Indigenization Process

The Team

Michael Downey

Mr. Michael Downey is the school’s ninth Headmaster and has been part of the Selwyn House community for over 30 years, as a science teacher, department head and most recently as the Assistant Headmaster and Head of Senior School. Mr. Downey is a big believer in the voice and choice of students and wholeheartedly supports student initiatives. He is a great listener and recently added the fourth pillar to our Veritas vision: Be true to your world. 

“If we’ve only learned one thing from this pandemic, it’s that we are all in this together,” says Mr. Downey. “Everything that’s happening around the world is affecting everyone else. We need to be aware of that. So, it’s important that, as you go through life you always take care of one another. You always be kind and respectful to everybody at all times. This is very, very important, and I will insist on it.”

Courtney Prieur

Courtney Prieur believes that schools are communities where students and staff can learn, grow and lead through authentic, real-world experiences. Courtney has been at Selwyn House School for over 15 years in various capacities, beginning in alumni and parent relations, and then focusing on current students and the development of a Student Life and Leadership Program that has grown into an experiential education team! Ensuring that boys at Selwyn House have opportunities and support to find their purpose and explore their ideas and passions through meaningful and challenging experiences is at the core of the Experiential Education department. Staying true to her values, Courtney volunteered and worked for the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN) for many years, and continues to assist the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) with the development of the Annual National Senior Student Leadership Conference. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Educational Leadership and loves running, spending time with her family outdoors and organizing parties to celebrate life’s best moments! 
“Learning from our Indigenous students is a gift that I hold dear to my heart. The boys have inspired me to deepen my understanding of our Indigenous history and culture, and to take meaningful action.”

Cory Deegan

Cory Deegan has worked at Selwyn House since 2009 in multiple capacities. While completing a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with capstone research in experiential learning, Cory developed a school-wide program in Outdoor Education. Currently the Coordinator of Outdoor Education, Cory is dedicated to ensuring every student develops a meaningful connection with the land on which they live and become stewards for the environment and advocates for social implications of access to land and nature.
Beyond his training as a wilderness first-responder (WMA / Sirius MED), Cory is an instructor with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and is responsible for the training and certification of all staff and students in CPR / First-Aid. He is also an instructor with both the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) and the Federation du Québec du Montagne et Escalade (FQME). Cory is certified in Swift Water Rescue (SWRT II) and Mental Health First Aid.

“I believe that to truly understand our national identities we must comprehend the settlers' role in the devastation of the land and the Indigenous cultures that are connected to it.”

Wáhiakatste Diome-Deer

Wáhiakatste (Wahi) is a traditional Kanien'kehá:ka woman from the community of Kahnawá:ke. She is an Independent Consultant in education, leadership, and indigenization as well as a Columnist for the Globe and Mail. She is also currently completing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at McGill University.

Wahi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College and has previously completed graduate work in Psychology at Harvard University. Her professional experience includes serving as an Educational Consultant at the Kahnawake Education Center, managing the Youth Portfolio at Quebec Native Women’s Association, and working as a National Economic Development Associate for Indigenous communities at the Canadian Executive Service Organization. Outside of her work, Wahi is engaged in numerous volunteer initiatives such as collaborating as the main subject of the CBC/Radio-Canada documentary 'Sur la grande terre’ which compares the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada and Siberia, as well as advocating for environmental protection and Indigenous rights at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. 
“It’s a true pleasure to be working on this project with the team, as Selwyn House and its community hold a special place in my heart.”