FIMS broadens collective expertise with addition of new faculty members

April 2021

After a successful faculty search for academic appointments in Indigenous Scholarship, Indigenous Journalism, or Indigenous Creative Production and Teaching, FIMS is pleased to announce the arrival of two new colleagues.

The FIMS community is excited to welcome Sally Kewayosh, presently teaching in the Film and Digital Arts department at the University of New Mexico, and Sofia Locklear, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, who recently completed requirements for her PhD in Sociology from The University of New Mexico. Both new colleagues will bring vital knowledge in their areas of expertise and will contribute deeply to the Faculty’s reputation for exceptional scholarship and an unparalleled educational experience for students.

Photo of Sally KewayoshSally Kewayosh returns to Western after graduating with a degree in Film Studies in 2004. Originally from the Walpole Island First Nation, located southwest of London and close to the US-Canada border, Kewayosh went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from The Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. As a First Nations filmmaker with over 15 years of experience as a visual storyteller, she reflects Indigenous stories through her perspective as a member of a marginalized community. She has worked on films as both a producer and a director and brings knowledge of how students can support marginalized communities in authentic, appropriate ways.

“What has been key in my career is collaboration with a wide variety of people. I hope to not only teach filmmaking to the students of Western, but also how to be an ally to communities whose stories have often been appropriated,” she explains.

Kewayosh will teach filmmaking techniques like story development, screenwriting and hands-on film production, while also providing an important link to the professional filmmaking industry and the festival circuit. She hopes to begin work on her first feature film in the near future. Kewayosh is looking forward to making connections and collaborating with new colleagues at FIMS and across Western, and to reacquainting herself with familiar surroundings.

“It feels a bit like a homecoming, and I can’t wait to be at home again on campus. I also can’t wait to meet everyone in person and especially meet the students. I just want to get started!”

Photo of Sofia LocklearSofia Locklear, who has roots in Kenora, Ontario, recently completed her doctoral degree requirements in Sociology at the University of New Mexico, after receiving a Master of Arts in Sociology degree from UNM in 2017. Locklear also has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle University. She is a recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Minority Fellowship, as well as the University of New Mexico’s Critical Race Scholar Award.

Locklear brings to FIMS expertise in race, whiteness, and the racialization of Indigenous people. She also brings applied public health research skills, having worked with the Urban Indian Health Institute, a Tribal Epidemiology Center serving urban Native communities across the US. Her public health work has focused on Indigenous Evaluation Methodologies, social determinants of health, and medical sociology.

This upcoming academic year, Locklear will teach courses examining Indigenous perspectives in media, along with topics related to decolonizing methodologies and whiteness studies. It is important to her to build relationships with Indigenous communities, both within Western and throughout London and the surrounding area.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with the faculty, staff and students in FIMS, creating new community, and finding the best restaurants in town.”

The FIMS community is excited to welcome Professors Kewayosh and Locklear and looks forward to new collaborations starting in September.