Iakoiehwáhtha Patton

Iakoiehwáhtha Patton named a Rhodes Scholar

Iakoiehwáhtha Patton, an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto who also goes by Ioka, has received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University.

The fourth-year student in the Faculty of Arts & Science and member of Victoria College is one of 11 Canadian recipients of the prestigious scholarship program this year.

A member of the Kanien'kehá:ka First Nations community, Patton says her identity as an Indigenous woman has informed her studies in art history, anthropology and Renaissance studies.

“I didn’t have Indigenous academic role models so I really had to pave my own path,” she told her college. “If I can help to create structures and pathways for other Indigenous women in academia, that would make me feel very happy.”

Patton is the president of U of T’s History of Art Students' Association, and a research assistant to Reid Locklin, an associate professor in the department for the study of religion, writing about the intersections of art history, Christianity, coloniality and Indigeneity for the online resource Teaching and Learning as Treaty Peoples.

Patton says she plans to study the depiction of North American Indigenous peoples in Netherlandish art when she goes to Oxford next year, where the costs of her degree will be covered by the Rhodes Scholarship.

“This achievement would be extraordinary for any student, but I think that it’s even more inspiring since Patton began her academic journey at Vic just before the pandemic started,” said Professor Rhonda McEwen, president and vice-chancellor of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

“Within a few short months, she had to return to her community and learn remotely like so many other students. Patton overcame every obstacle and never missed the opportunity to contribute to the community at Vic and U of T.”

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