strong advocate for Indigenous education, employment, research and engagement, working with Elders and their communities across Australia. Berice works internationally with Indigenous higher education institutions and communities in Norway, Alaska, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Taiwan through her executive membership of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) and the World Indigenous Nations University and is an editor for the WINHEC World Indigenous Research Journal. Dr Anning has a strong commitment to her work with WINHEC. Through the work of Dr Anning, Dr Arbon, Professor Robertson and Professor Thomas the model co-created for WINHEC, designed to assist Indigenous people to maintain and sustain their traditions and knowledges, is building a rigorous cohort of future Indigenous leaders that are culturally and professionally astute, and capable of accomplishing the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

Dr Anning continues her important work in WINHEC and within the higher education sector across Australia. Through her role as Vice President (International) in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium Dr Anning is creating new ways for Indigenous staff and students to engage in rewarding international engagements. With a major review of the Australian higher education sector occurring this year, Dr Anning’s knowledge and experience is vital to positive change making in Indigenous higher education. We understand and recognise that Dr Anning has been admitted in 2019 to the WINHEC Order of Scholars of Indigenous Knowledge and respect this profound recognition. As Dr Anning’s service to Australia and to WINHEC continues in strong and diverse ways - NATSIHEC would like to nominate her for the WINHEC Circle of Honours to the Order of Service to Indigenous Education.

Dr. Sean Asikłuk Topkok

Dr. Sean Asikłuk Topkok is of Iñupiaq, Sámi, Kven, Irish, and Norwegian descent and a proud of who he is. Asikłuk’s family comes from Iiġalugniagvik (place to go fishing). This is only a piece of who Asikłuk is, he is also a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, colleague. Asikłuk has been involved with WINHEC for a number of years and has stepped up after his predecessor Dr. Ray Barnhart had stepped back from WINHEC and has retired.

Asikłuk had agreed to be a part of WINHEC Executive back in 2019 just before covid started when the executive had a meeting and he agreed to be the treasurer. In 1997 Asikluk joined the Alaska Native Knowledge Network which bought together community, Elders and knowledge holders to record important knowledges and resources for the learning and teaching of future generations. Dr. Sean Asikłuk Topkok has been appointed to the position of Director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies (CXCS) effective April 10, 2023. Asikłuk demonstrates his dedication and commitment not only to his people and community, but to our WINHEC community and family worldwide. It is an honour and a privilege to nominate Asikłuk to the Circle of Honours Award for Service for Indigenous Education.

Pia Russell

Pia Russell is a librarian of special collections at the University of Victoria as well as a Doctoral candidate with the Department of History. She is passionate about cultural heritage and has worked in the fields of galleries, libraries, archives and museums for over twenty years. She is a trained historian, archivist, librarian, curator and educator. Until 2023 she served as the Primary Investigator of a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight funded grant titled: Unsettling History: An Interactive Digital Library of British Columbia’s Historical Textbooks 1871 – 1921. Pia was nominated for this award for her passionate and commitment over many years actively supporting the WIRA Journal beside Paul.

Scholars of Indigenous Knowledge

Mr. Darryl Kickett

Mr Darryl Kickett is an Elder and great scholar working on vital issues for his Noongar community in Western Australian and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. Mr Kickett’s work has been recognised across Australia, most notably by the Australian Research Council and the National Aboriginals and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) who awarded Mr Kickett, Person of the Year at the 2013 National NAIDOC Awards. He is currently a Discovery Indigenous Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University. Mr Kickett is much loved within his community and works with universities across Western Australia to ensure Noongar knowledges and perspectives are at the core of self-determination for Indigenous students. A highly esteemed sportsman, researcher, former CEO of the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, and Elder, Mr Kicket has reached many with his vision towards spiritual healing.

 World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium

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