Royal Roads welcomes new board member Monique Gray Smith mstikwaskihkos

September 8, 2020
Andrea Boyce

An accomplished author and leader in Indigenous relations has been appointed to the Royal Roads Board of Governors.

Monique Gray Smith mstikwaskihkos, who is Cree, Lakota and Scottish, has accepted a one-year Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council appointment to the board effective July 31. She says she plans to focus on heart-based decision making in her work on the board.

“I believe love is medicine and love in education is really where change happens. When students and staff feel seen and valued and heard, change is really powerful,” Gray Smith says. “Not just because of COVID, but because of all that is unfolding in this world, we need some really powerful positive change.

“I hope to be able to bring that continued reminder that love is medicine – and how are we making decisions from an intellectual decision base, but also with our hearts.”

Royal Roads Chancellor and Board Chair Nelson Chan says he looks forward to the contributions Gray Smith will make to the board.

“We are excited to welcome new appointee Monique Gray Smith to our Board of Governors,” Chan says. “Monique is an award-winning, best-selling author and known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience – all essential elements of our focus at Royal Roads University. Monique's professionalism and experiences will bring new energy to our board and strengthen our focus on 2045 and beyond.”

The author of six books, Gray Smith has won a number of awards for her literature, including the 2014 Canadian Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature for her novel Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience. Gray Smith teaches courses in resilience and reconciliation and has worked in truth and reconciliation in education, business and government. She was awarded the 2019 Victoria Leadership Award for Extending Reconciliation.

In other Board of Governors news, employee-elected member Dranna Andrews-Brown joined the board in April 2020. Board member Geoff Pearce has also been reappointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for a second term. Pearce joined the board in 2018.