According to my sqilxw ways, personal introductions come before any other words.
Wai, iskwis (my name is) Percy Lezard. I am outma sqilxw, and my relations are the Lezards in Sn’penkton, the Krugers from Arrow Lakes and the Baptistes from Chopka. As part of my sqilxw cultural practice, I want to begin my introduction with an acknowledgement of my positionality and responsibilities, in an era across the Academic Industrial complex of race shifters and pretendians it’s important to identify "who I am, who are my people and who claims me."
I am the child of Indian Residential School Survivors, Valerie Lezard and Moses Baptiste.
My maternal grandparents who were also Indian Residential School Survivors are twi pl̓wic̓ia Elizabeth Lezard (Manual) naʔł twi stiʔulaʕxʷ Ernest Lezard.
My paternal grandparents who were also Indian Residential School Survivors are twiʔ Katherine Baptiste (Alec) naʔł twiʔ George Baptiste.
We are all full status and registered members under the Indian Act and under our nations custom membership code, we/I are members of the Penticton Indian Band my people, the sqilxw, have lived on the territory known as the Okanagan Valley since the beginning of people on those lands. My traditional territories stretch from Mica Creek, just north of modern-day Revelstoke, BC and east to Kootenay Lake, south to Washington state and west into the Nicola Valley.
I continue to live as a guest on the lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples for the past twenty plus years and am responsible to upholding the Dish with One Spoon treaty in my nation-to-nation relations with the caretakers of these territories.
I received my collaborative Ph.D. from OISE/UT in SJE and WGIS. I received a collaborative Masters from University of Toronto in 2006. I am very grateful to be here in the Laurier Brantford Community where I am being supported to thrive and excel as a critical Indigenous Scholar, prior to joining this scholarly community in 2021, I held an appointment with the Faculty of Social Work at University of Manitoba.
My research orientation is always towards community. It is my responsibility as an Indigenous researcher and Indigenous thinker to disrupt mainstream models of knowledge exraction. I work to re-center Indigenous ways of knowing and being and harness the existing strengths and leadership from Indigenous community members. As a result, I prioritize community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) over single-author papers, and always strive to involve myself in research that has tangible impacts. I have worked as a principle researcher and contributor on many CBPAR projects with social agencies that provide health and service support to Indigenous and 2LGBTQ communities.
The scope of my current research agenda includes First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Black Indigenous, Afro Indigenous 2 Spirit, Trans, sex-worker, youth, Deaf/Hard of hearing and houseless communities. Research in these areas is increasingly salient, as resources within healthcare must be tailored to fit the unique needs of these communities by service providers.
I bring with me an extensive teaching portfolio at a number of post-secondary institutions, where I have been instrumental in supporting students in all capacities of student life. My focus on relationship development with multiple stakeholders; both within and outside of institutions; is basis of my approach. I centre Indigenous worldviews, self-determination, resilience and promote sustainable social change. My strong ties with numerous Indigenous social service agencies and communities in Toronto, across Canada and the South Pacific reflect the strength of our highly respectful relationships. This is underscored by how often I am sought out to work with communities, including in an advisory capacity in projects, co-investigator and consultancy roles.
I have teaching interests that include an approach that is anti-colonial, 2 spirit affirming, and trauma informed perspectives. I also train, supervise and build capacity among emerging 2QTBIPOC scholars/learners who are entering the field of holistic health, harm reduction, 2SLGBTTQIA+ research and community relations/relationsips.
Lezard, P (2022). Monumental Erasures. In B. Carlson, & T. Farrely. (Ed), Global Reckonings: Disrupting Colonial Commemorations. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillian (In negotiation)
Lezard, P., Prefontaine, N., Cederwall, D-M., Sparrow, C., Maracle, S., Beck. A., & McLeod. A (April 2021). 2SLGBTTQIA+ Sub-Working Group. MMIWG2SLGBTTQIA+ National Action: Final Report. OFIFC: Toronto
Dr. Lezard is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, on the steering committee for TPATH 2021 Conference , an Indigenous member of Centre for Global Indigenous Futures, and they continue to be an active member on the 2 Spirit Sub-working group advocating for 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks who experience Gender Based Violence (GBV) and as an intervention are part of CMHC's Indigenous Advisory Council to ensure that housing as a social determinant of health reduces GBV.
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