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Current IRC Committee Members
IRC Co-Chair (2021-2022; 2022-2023); member (2020-2021)
ha7lh skwáyel, ta néwyap
hello, bonjour, سلام, hallo, ᑕᓂᓯ. My name is Rachel Fouladi. As a faculty member teaching and working at SFU whose campuses are on ancestral, traditional and unceded lands, I respectfully acknowledge that I do so as an uninvited guest in these territories. I hope that through personal and collective action, particularly in the context of what we do in the SFU Psychology Department, we can move the dial on Reconciliation. I am grateful, privileged and honoured to be a member of the SFU Psychology Department Indigenous Reconciliation Committee (IRC) and to try to be part of facilitating meaningful changes and opportunities for students, faculty and staff as part of (Re)concili-aCtion.
Read her longer profile here.
Michael T. Schmitt
IRC Co-Chair (2018-2021, 2022-2023)
Prof. Michael T. Schmitt is a White settler and a social psychologist who focuses on environmental sustainability and social justice. In 2018, he co-founded the Department IRC with Dr. Jodi Viljoen.
Michael is deeply committed to the work of the reconciliation. A longer profile will be forthcoming. In the meanwhile, to learn more about some of the work Michael Schmitt is doing in his research and with students, you are invited to visit his lab webpage.
McKenzie Braley (October 2020...)
Clinical Neuropsychology PhD student
My name is McKenzie Braley. I am Nehiyaw/Cree from my father’s side and have European settler ancestry from my mother’s side. I am a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Clinical Neuropsychology program at SFU. Supervised by Dr. Jodi Viljoen in the Adolescent Risk and Resilience lab, my doctoral dissertation focuses on culturally safe ways for mental health clinicians to do clinical interviews with Indigenous Peoples in the justice system. Broadly, my interests include neuropsychology, forensic psychology, Indigenous cultural safety, and the intersections of these areas. In my career, I aim to do clinical and research work with individuals who have neurological, medical, and psychiatric conditions, and also with those involved in the justice system.
Read her full profile here.
Todd Nelson, BSc (BNS) (October 2021...)
Current student in SFU Indigenous Perspectives Teacher Education Module
Hello, my name is Todd Nelson. I am from Spuzzum First Nation, with Nlaka'pamux, Korean and European ancestry. I lived in Saudi Arabia for most of my childhood and only moved back in grade 11. Although I grew up immersed in Korean, European, and Arabic culture, I was not exposed to my First Nation’s culture or traditions at all. Fortunately, I regained connection with my community a few years ago and am learning as much as I can now. In my undergrad, I completed a Behaviour Neuroscience honours investigating methods to combat tremours in golf. I am now in the Indigenous Perspectives Teacher Education Module in the teaching program at SFU. My time is also spent as a member of the Indigenous Reconciliation Committee. While I am still in the life-long process of learning, I hope to meaningfully contribute to reconciliation within the Psychology Department
Read his full profile here.
Sherene Balanji (October 2021...)
Graduate MA Student in Clinical Child Psychology Program
As an uninvited settler on the unceded lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, Tsleil-Waututh, Kwikwetlem and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations, I am passionate about doing my part to work towards reconciliation. As a current graduate student in the Clinical Child Psychology program, I am honoured to have the opportunity to be a part of this committee and I hope to incorporate decolonization into as many areas of my life as possible, but particularly in my academic journey. I view reconciliation as a life-long learning process that I am thrilled to continue with the IRC. By joining this committee, I hope that I will be able to use a place of privilege as a White-passing settler to encourage my mentors and classmates to integrate reconciliation and decolonization into their work as psychologists and clinicians.
Tiara Cash (March 2023...)
Graduate PhD Student in Social Psychology
Halito! My name is Tiara Cash. I am Black American, Mississippi Chahta (unenrolled), and Tsalagi descendant. I’m a current PhD student at SFU from Memphis, TN (USA) where I work with Dr. Lara Aknin in the Helping and Happiness Lab. I hold a Master’s Degree (M.S.) from Western Illinois University where I studied Sport Psychology and a Master’s Degree (M.A.) from Simon Fraser University in Social Psychology. In addition to being a graduate student and researching in the lab, I am a certified Koru Mindfulness Instructor with a 20-year personal practice in mindfulness and meditation. With this work - I own an organization focused on serving communities through the concepts of mindfulness, meta-awareness, and meaningful self-relationships and relationships with others where I conduct presentations, workshops, and consultations through an emerging framework: Equitable Mindfulness. My career interests include working with underrepresented and underserved equity-seeking populations, resilience training, and research on life transitions and well-being.
Here's my student profile: Tiara's profile
Samantha Luckman (March 2023...)
Undergraduate student, Psychology and Criminology
Hello my name is Samantha, I am Objiwe from Curve Lake First Nation and European settler. I am currently a fourth-year undergrad student completing a double major in psychology and criminology.
Troy Boucher (March 2023...)
Graduate PhD Student in Clinical Child Psychology Program
Taanishi, I am Troy Boucher of the Métis Nation of Alberta. I am a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program working with Dr. Grace Iarocci. My doctoral dissertation focuses on stigma and improving inclusion of autistic youth in academic settings, and my research examines promoting inclusion and de-stigmatization of mental health services, education, and employment for autistic people across the lifespan. My career goal is to provide culturally safe and neurodivergent-affirming services for psychological assessment and therapy. With the IRC, I hope to bring insight to research and academia through a lens of intersectionality of disability, neurodiversity, and culture.
