Criminology grad ready to enact social change through law reform
By Poonam Kant
Extraordinary times like the ones in 2020 call for extraordinary people to lead. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Xilonen Hanson Pastran is one such extraordinary individual.
The 2020 recipient of the Lt. Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation – is committed to using her education to enact social change through law reform.
Initially, Pastran came to SFU with the intent to understand the relationship between justice and law in Canada. But she quickly realized that she would need to expand her own lens of the country in order to improve her knowledge. Having a strong foundation in criminology, Pastran diversified her interests by exploring more of SFU’s course offerings, including labour studies, and gender, sexuality and women’s studies, and Indigenous studies.
By pursuing a minor in Indigenous studies, Pastran sharpened her critical thinking, reading and writing skills through courses on Indigenous justice and law. Being introduced to a variety of Indigenous thinkers in the program widened both her perspective of Canada and her position within it. With an expanded bedrock of knowledge, she put her learnings to work through SFU’s Criminology Field Practice program.
Working part-time at the Ending the Violence Association of British Columbia (EVABC), Pastran had the opportunity to contribute to meaningful projects, such as a research paper on anti-violence worker wellness that was submitted to the Federal Ombudsman of Victims of Crime. She says this project was one of the highlights of her degree, and Hanson Pastran was inspired to become even more diligent in her pursuit to work for a law firm or organization that promotes socio-economic justice for people within the country.
Pastran plans to attend law school in September at the University of Victoria (UVIC) Faculty of Law, but she says she fondly looks back at her time at SFU. Whether she was playing intramural futsal at SFU or helping to organize campus-wide environmental events, Pastran always enjoyed being able to engage with the SFU community closely – and she didn’t mind brushing up on her soccer skills either.
In the face of the COVID crisis, Pastran manages to keep her spirits high, and her aim focused. She looks forward to her future in law, and celebrating her accomplishments with friends and family.