Senate approves two new ORUs: Bee Ecology and Indigenous Knowledges & Languages

The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) is pleased to announce that the Senate approved two new Organized Research Units (ORUs) in late May 2020:

  • The Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEc), which comes into effect on July 1; and
  • The Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages (CIKL), which comes into effect on July 1, 2021.

Amir Asif

“With these important additions, York University will be home to 27 ORUs, which have a strong history of highly innovative and collaborative research. Steeped in York’s tradition of collegial interdisciplinarity, ORUs serve as synergistic hubs for participatory research programs that bring together expertise from across disciplines,” said Vice-President Research & Innovation Amir Asif.

The Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

The BEEc will pursue interdisciplinary, world-class research on the biology and health of bees as well as their environmental, economic and societal implications.

This ORU will involve a critical mass of researchers working to address diverse aspects of the ongoing bee health crises, attract and train future leaders in the field, educate the public and more.

The Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation will bring together bee research across campus at York, from social scientists to mathematicians.

The Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation will bring together bee research across campus at York, from social scientists to mathematicians

Celia Haig-Brown, associate vice-president research, underscores the increasing public understanding of the critical roles that bees play in pollination. She is particularly enthusiastic about the many different disciplines involved in bee research at York – from social scientists to biologists to mathematicians. “This new ORU strengthens York’s existing leadership in the area and focuses longstanding research in new ways as it draws on so many disciplines," she stated.

The Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages

The CIKL supports research involving both traditional and contemporary knowledges, as care-taken, shared and created by Indigenous scholars located in York University and Indigenous knowledge holders from communities.

The aim of CIKL will be to facilitate research and knowledge production and dissemination, by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, that re-centers Indigenous knowledges, languages, practices and ways of being. In doing so, it will affirm Indigenous knowledges as vital sources of insight for the world and for future generations.

Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt

The Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages will facilitate research and knowledge production and dissemination, by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars. Image credit: Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt

Haig-Brown emphasizes that this new ORU will create a space to bring often-isolated Indigenous faculty together. “This is a great step in terms of York’s commitment to Indigenous faculty, researchers and students,” she said. “It has been one of my goals to continually contribute to creating space for Indigenous faculty and researchers to shape what goes on here at the University.”

Celia Haig-Brown

Celia Haig-Brown

She also emphasizes the importance of language. "The restoration of languages, which residential schools attempted to destroy, is integral to bringing Indigenous knowledges into their rightful place within the University.”

Senate has also approved the five year re-charters for three existing ORUs: the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions (CRBI).

More information on York’s ORUs, visit the VPRI website.

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