Dr. Bill Cohen is from the Okanagan Nation. He specializes in the areas of Indigenous knowledge, research, education, and radical, transforming pedagogy. Throughout his twenty-five year educational career, he has engaged in community driven, transforming projects, as volunteer, advisor, facilitator, director, professor, and parent.
Bill’s education comes from two areas: he was mentored by Sqilxw Elders and leaders throughout his life; and he graduated from the En’owkin Centre School of Writing, University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Arts & Science with Distinction, Master of Education in Administrative Leadership from Simon Fraser University, and Education Doctorate in Policy and Leadership from the University of British Columbia.
He has organized numerous community arts, language, and literacy projects involving fluent speakers, parents and children. For seven years was Education Director of En’owkin Centre, where he implemented place and project based learning, involving elders and community members in adult and post-secondary programs (puppet theatre, publication of a history book etc). The first faculty member in the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) Indigenous Studies Program, he designed, developed and taught core courses in Indigenous and Okanagan Knowledge. He was instrumental in establishing the program and structure of UBCO Indigenous Studies. With other parents, he led the creation of the Okanagan’s first cultural and language immersion school in 2006, Nkmaplqs i Snmamayatn kl Sqilxwtet, a successful model of high student achievement in Okanagan language fluency, cultural knowledge, and provincial curriculum and world knowledge.
He is serving a 4th term as Okanagan Indian Band Councillor and 2nd term as First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council board member.