Karla Jessen Williamson
|Education||University of Aberdeen, Scotland|
|Employer||previously, University of Saskatchewan|
|Known for||Executive Director,|
Arctic Institute of North America
|Spouse(s)||Robert Gordon Williamson|
Karla Jessen Williamson (born 1954 in Appamiut, Maniitsoq, Greenland, Kingdom of Denmark) is an assistant professor of educational foundations at the University of Saskatchewan. Formerly, she was the executive director of the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA), the first woman and first Inuk to hold the position. Fluent in Danish, English, and Greenlandic, she is an educator and researcher on cross-culturalism, multiculturalism, antiracism, and Aboriginal epistemology.
Williamson, a Kalaaleq, was born in Greenland, and received her primary education there. She graduated from high school in Denmark. She received her bachelor's degree and her master's degree in Education from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Williamson's research includes Inuit childbearing and gender roles in post-colonial Greenland. She taught for sixteen years in the Indian and Northern Education program at the University of Saskatchewan before moving to the AINA on 15 September 2000. She is also a Senior Researcher with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Because of her role with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Arctic Human Health Initiative, Williamson became the Activity Leader for the IPY 2007–2008 project "Arctic Resiliency and Diversity: Community Response to Change" in collaboration with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. She is a notable presenter on masking and promotes it for Inuit understanding of gender equality in relationship to ancestors, animals, and the environment. In addition, Williamson has been an editor for the Gabriel Dumont Institute's Journal of Indigenous Studies.
Williamson married Dr. Robert Gordon Williamson (1931–2012, Oxley, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England), an anthropologist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan. They have two children. She lives near Saskatoon and serves as assistant professor in the Department of Educational Foundations as the University of Saskatchewan.
karla jessen williamson.