Decolonizing community-engaged research and unsettling the work

March 17, 2021

What horizons are possible when we imagine and enact an approach to community-engaged research that dismantles and stretches beyond the colonial structures in which many institutions and communities are entangled?

Through an innovative, interactive discussion featuring special community guests and audience contributions, this webinar will consider what we can do now to decolonize our work, particularly as it pertains to community-engaged research.

We invite you to bring your creativity, your delight and your readiness to shift your practice towards more inclusivity and joy.


Jackie Wong is the Community Strategic Initiatives Associate of SFU's Community-Engaged Research Initiative (CERi).


Jessie Williams is the director of Indigenous relations for the SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Williams holds a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership in Indigenous Education from the University of British Columbia. She has a decade of experience in educational services such as policy, program, service development and support of language revitalization efforts. Her service to the community includes sitting on various regional and federal committees, from the Coast Corridor Consortium Aboriginal Service Plan Committee to the Assembly of First Nations Task Force for the Post-Secondary Federal Program Review. In 2010 Williams was the special project lead for the Four Host Nations Society. This group was responsible for witnessing, naming and community celebrations for cultural and sports events, including protocol training for the City of Vancouver.

Chris Lewis (ancestral name: Syeta’xtn) is an elected councillor for the Squamish Nation and chairs the SFU Board of Governors. In 2017, Syeta’xtn was elected to his third consecutive four-year term as a member of the Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council.

As one of two Spokespersons for the Nation, Councillor Lewis is currently focusing on the following areas: Rights and Title and Intergovernmental Affairs; Education; Economic Development; Governance; Planning and Capital Projects; Fisheries and access to our aquatic resources.

Syeta’xtn is also honored to be a member of the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors. In addition, he is also board member of the N’chakay Development Corporation, MST Employment and Training Society and the Coho Society of the North Shore. Previously, Chris was a founding Board member of the MST Development Corporation and worked for many years at the national and provincial level for the BC Assembly of First Nations focusing on First Nations advocacy and policy. In November 2020, he was recognized by Vancouver Magazine when they included him on their “Power 50” list.

Raised by his grandparents, Chris was encouraged to learn the traditional ways of the land as well as further his academic education. Along with traditional teachings, Chris obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Planning, with a minor in First Nations Studies from Simon Fraser University.

Syeta’xtn has a passion and talent for sport, and was a key member of a National Lacrosse Championship team, North Shore Indians. Chris continues to enjoy competitive sport as well as many outdoor activities with his wife Jennifer, daughter Madison and son William.