Photo: Amanda Laliberte


Dr. Sarah Hunt Receives Governor General's Gold Medal

June 09, 2014

Dr. Sarah Hunt's SSHRC-funded PhD research on questions of law and violence in neo-colonial relations was an extension of her 15 years of community-based work with First Nations across BC. Her work was inspired by her own Kwaguilth cultural teachings, as she is of mixed First Nations and European background.

She has been a community-based researcher and educator for most of her professional life, as well as working as an outreach worker with Aboriginal youth at the beginning of her career. Working closely with Aboriginal communities and organizations across BC, she has developed educational resources, curriculum and online tool kits to increase the ability to address violence and abuse in urban and remote communities. She has published numerous scholarly articles on the issues of sex work and human trafficking, and gave an invited presentation in Ottawa to the Senate Committee on Human Rights standing committee on youth sexual exploitation.

Dr. Hunt is also passionate about strengthening the role of Aboriginal people in post-secondary education. She was Co-Principal Investigator in the 4-year LE,NONET Research Project at the University of Victoria, which identified key elements of success for Aboriginal post-secondary students and saw a dramatic increase in the graduation and retention rates of students. Her interest in strengthening the foundations of Aboriginal knowledge is evident in her publications on Aboriginal research ethics and methodologies.

Her work is grounded in her strong relationships in both academic and community contexts, as she is involved in supporting Indigenous youth arts programs and writes regular blog articles to share her analysis with a broad community audience.

This May, she was invited to deliver the prestigious annual lecture sponsored by the journal ACME at the Canadian Association of Geographers annual meeting. She has been nominated for a Canada Research Chair position at a BC university, that, if successful, will be announced in the fall.

Her supervisor, Dr. Nicholas Blomley, says, "She is exactly the kind of candidate SFU dreams of producing: A truly engaged — in the fullest and most important meaning of the term — and brilliant young woman connecting to the communities in which she has been doing meaningful and extraordinarily challenging work."

On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Hunt on her outstanding achievements which are being recognized with the award of the Canadian Governor General's Gold Medal as SFU's most outstanding graduate student in the Fine Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences.

See also: All 2014 Convocation Award Winners

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