Dr. Rhonda L. Paulsen

Terrace, British Columbia, Canada is the home town of Rhonda L. Paulsen. When an adolescent, her family moved to Hawaii then later back to Canada in Ontario, where she has settled.

Rhonda has her Doctor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, specializing in Adult Education, Community Development, and Counseling Psychology. Her Master’s degree is in Canadian Heritage and Development studies from Trent University, where she also achieved her Honours B.A. She has continued to teach at Trent since 1996, as well as serving on the committee to develop Canada’s first Ph.D program in Indigenous Studies, also at Trent University.

Over thirty years of experience has been in the fields of business and education, with focus on advocating for equity in diversity and cultural awareness and understanding. She has worked with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, colleagues and members of the community to define and implement best practices in education (including the development of new schools and programming). For example, Rhonda participated in the efforts of the Hopi in Arizona to reclaim their lands taken from them by the U.S. government in the 1920's, with the Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian Peoples) for the revitalization of language in education, and in collaborative research projects for Indigenous Literacy and educational programming in Canada.

Additionally, Rhonda developed the first Special Emphasis Certificate program in Indigenous Studies offered in Ontario colleges, designed Canada's first 5-year consecutive Bachelor of Education in Indigenous Studies offered at Trent University (as a collaboration between the School of Education and Professional Learning and the Indigenous Studies department), and - with support from Trent University’s Symons Award, Ontario's Ministry of Education, and the Metis Nation of Ontario - has produced this book: “Spirit of the Island: Manitoulin’s People - Stories of Indigenous - Settler Historical Dynamics” (published in English, French, and Anishinaabemowin) with accompanying Teacher's Guidebook.