Our Instructors

The instructors for the Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences will include representatives from the Aboriginal community within Ryerson and externally.

The curriculum will be developed and taught by Aboriginal scholars and experienced community teachers who reflect the Aboriginal lived experience. Aboriginal faculty and instructors will develop and teach the curriculum, which is a critical factor in the recruitment and success of Aboriginal students.

Instructors for the courses in the Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences will be selected based on hiring guidelines that are established by the Standing Curriculum Committee and the hiring process will be administered through The Chang School by the Academic Coordinator, Dr. Cyndy Baskin, who is an Aboriginal faculty member.

Dr. Cyndy Baskin­Dr. Cyndy Baskin is a professor in the School of Social Work and is of Mi’kmaq and Irish descent. She has many years of experience working with Aboriginal peoples in Canada in areas such as community organization, culture-based program development, and healing from trauma. Dr. Baskin’s research interests include food security and Indigenous peoples, youth and homelessness, Aboriginal world views in education, and structural determinants of health, with particular emphasis on the impacts of colonization.


Hayden KingHayden King is Ojibwe and Pottawatomi from Beausoleil First Nation on Chi’mnissing in Huronia, Ontario. He is the Director of the Ryerson University Centre for Indigenous Governance and Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics at Ryerson University.


Dr. Peter MenziesDr. Peter Menzies is member of the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation,and has spent the past 14 years building culturally congruent mental health and addiction programs in partnership with urban, rural, and First Nations communities through his work at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is responsible for creating the organization’s Aboriginal Services Program, providing support to communities across Ontario and nationally. Prior to joining CAMH, Peter worked for more than 20 years in a variety of frontline and management positions at Native and non-Native agencies. A skilled therapist and community developer, Peter has experience working with individuals and families in child welfare, family counselling, and income support programs, and is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Peter received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Manitoba, completed his Master of Social Work studies at Laurentian University, and received his PhD from the University of Toronto. His thesis work focused on trauma and intergenerational trauma among First Nations peoples. He is an assistant professor at the Psychiatry Department at the University of Toronto, an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Laurentian University, has delivered more than 70 invited presentations, and was the recipient of the Centre for Equity and Health in Society, Entrepreneurial Development and Integration of Services Award (2005) and the Kaiser Foundation, Excellence in Indigenous Programming Award (2011). Peter regularly travels throughout Northern Ontario to provide assessment, capacity building, and training support to health care workers in remote communities, with research interests in Aboriginal homelessness, intergenerational trauma, child welfare, suicide and prevention, and addiction and mental health needs. He has published numerous articles related to Aboriginal health issues and sits on a number of committees at the provincial and national level.