Read my full profile here: Troy's profile
Hannah Dupuis (March 2023...)
Graduate MA Student, Social Psychology
My name is Hannah Dupuis, I have both Gitxsan and European ancestry. I am extremely grateful that I have recently been connected with my Indigenous community and have embarked on the life long journey of learning about my Indigenous heritage. At SFU, I am a graduate student in the SECURE Lab under the supervision of Dr. Yuthika Girme. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts (hons.) at the University of Victoria. My research interests are focused on the experiences of single people, gender, close relationships, and social support. I feel very fortunate to be on the IRC and hope to continue learning about reconciliation and decolonization alongside the SFU community.
See her research profile here.
Natasha Prasad (March 2023...)
Hello! My name is Natasha Prasad. I am a fourth year student completing my undergraduate degree in psychology at SFU which is on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, Tsleil-Waututh, Kwikwetlem and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations. I myself am not Indigenous and identify as an uninvited settler, however my family is of Nisga'a descent. I grew up observing the exclusivity of settler culture and its effects on the people I care for. As I continue with my career in psychology, I intend to do my part to decolonize the field, using my settler privilege to contribute wherever I can. I am honoured to have the opportunity to be apart of this committee and look forward to purposeful reconciliation within SFU’s Psychology department. When I am not working with the IRC I am a volunteer research assistant for Dr. Girme at the SECURE Lab studying close relationships, single-hood and other relational aspects in psychology.
RECENT IRC COMMITTEE MEMBERS (2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024)
IRC Co-Chair (2018-2020, 2021-2022)
The SFU Department of Psychology's tribute to Dr. Jodi Viljoen can be found here.
Dr. Jodi Viljoen's was instrumental in the formation of the Indigenous Reconciliation Committee in 2018 and its ongoing operations through Spring 2022, when she passed away. Thoughtful and caring, Jodi was extremely concerned with enacting work towards reconcilation. She was instrumental in many aspects of the work of the IRC, with particular interests in access to cultural safety training for graduate students, staff and faculty in the Department of Psychology. Humble, she acknowledged and characterized herself as a learner. Gentle thoughtfulness, caring, consideration, and kindesss infused her interactions and work. Serving on the IRC and the work of the IRC were extremely important to her. Earlier in 2022, the IRC website was updated to include personal introductions and statements so people could know us better. If you have not done so previously, you are invited to read Jodi's self-introduction words and reflections on the importance of the IRC to her.
We honour and remember Dr. Jodi' Viljoen for her ways of being, her role in our lives and work of the IRC.
If anyone would like to make a memorial donation in her honour, her family had suggested donations to Indspire and to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Dr. Jodi Viljoen's words from earlier in Spring 2022:
I am a white settler who lives and works on the unceded territories of the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Over the years, I have chance to work with a number of Indigenous students. I have learned so much from them and am extremely grateful. Having a chance to work with Indigenous students helped me become more aware of systematic racism and barriers faced by Indigenous students, and the ways in which I needed to do better. I love being a member of the Indigenous Reconciliation Committee and being a part of a group of Indigenous peoples and settlers working together towards reconciliation.
Read her full profile here.
Tara Smith - (former member: 2022 thru Feb 2023)
Former Department Manager, Academic and Administrative Services
My name is Tara Smith, my pronouns are she/her, and I was fortunate to grow up on the lands of the Acadia First Nation (part of the Mi'kmaw Nation) in beautiful Nova Scotia. I first started learning about Indigenous history and became interested in reconciliation efforts in 2018 when I completed the San’Yas Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Program. In 2021, I have been blessed with the opportunity to expand my learnings with Indigenous courses in the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration programs and these learnings have made me passionate about contributing in any way possible towards reconciliation efforts. While I actively acknowledge that I still have much learning to do, I am grateful to be part of the Psychology Indigenous Reconciliation Committee as the staff representative and I look forward to continuing my learning of Indigenous cultures and reconciliation.
Rachel Coopsie -- former member: 2021-2022
Undergraduate PSYC Student
My name is Rachel Coopsie, my pronouns are she/her, and I am a Huu-Ay-Aht citizen from where we now call Vancouver Island. I am also settler-Canadian with German/Irish ancestry on my father's side. Currently, I study full time at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Psychology where I am learning more about close relationships as well as abnormal psychology and clinical treatment. I would like to take the knowledge and skills attained here and put them towards providing accessible and comfortable counselling options to primarily Indigenous and marginalized persons who may not feel as comfortable with a settler-Canadian counsellor and would prefer to work with an Indigenous counsellor.
Read her full profile here.
Natalie Goulter - former member (thru March 2022)
While on the IRC, Natalie Goulter, Ph.D., was a University Research Associate and Adjunct Professor within the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She received her M.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand, under the supervision of Professor Michael Colombo, and her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of New South Wales, Australia, under the supervision of Professor Eva Kimonis. After her Ph.D., she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship collaborating with Professor Robert McMahon (Director: Institute for the Reduction of Youth Violence) and Professor Marlene Moretti (Director: Adolescent Health Lab) at Simon Fraser University.