PhD student fuses Indigenous queer studies and criminology
by Emily Woo
SFU PhD student Andrew Caldwell is a recipient of the 2022 Indigenous Graduate Entrance Scholarship to support his research, which incorporates Indigenous queer studies and criminology. Caldwell is a registered band member of the Algonquin (Anishinaabe) First Nations from the Kitigan Zibi ("River Desert") Anishinabeg (Peoples) community located on the shores of the Gatineau River near Maniwaki, Quebec and of European-settler descent.
Caldwell’s research focuses on how the Canadian criminal justice system policies and programs address the needs of Indigenous federally incarcerated Two-Spirit peoples. “The Two-Spirit identity is not a predominant demographic within the criminal justice system,” says Caldwell. “Those confined become lost due to the Eurocentric nature of the system.”
Caldwell is an Indigenous policy analyst with the Employment and Social Development Canada at the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Innovation Information and Technology Branch, and an associate faculty member with the Canada School of Public Service. He was also employed with the Correctional Services of Canada as an Indigenous correctional program officer for 10 years and worked at all security levels and community corrections.
In 2006, Caldwell received his Bachelor of General Studies Arts degree with a minor in Sociology from SFU. He embedded himself within SFU’s vibrant and diverse community by teaching dance lessons through SFU Recreation and being a volunteer actor in a student film. Caldwell also earned a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of the Fraser Valley where he graduated with distinction.
“I am grateful for the scholarship and the opportunity to be back at SFU,” says Caldwell, who plans to present his research nationally and internationally and continue building relationships with Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ+ communities as a means of cultural reclamation and reconciliation. Caldwell is thankful for his ancestors guiding him in a good way and the opportunity of being on this journey to assist with change and healing.