Statement of Purpose for the Indigenous Research Institute

The purpose of the Indigenous Research Institute is (1) to promote research in areas related to Indigenous peoples — in particular, the Aboriginal peoples of Canada — and in a larger context, those of the global community, and (2) to facilitate community-based projects with Indigenous partners. The Institute will promote research by bringing together the expertise of Indigenous individuals, groups, and organizations with that of the academic community, to engage in work that meets goals and objectives that is specified by and meaningful to both Indigenous and academic individuals and groups. A meaningful aspect of this process will be the facilitation of communication between Indigenous individuals/communities and the university. The Institute will also promote collaborative research projects within the university and will seek and support internal and external funding for the promotion and pursuit of such research.

The Institute Logo

The logo for the Indigenous Research Institute at Simon Fraser University was designed by artist Juanita Ens in 2013-14. The circular logo represents the salmon and/or salmon egg. The salmon has always been the most important food source for First Nations living on the West Coast, particularly in the Lower Mainland. It continues to be regarded as a sacred food. The salmon is also always moving ahead, seeking out food, exploring, and returning home to spawn. This forward exploratory movement is symbolic of the work of the Indigenous Research Institute.

The circle itself has always been an important image for all Aboriginal groups in Canada and elsewhere. It celebrates and acknowledges continuity, life cycles, and other natural cycles in the universe. The idea of the circle in this logo/image is a visual representation of the past, present, and future. It also represents ongoing research, learning, and discovery.

Biography of the Artist: Juanita Ens is a classically trained Haida artist, who apprenticed with Jay Simeon. Juanita works with many different mediums including silver, gold, argillite, and wood. Juanita has been awarded several scholarships from the YVR Art Foundation. Her work has been shown in many galleries around the Greater Vancouver area. Juanita also created the logo for the Office for Aboriginal Peoples at Simon Fraser University in 2010.