Community / Press Release

EMSB shows a commitment to Indigenous students with new hire

kids holding colourful quilt
Montreal - Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The English Montreal School Board has engaged an education professional to serve as a project development officer to provide Indigenous Students Support. Dr. Jimena Marquez began her work in January under the auspices of the Student Services Department.

Dr. Marquez was born and raised in Mexico City. As a teenager, she travelled to the Sierra Madre and encountered the Wixárika people, an indigenous people of Mexico living in remote villages; this “had a huge impact on me” she said, “and unknowingly set me on my career path.”  

In 1998, Dr. Marquez moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies at McGill. Following her interest in Indigenous peoples, this led her to do research in anthropology and to earn her master’s in science in Anthropology from the Université de Montréal. Later, she got her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Societies, Languages and Cultures from the University of Ottawa.

After having worked as a professor of anthropology at John Abbott College for more than 10 years and as Faculty Lecturer at McGill University for the Indigenous Studies Program, Dr. Marquez was intrigued by the challenge of this unprecedented position at the EMSB.

Besides serving as a point of contact for Indigenous students enrolled at the EMSB, Dr. Marquez collaborates with the team of spiritual community animators. She began her role here with a wide array of projects that will foster greater representation and inclusion of Indigenous students in school. Some of these include: organizing museum visits focusing on Indigenous peoples for high school and elementary students; assisting some schools in connecting with Indigenous artists to create collaborative artistic projects; increasing Indigenous land-based learning activities in the BASE Daycare program; supporting teachers who want to increase their knowledge of Indigenous issues through workshops, resources, learning activities and more; and working with foundations, like Legacy of Hope Foundation, to create a memorable learning experience for Orange Shirt Day.

“Providing our schools with support related to Indigenous issues has become an important priority for us,” stated EMSB Director General Nick Katalifos. “We feel very fortunate to have someone with the vast experience of Dr. Marquez as part of our team.” 

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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