Marlene Brant Castellano

Trailblazing is an exacting process. The course needs to be plotted minutely so those that followers miss the wrong turns and dead ends that might prevent completion of their journey. Trailblazing demands a requisite courage, aplomb, and resiliency. Dr. Marlene Brant Castellano is a trailblazer. When she retired in July of 1996, she left behind a body of work and accomplishment that blazed the way to university careers for Aboriginal scholars. Through the power of her example and effort, the 60-year-old Mohawk has increased the presence of Aboriginal curriculum, knowledge, and students on campuses in the United States and Canada. She was the first Aboriginal full professor in a Canadian university when she joined the Faculty of Native Studies at Trent University in 1971 and she received her Ph.D. in Educational Theory from the University of Toronto in 1981. She served as Chairman of the Department of Native Studies at Trent University from 1978 to 1980 and in 1992 began work as Co-Director of Research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Her expertise in First Nations family and mental health, social services, Aboriginal women’s perspectives, and indigenous knowledge is sought by universities, professional bodies, and community organisations in Canada and around the world. She received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Education for her dedication to the development of Aboriginal curriculum and filling Canadian campuses with an Aboriginal presence.