Council Member Biographies

SFU-ARC Co-chairs

Chris Lewis — Syeta’xtn

Syeta’xtn recently completed his third consecutive four-year term as a member of the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council.  As one of two Spokespersons for the Nation, Chris focused on and provided leadership in the following areas: Rights and Title and Intergovernmental Affairs; Education; Economic Development; Governance; Planning and Capital Projects; and Fisheries and Aquatic resources.

Syeta’xtn is also honored to have been a member of the Board of the N’chakay Development Corporation, MST Employment and Training Society, and the Coho Society of the North Shore. Previously, Chris was a founding Board member of the MST Development Corporation and just completed a six-year term as member of the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors and was given Board Chair Emeritus recognition. In October 2021, he received SFU Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for his inspiring and community focused leadership and engagement to his alma mater. Further, Chris was recognized by Vancouver Magazine when they included him on their “Power 50” list in November 2020 for his leadership and influence.  Prior to political leadership at Squamish Nation, Chris also worked for many years at the national and provincial level for the BC Assembly of First Nations focusing on First Nations advocacy and policy. 

Raised by his grandparents, Chris was encouraged to learn the traditional ways of the land as well as further his academic education. Along with traditional teachings, Chris obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Planning, with a minor in First Nations Studies from Simon Fraser University. 

Syeta’xtn has a passion and talent for sport, and was a key member of a National Lacrosse Championship team, North Shore Indians. Chris continues to giving back to sport by being a founding board member of the North Shore Indians Society. He also enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife Jennifer, daughter Madison and son William.

Kris Magnusson

Kris Magnusson served as the Dean of the Faculty of Education at SFU from 2009 to 2019 and is currently a professor of Counselling Psychology with the faculty of Education. Prior to this appointment in August 2009, he was the Associate VP-Academic at the University of Lethbridge, joining the Faculty of Education there in July 1998. Previous to his position in Lethbridge, he served as professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary. He has been involved in a variety of educational settings, including teaching Junior High School in Saskatchewan, and working as a counsellor in colleges and technical institutes such as Keyano College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Wascana Institute. He was the recipient of the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development (national award). His primary interests are in the areas of counselling psychology, career development and organizational planning and renewal.

SFU-ARC Council

Ron Johnston

Ron Johnston, who is a member of the Squamish Nation and is an SFU alumnus, is currently serving as the Director of the Office for Aboriginal Peoples at Simon Fraser University. His career as an Aboriginal educator spans two decades and through his work he has come to realize that education is a change agent that supports transformative change and empowerment for Aboriginal Peoples. Prior to working at SFU Ron has worked as an Education Advisor for the BC Region for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2011-2012), Director of Aboriginal Education and Services at Vancouver Community College (2005-2010) and as an Aboriginal Trades Training Coordinator and Consultant (2000-2005) for the BC Government and various Aboriginal communities and organizations.

Elder Margaret George

Margaret George was born in Skawahlook First Nation and raised in Ruby Creek by her grandparents. She attended school on her reserve and graduated from UBC. She has been involved with all sorts of events and activities within her own community and schools in Vancouver. Margaret loves to share her wisdom and introduces her culture with others. She enjoys her life with family, friends, and community.

William G. Lindsay

William G. Lindsay is of Cree-Stoney heritage. Although his ancestors are from the Great Plains of Canada, he has grown up in British Columbia for most of his life in both rural and urban First Nations communities. William has attained Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts degrees from the University of British Columbia. His B.Ed. was completed in the Native Indian Teacher Education Program and his master’s thesis in History studied “A History of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre in an Age of Aboriginal Migration and Urbanization.” He also completed three years of doctoral work at UBC in Educational Studies. William is currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. William has worked for many years as an Indigenous teacher, professor, student services provider, and senior administrator, at numerous Lower Mainland colleges and universities, including the Native Education College, the Institute for Indigenous Government (now the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Burnaby campus), Douglas College, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. William currently serves as the Director of the Office for Aboriginal Peoples at SFU, working out of the Office of the Vice President, Academic. He is also a published writer, with a TESOL textbook, a plethora of newspaper essays, and numerous academic papers and book reviews to his credit. William has also been the editor of two university newsletter/magazines and is the current publisher of the SFU News, Aboriginal Edition. William also has much experience dealing with local, provincial, and national media concerning Aboriginal issues.

Kyle Bobiwash

Kyle Bobiwash is Anishinaabe from Mississauga First Nation in Northern Ontario. He earned a B.Sc. from the University of Ottawa in Biomedical Science in 2008, and then moved on to study Oenology and Viticulture at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University. In 2012, he successfully defended his M.Sc. in the Biology Department of McGill University under the direction of Dr. Dan Schoen where he aimed to understand the contribution of wild and managed pollinators, as well as the role of evolutionary genetics in lowbush blueberry yield. Currently he is working on his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Elle in the Department of Biology at Simon Fraser University. His current project involves working on the USDA funded Integrated Crop Pollination project alongside international collaborators to better understand crop pollination. Prior to arriving at SFU, Kyle worked as a research and policy analyst within different branches of Health Canada's First Nation and Inuit Health Branch analyzing the delivery of the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative and community health delivery models in First Nations. Kyle is active in the SFU community being Co-chair of the Biology Graduate Student Caucus and a member of the First Nation Student Association. He also frequently participates in outreach events aimed at encouraging greater appreciation, participation and use of science among aboriginal communities, organizations and youth.

Sheryl Thompson

Sheryl Thompson is Cree-Metis; her family comes from the Michel First Nation in central Alberta and she was born and raised in Vancouver. She is a mother and wife and is active in her community as a volunteer, role model, and activist.

Since joining the SFU community 3 years ago she actively facilitates, participates. and advocates for Indigenous voices at the university. She engages local Indigenous youth at SFU through her role as Camp Coordinator for the Aboriginal Academic Summer Camp. She is an active member of the First Nations Student Association and participates in community building with the Indigenous Student Centre. She promotes the Aboriginal University Transition Program as a viable entry-point to SFU and at the governance level Sheryl has begun her second appointment to SFU’s Aboriginal Steering Committee; a body which oversees the implementation of SFU’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan.

Sheryl is currently in her 3rd year Health Science BA-Hons with a minor in First Nations Studies. She is a research assistant for Dr. Kelley Lee’s Global Tobacco Control Project helping to examine the policies and mechanisms employed and exploited by tobacco companies. Her work allows her to explore her interest in health policy, its development, implementation, and effects. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and her work is featured at SFU and in the media. Her current area of study examines the knowledge production relating to illicit tobacco in Canada.

Eldon Yellowhorn

Chair, First Nations Studies Program

Dean Mellow

Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics

Aoife Mac Namara

Dean, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Marcia Guno

Director, Indigenous Student Centre

Joanne Curry

Vice-President, External Relations

Susan Rhodes

Director, University Curriculum and Institutional Liaison