BRANDON, Man. – A Brandon University (BU) professor has made history in Manitoba’s Pine Creek First Nation.
Karen Batson was elected as Pine Creek’s first-ever female Chief earlier this month. She said her priorities for Pine Creek will be to increase educational opportunities, enhance economic development and address infrastructure and social issues.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be chosen as the first woman Chief of Pine Creek First Nation,” Batson said. “Historically, Indigenous women had power and influenced decisions affecting their communities. My community has bestowed this honor upon me, and I am determined to create positive change for the entire community with the guidance and teachings of the Elders and our Anishinaabe culture.”
Batson joined the Faculty of Health Studies at BU in 2010. She has taken a four-year political leave from her position as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Studies at BU.
“At Brandon University we are very proud of the contributions that members of our faculty make to the various communities they serve in addition to their fine work educating our students,” said BU Dean of Health Studies Dean Care. “Karen has brought insight and experience to our Psychiatric Nursing program, and I’m confident that Pine Creek First Nation will benefit from her leadership. I congratulate Karen on this tremendous accomplishment.”
Batson has taught at Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College, and has also worked as a Mental Health Practitioner. She grew up in Pine Creek and said she continues to care for the community dearly.
“I have been away for many years building a career and raising a family, but have always had a close affinity to Pine Creek,” Batson said. “This election facilitated my return home, thus creating an opportunity to work towards a positive legacy for the youth, community members and Elders. I also wish to acknowledge my family and friends for the ongoing support and encouragement I have received as I embark on this auspicious endeavour.”
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