Office of the President
Information Box Group
Ana P. Ostermeier
Currently on Leave
Currently on Leave
Information Box Group
The President is supported by five Vice-Presidents, each of whom have responsibility for a particular area of the University’s work. Contact information for each of the Vice-Presidents, together with links to their websites, are set out below.
The University is very fortunate to have Ms Santee Smith serving as its Chancellor, a position that she assumed on September 1, 2019. Ms Smith is a multidisciplinary artist, award-winning producer and managing Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. She is from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River, Haldimand Treaty territory. She is also a McMaster alumna, holding Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster, as well as a Master of Arts in Dance from York University.
Ms Smith’s interest is activating creativity through performance conceived and devised from an Indigenous lens and process. Santee premiered her debut work Kaha:wi – a family creation story – in 2004 and one year later founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, which has grown into an internationally renowned company. Her body of work includes 12 productions and more than 12 short works. She is a sought after speaker on the performing arts, Indigenous performance and culture, and a frequent teacher and lecturer at universities in Canada, the US, Mexico, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Australia. She is the recipient of numerous awards and regularly performs at international performing arts markets and festivals.
Santee Smith – Tekaronhiáhkhwa
c/o Office of the President
Gilmour Hall, Room 238
1280 Main St. W.
“Reflect, be mindful and maintain calm in the face of adversity:” A letter from our Chancellor
March 26, 2020
She:kon kowa / Greetings McMaster Family,
Our academic year and plans have radically shifted but the learning carries on. COVID-19 is teaching us to pause and re-focus on our wellbeing. It is full force schooling us about our interconnectivity and interdependence. COVID-19 is demonstrating how our physical, mental, spiritual, and social health are intricately interwoven. It is educating us to be humble to the immensity of the natural world and law, as Nature is our greatest instructor.
Our lives are changed, COVID-19 is instructing us to be flexible and present. The global health crisis is reaffirming our responsibilities to care for self, family and community. It’s causing us to become increasingly aware of our space and environment and the small impacts we can make for the greater good. It is an impetus to feed our creativity and not our fears. It is opening a window for us to reflect, to be mindful and maintain calm in the face of adversity.
Yorihowá:nen skén:nen ayakwanonhtónyonhwe tsi nikahá:wi / during this time of uncertainty it is important to cultivate a peaceful mind. Welcome this time. Self-isolation or distancing is not a sentence but an essential step for healing. Like ritual seclusion the act of quiet observation and introspection can lead to incredible breakthroughs and stimulate the imagination. It also allows time to reconnect with healthy habits including diet, exercise, and story-telling.
COVID-19 does not discriminate. As much as we are all in this together, we are more poignantly aware of the vulnerable people within our community, systemic inequalities as well as the value of frontline health and essential workers.
Today, we cannot unite physically, but we can unite our intentions of gratitude, love, optimism, in an effort to bring our minds together as one: working in collectively healthy ways, for the solidarity and strength of all people. Together, we can put into practice how to be compassionate / atenitenníhtshera ayakwahawí:seke; to reflect on wellbeing / ayakwata’karitéhake; to be healthy in spirit / ayakwa’nikonhriyóhake.
It is natural to feel scared, anxious, alone or depressed and McMaster has sites to help you navigate through and build your resiliency. Reach out to the following:
Nia:wen kowa to the McMaster faculty, staff, researchers and students and community for your responsiveness in addressing the health and safety of the University. Let us continue to move forward in kindness and patience during this unprecedented time.
Tesatáthsnye’n / Take care of yourself.
Peace and health be with you,