Laurie McLaren, founding Executive Director of the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives at Nipissing University oversees and leads engagement for administrative and academic initiatives with Aboriginal, First Nation and Indigenous communities. The Office is the conduit and point of contact for engagement of faculty, staff and students with Aboriginal communities. Providing support services to assist the achievement of Aboriginal learners with advice and direction from a local Aboriginal Advisory Council, the Office helps develop and facilitate partnerships that support a coordinated framework of reciprocal engagement.
Laurie joined Nipissing University initially as an undergraduate student. She went on to serve in advisory and project development roles with Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal organizations before returning to the University as an employee in 2000. Laurie helped to take the Aboriginal Services program with a staff of two into today’s department offering several programs and a team of ten.
She is Algonquin and a member of the Wolf Lake First Nation. Laurie credits the support of her parents for teaching her the importance of education and for showing through their actions the tools necessary to find her role in her family and community. Laurie is a mother to four children and she has one grandson.