Dr. Rosalyn Ing | 26 August 1938 – 23 July 2020
Alumna Dr. N. Rosalyn Ing passed away on 23 July 2020 in the Vancouver General Hospital with her loving husband, and two granddaughters by her side.
An Elder of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, Dr. Ing will be remembered for her life-long work for social justice, contributing significantly to excellence in education and health for Indigenous people in Canada, and her enduring love for family and friends.
Before moving into an educational career, Dr. Ing served with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Fighter Control Operator between 1957-1960 where she met her husband George. After lovingly raising her two sons, she returned to higher education. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), she earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1988, a Master of Education degree in Administration/Leadership in 1990, and a PhD in Educational Studies in 2001. A survivor of the Canadian Residential School System herself, her master’s and doctoral research focused on the inter-generational trauma Indigenous people experienced at the Indian residential schools. Rosalyn attended these schools for 11 years, from the age of 5 to 16. Her research was among the first to examine the long-term effects of this form of colonial education and various types of abuse that Indigenous people experienced. She continued to be a part of the push first for acknowledgement and then for reconciliation for this dark period in Canada’s history and its ongoing effects, and played a supportive part in many of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Sharing Circles across Canada.
Rosalyn taught for several years at the Native Education College in Vancouver before moving to UBC as Coordinator of the First Nations Health Careers in 1994, until she retired in 2003. At UBC, Dr. Ing worked with many academic units in the health professions to increase the numbers of Indigenous students through summer high school youth programs, by educating faculty and staff about Indigenous historical issues so that they became more respectful and responsive to the needs and interests of Indigenous students and their communities; and creating relevant learning opportunities for Indigenous students. She nurtured strong relationships with many BC Indigenous communities and organizations and ensured that their perspectives became part of the university decision-making mechanisms. As a result of Dr. Ing’s tireless efforts, many Indigenous people have enrolled in and have completed careers in the health field, and she proudly made a point to attend the graduation ceremony for every student that she helped through these programs.
Rosalyn was a Cree Elder, and it became her life’s work to mentor and inspire many young people throughout her life. After retirement, she continued to volunteer as a community member and Elder on various educational committees for K-12 and post-secondary education; to mentor numerous Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students; and to challenge societal inequity and racism. In 2012, Dr. Ing received the Queen’s Jubilee Diamond medal for her exemplary work in Indigenous education and community contributions.
Family was always a priority in Rosalyn’s life. She was the Matriarch of her extended family circle, and this year celebrated 60 years of marriage to her husband George. Roz had an infectious passion for life. She loved learning, reading, art, music, and travelling. She looked forward to sharing her adventures with those close to her, sending around photos and descriptions of her numerous travels with George.
Dr. Rosalyn Ing is survived by her husband George, son Ted, two granddaughters Nimkish and Aisha, three brothers and five sisters, and many nieces and nephews.