Sdahl K’awaas (also known as Lucy Bell), of the Haida Nation, devoted more than half of her life to repatriating Haida belongings from museums before pursuing a PhD at SFU. In 2019, she was awarded the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship to finance her PhD research examining how museums can indigenize and decolonize their practices.
Celebrating Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship Winners
In 2019 and 2020, SFU selected six Indigenous graduate students to receive the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship. The Office of the Vice-President, Academic established the scholarship in 2013 to encourage Indigenous students to consider graduate studies and, ultimately, a career in post-secondary education.
PHD STUDENT AND 2021 STERLING PRIZE RECIPIENT CHALLENGES ROLE OF MUSEUMS IN ERA OF RECONCILIATION
CREE-MÉTIS SCHOLAR SAYS HEALTH KEY TO BUILDING STRONG COMMUNITIES
SFU master’s student and Cree-Métis scholar Sheryl Thompson was awarded an Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship in 2019 for her research in health.
“I focus on health research because everything relates to it—the legal system, education, culture and all aspects of life,” says Thompson. “If we want to build and support strong communities, we need health.”
RESEARCHER EXPLORES SETTLER COLONIAL URBANISMS
Geography PhD student Tsatia Adzich, a Cree-Métis from Tri-River Métis Community in northern B.C., received the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship in 2020.
Adzich earned her BA (Hons) from SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology in 2016, and was the first Indigenous person to be selected as the faculty’s convocation speaker. She also holds two master’s degrees.
THE FOLLOWING GRADUATE STUDENTS WERE ALSO AWARDED THE INDIGENOUS GRADUATE ENTRANCE SCHOLARSHIP IN 2020:
A PhD student in the Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies program at SFU, Victor Guerin is dedicated to revitalizing hənqəminəm, the downriver dialect of the Halkomelem language spoken by the Musqueam people. Guerin will be documenting the knowledge passed on to him by Musqueam elders over the decades. Compiling source information in one place will provide the First Nation’s leadership with a basis to press forward with its battle to re-establish Indigenous rights and title.
An artist of Métis and Ukrainian descent, Katie Kozak is working toward a master’s in fine arts at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. Her art, which blends visual art, science and wellness, evolved from a long-standing interest in biology, alternative medicine and therapeutic rituals. While her practice has always encompassed a deep connectivity to land, she has only recently begun to understand it as a way to process both the loss of her father and the loss of a piece of her cultural identity.
Deanna Smith is pursuing a master’s degree in archaeology. She is interested in human rights violations and the role archaeology plays in human rights investigations. Her research explores the challenges in identifying the juvenile human remains that are common in investigations of mass graves involving human rights.