Xilonen Hanson Pastran is managing to keep her spirits high during the COVID-19 pandemic and looking forward to celebrating her accomplishments with friends and family soon.

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SFU grad ready to enact social change through law reform

June 11, 2020
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By Poonam Kant

Extraordinary times like these 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.

Awarded the Lt. Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation, she is committed to using her education to enact social change through law reform. 

Initially, Pastran came to SFU intent on understanding the relationship between justice and law in Canada. But she quickly realized she would need to expand her own lens of the country to improve her knowledge. With a strong foundation in criminology, Pastran diversified her interests by exploring more of SFU’s course offerings, including labour studies; 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. An introduction to a variety of Indigenous thinkers during the program widened both her perspective of Canada and her position within it. She put her learning to work when she participated in SFU’s Criminology Field Practice program. 

Working part-time at the Ending the Violence Association of British Columbia (EVABC), Pastran contributed to a variety of 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 that it inspired her to become even more diligent in pursuing her interest in working for a law firm or organization that promotes socio-economic justice for people in Canada.  

Pastran plans to attend law school in September at the University of Victoria’s (UVIC) Faculty of Law, but fondly recalls at her years at SFU. Whether she was playing intramural futsal or helping to organize campus-wide environmental events, she always enjoyed engaging with the SFU.

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.