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Indigenization Process

The Team and Our Partners

Michael Downey

Mr. Michael Downey is the school’s ninth Headmaster and has been part of the Selwyn House community for over 30 years, as a science teacher, department head and most recently as the Assistant Headmaster and Head of Senior School. Mr. Downey is a big believer in the voice and choice of students and wholeheartedly supports student initiatives. He is a great listener and recently added the fourth pillar to our Veritas vision: Be true to your world. 

“If we’ve only learned one thing from this pandemic, it’s that we are all in this together,” says Mr. Downey. “Everything that’s happening around the world is affecting everyone else. We need to be aware of that. So, it’s important that, as you go through life you always take care of one another. You always be kind and respectful to everybody at all times. This is very, very important, and I will insist on it.”

Courtney Prieur

Courtney Prieur believes that schools are communities where students and staff can learn, grow and lead through authentic, real-world experiences. Courtney has been at ɫ for over 15 years in various capacities, beginning in alumni and parent relations, and then focusing on current students and the development of a Student Life and Leadership Program that has grown into an experiential education team! Ensuring that boys at Selwyn House have opportunities and support to find their purpose and explore their ideas and passions through meaningful and challenging experiences is at the core of the Experiential Education department. Staying true to her values, Courtney volunteered and worked for the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network () for many years, and continues to assist the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools () with the development of the Annual National Senior Student Leadership Conference. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership and loves running, spending time with her family outdoors and organizing parties to celebrate life’s best moments! 
 
“Learning from our Indigenous students is a gift that I hold dear to my heart. The boys have inspired me to deepen my understanding of our Indigenous history and culture, and to take meaningful action.”

Wáhiakatste Diome-Deer

Committed to the empowerment and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples, Wáhiakatste works towards this vision with diverse organizations and communities across Turtle Island and around the globe. She has successfully led numerous intersectional initiatives supporting Indigenous excellence, holistic wellness, environmental stewardship, and intergenerational healing among others. In her current position as an Associate at the , she leverages these skills and experiences to help Indigenous peoples and the Indigenous economy prosper. Additionally, she also serves as an Education Consultant at ɫ, where she is helping to lead the school's Indigenization Process.

Her academic background includes a B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Dartmouth College and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from McGill University. In her free time, Wáhiakatste is passionate about sustainable farming and enjoys spending as much time as she can on the land. 
 
Wáhiakatste is a proud Onkwehón:we person from the community of Kahnawà:ke and member of the Kanien'kehá:ka [Mohawk] Nation within the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois] Confederacy.
 
“It’s a true pleasure to be working on this project with the team, as Selwyn House and its community hold a special place in my heart.”