Dr. Tracy Bear: Scholar, professor, doctor and visionary

Dr. Tracy Bear

A Cree scholar from Montreal Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Dr. Tracy Bear, is currently assistant professor in Native Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. Dr. Bear's work intersects urgent topics related to Indigenous women, decolonial sexualities, and women-led ceremonial responses to missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Dr. Bear was also the recipient of the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Association’s 2019 Distinguished Academic Early Career Award. She earned her Ph.D. in English and Film only a few years ago.

Dr. Bear is also part of Research-Creation Laboratory, a research and performance group supporting the Indigenous erotic storytelling show, Tipi Confessions. The critically-acclaimed show brings together emerging Indigenous artists with testimonies from the audience to portray a positive and healthy understanding of decolonized sexuality.

Dr. Bear is a member of the National Collective of Walking with Our Sisters, an art institute dedicated to remembering and honouring Indigenous women, girls, and non-binary gender people who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada.

For all of these reasons, Dr. Bear has been called a visionary in how she continues to tie together scholarship, activism, and ongoing community engagement in her work on behalf of Indigenous women and communities broadly.

But how many know Dr. Bear is part of the free online course Indigenous Canada, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies. It was made famous throughout the country when Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy gave the course a shout out.

“When people are looking at this, they're not looking at it through the eyes of an academic, even an Indigenous academic. What they are looking at and what they're watching is a compilation, a coalescence of all these Indigenous knowledge keepers and academic faculty, students, staff that we've worked with,” Dr. Bear explains.

“One of the biggest questions we get from our students at the MOOC is 'what's next?' The Faculty of Native Studies has created two new online courses that are currently running. One is Indigenous people in technoscience and the other one is Countering Stereotypes of Indigenous people because that is a huge part of our quest in this education and sharing of knowledge, is to let people see Indigenous people's current realities and understanding the past histories and what brought us here.”