I raise my hands in deep appreciation to the Xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Səl̓ílwətaɬ, and Skwxwú7mesh Nations for providing me with a place to live, study and teach. I acknowledge that I am an “uninvited guest” on their traditional, ancestral, unceded, and overlapping territories. I am Nisga’a from the Nass Valley of Northwestern British Columbia on my mother’s side of the family. My Nisga’a name is Noxs Ts’aawit (Mother of the Raven Warrior Chief). We belong to the Ganada (frog) clan from the village of Laxgalts’ap. On my father’s side of the family, I am of Settler ancestry (French and German). I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education (PhD UBC). My doctoral work inspired me to work with Indigenous youth, communities, and research-intensive universities across British Columbia in order to identify proactive ways to transform Indigenous students’ transition to higher education. My postdoctoral work investigated Indigenous doctoral programming, supports and initiatives at 100 tier one universities around the world.
My research is grounded in Indigenous methodologies through collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities to support self-determination needs through community based research in two areas: (1) teaching and mentoring practices aimed at capacity-building in Indigenous communities, K-12 contexts, teacher education, and higher education in British Columbia; and; (2) Nisga’a language revitalization, educational governance and policy. I also recently produced a film series with highly respected Coast Salish Knowledge Holders and leaders titled “Critical Understandings of Land and Water: Unsettling Place at Simon Fraser University”. The film series aims to examine the praxis of land-based education by providing an understanding of the implications of Indigenous rights and sovereignty on Coast Salish lands and waterways while disrupting the glorified settler narrative of Simon Fraser. I am presently working on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada New Frontiers in Research grant that expands my scholarship in the area of Indigenous visual methodologies through the use of virtual reality technology to support Nisga’a language revitalization and cultural repatriation.
I am also a member of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Canada Working Group on Indigenous Land Based Education and a board member for Access to Media Education Society (https://accesstomedia.org/)
I also was the project lead for a comprehensive review of School District 92 (Nisga’a) with Dr. Jeannie Morgan, Matriarch Shirley Morven and Dr. Gwendolyn Point and a project co-investigator for a program review of for the Helping Spirit Lodge Society with Lynda Gray. During my time in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, I was a faculty co-sponsor for the Curriculum & Instruction Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw MEd cohort and the lead Indigenous faculty member for Education 400 course in the Professional Development Program (2018 and 2019 intake).
*I borrow the term “uninvited guest” from mentor and friend Kau’i Kellipio (K. Kellipio, personal communication, February 21, 2017).