Myfannwy Pope

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I am a second-year master’s student in REM’s Community Planning stream. Her research is exploring cumulative impacts on housing for a First Nation off-reserve and developing a housing needs assessment that fits this specific context. I am a Co-President of SFU’s Planning Student Association and a student representative of the Canadian Institute of Planning for SFU. I come to REM with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from McMaster University, with a focus on community-engaged research practices.

Supervisor: Dr. Tom Gunton

What inspired your current research topic?
I came to SFU for the opportunity to work at the intersection of my interests in community and environmental health and Indigenous governance. The Metlakatla Cumulative Effects Program started in 2014 and identified 4 pilot values, one of which is housing. My background in housing research and my interest in working for a First Nation community has led me to this project to continue the work on implementing strategies for housing management for Metlakatla.

Why do you think this topic is important?
The ability for a First Nation to manage their housing off-reserve is both a question of governance and community health. Housing is a key social determinant of health and well-being.  The ability to manage housing affordability and ensure adequate housing for all community members is a struggle facing communities across Canada and the globe. In BC and Canada, Indigenous individuals face barriers to affordable and adequate housing at higher rates than non-Indigenous individuals. Therefore, the complex problem of jurisdictional ambiguity around governance off-reserve and the housing crisis more generally are important areas of research that I am excited to be in at his time.

How will the Canadian Graduate Scholarship help you achieve your research goals?
I am very grateful to be selected as a recipient for this award. It has significantly alleviated the financial pressure and stress associated with being a grad student and has allowed me to focus more thoroughly on my education and on my research.  Thank you to my mentors and supervisors who have provided me with the guidance and input to help me obtain this award.