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Linguistic diversity of one of Canada’s greatest and most undervalued assets, according to linguistic expert Allyson Eamer, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education. She is making strides to ensure educators and community leaders recognize multilingualism as a resource, rather than a deficit starting in elementary schools. Dr. Eamer was instrumental in launching UOIT’s new ESL school, which opened in January 2017 and established a framework for other post-secondary institutions to follow her lead. Devoted to improving the educational experience for marginalized populations, particularly those with cultural or language barriers to thriving in post-secondary education; her latest research examines the challenges they face in successfully completing their studies and aims to ensure better support systems are put in place at Canadian universities. Another area of her research focuses on developing best practices to support the educational goals of immigrant and indigenous populations with mental illness at psychiatric facilities across Canada. She is also working tirelessly to revitalize First Nations and indigenous languages in Canada. She collaborated on the development of the Glendon Truth and Reconciliation Declaration on Indigenous Language Policy which calls on the federal government to officially recognize Aboriginal language rights, and enact those rights, as well as establish a federal Aboriginal Language Commissioner, in consultation with Aboriginal language groups. In 2013, Dr. Eamer was named a Fellow of the Nantucket Project for her role in enabling indigenous elders to teach their languages online in the Plains Cree and Dene Nations. Her research is referenced in a high-profile bibliography of recommended reading by world-renowned linguist Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas. Passionate about mentoring language teachers, Dr. Eamer is also developing online courses to improve English skills among teachers and learners in other countries. She joined UOIT as an assistant professor in 2008, after teaching English as a Second Language and core French for nearly 20 years. She earned her doctorate in Applied Linguistics from York University, her Master of Education in Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (U of T), her Bachelor of Education at York University, and her Bachelor of Psychology from U of T.

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Fellow of The Nantucket Project

September 1, 2013

The Nantucket Project (September 22 - 25, 2016) celebrates the richness of the human experience through storytelling. Our films, speakers and performers explore the human imagination, creativity, thought-leadership, business values and social change.

York University

PhD - Applied Linguistics

Queen's University

Certificate - Teaching Online

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto

MEd - Applied Psychology

York University

BEd - Primary/Junior Education

University of Toronto

BA - Psychology
  • Increasing Literacies Through Supported Education and Policies of Inclusion

    $100000  | June 1, 2016

    Awarded by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
    Dr. Eamer’s role in this five-year, collaborative research project focuses on establishing best practices for supporting the educational goals of inpatients and outpatients with mental illness. Specifically, she is examining the experiences of indigenous and immigrant people who are being treated for mental illness and how their educational goals and needs are being met within the supported education program.

  • Diversities of Resilience: Understanding the Strategies for Success Used by Underrepresented Students in Canadian Universities

    $135794  | June 1, 2016

    Awarded by: SSHRC Partnership Development Grant
    As a collaborator on this three-year research project, Dr. Eamer is exploring the support systems available to underserviced and at-risk students (including immigrant and indigenous populations, as well as marginalized people with disabilities) at Canadian post-secondary institutions, as well as the challenges and barriers faced in completing their studies. She aims to help shape policy by improving educational supports for marginalized populations.

  • The Huffington Post

  • Endangered Language Alliance Toronto

  • Facing History and Ourselves

  • Working Group for the Promotion of Mental Health in Faith Communities


  • Media appearances

    Going high tech in the fight to save languages
    CBC Radio Yukon radio

    November 1, 2014

    Dr. Allyson Eamer describes how technology is being used in the battle to preserve aboriginal languages.

    UOIT professor wants to help First Nations languages live on
    Durham Region online

    August 11, 2014

    A UOIT professor has a plan in place to help First Nations languages stay alive. “I have always thought it was terribly sad for a language to disappear,” said Dr. Allyson Eamer, a professor in the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s faculty of education...

    Loving and leaving mother: The passing of Chester Nez
    The Ethnos Project online

    June 22, 2014

    Earlier this month, a significant chapter in indigenous history came to a close with the death of 93-year-old Chester Nez in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Jan. 23, 1921 – June 4, 2014). Chester was not the name given to him as an infant by his Navajo parents. He no longer remembered that name. Chester was the name given to him at the boarding school where he learned that speaking Navajo was a bad and traitorous thing to do.

  • Past speaking engagements
    • Invited Guest Speaker: Immigration, Language Learning and Mental Health

      Toronto, Ontario
      June 1, 2017

      SACEM 360° Vision on Mental Health Conference

    • Promoting Linguistic Diversity in the Elementary School Classroom

      Orlando Florida
      January 3, 2016

      International Education Conference

    • Participation and Persistence: An Analysis of Immigrant Visible-Minority Students at UOIT

      Seville, Spain
      November 27, 2015

      European Society for Research on the Education of Adults Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network Conference

    • Still on the Margins: English Language Learning and Mental Health in Immigrant Psychiatric Patients

      Dublin, Ireland
      April 20, 2015

      Ireland International Conference on Education

    • Invited Guest Lecturer: Language Revitalization in Cree and Dene Nations

      St. Paul, Alberta
      June 1, 2012

      Blue Quills First Nations College

    • E-learning for Indigenous Languages: Two Canadian Success Stories, Language, Education and Diversity

      Auckland, New Zealand
      November 25, 2011

      University of Auckland

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