Dr. H. Bliss receives the 2022 Cormack Teaching Award

October 28, 2022

On behalf of the Department of Linguistics we wish to congratulate Dr. H. Bliss on receiving the 2022 Cormack Teaching Award!

Since 2003, Heather Bliss has been working with members of the Siksiká and Kainai communities on documenting and analyzing the Blackfoot language. Her dedication to Indigenous language revitalization has led her to work closely with Indigenous communities in developing pronunciation training tools for language learners.

As an instructor and cohort coordinator in the Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Languages and Linguistics program, Bliss effectively and respectfully taught writing skills to her cohort of 16 Indigenous students from diverse backgrounds. She supported them in articulating their own Indigenous voices and experiences as they explored research on Indigenous languages, culture and cognition.

Her nominator, professor Marianne Ignace, commends Bliss' teaching skills and her commitment in educating her students on the knowledge and understanding of the plight of Indigenous languages linguistically, culturally and historically. Ignace describes Bliss as having made "very important contributions as a teacher to the path of truth and reconciliation our university has embarked on". 

In her short presentation Dr. Bliss talked about how she was inspired by Charlotte Ross and how Charlotte's pedagogy helped her practice relationality with her students in the various courses she has taught. Building relationships rooted in reciprocety and respect can take on many different forms, from holding a students dog or baby during class presentations to supporting students outside of class with poster presentations.

Dr. Bliss has taught a range of courses. From core undergraduate courses such as LING100, LING220, and LING282w to electives and graduate level courses such as LING280 and LING801. Student's in these courses consistently enjoy Dr. Bliss' teaching style and her way of practicing relational ways of teaching.

To learn more about the 2022 Cormack Teaching Award recipients visit the FASS story page for more information:

2022 Cormack Award Recipients