Snítelwet/Deborah Jacobs

"Education must engage the heart as well as the mind, and SFU is taking measures to move there."

Snítelwet iy Siyamiya kweshámin snas/ My Squamish ancestral name, Snítelwet ties me to Ch’iyákmesh in the Northern part of Squamish traditional territories.  Siyamiya comes down from my maternal Grandmother and ties me to Snuyeymuxw (Nanaimo) on the eastern shores of south-central Vancouver Island.  My ancestral names speak to ‘who I come from’, and are richly imbued with meaning fixed in place. As an educator, I bring Squamish agency and ideology to practice, to effect transformative change.  This is framed by a wanáxw (respect), rooted in s7ulh sekw’í7tel iy s7ulh temíxw (our Families and our Land).  I choose to privilege and write from this position.  Diverse social, political, and economic contexts produce and position Snítelwet and Deborah Jacobs in these identities.  My names serve as a site for my distinct identity, embraced in a profound connection to land and family.

Why did you choose the Faculty of Education at SFU for your studies?

I applied to SFU to the Transformational Change: A New Vision of Learning Education Doctorate Program because it was the right fit for my work. Lastly, I was drawn to this program because I believed in the collaborative nature of this program, the vision and scholarship of Dr. Mamchur and her team.

Who is a faculty member you have enjoyed working with?

I enjoyed working with all Education faculty members in this program and took away new knowledge.  

What inspires you to learn and continue your education?

My Ancestors strength and conviction inspire me and the children of our Nation inspire me to continue my education.

What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate school in the Faculty of Education?

How we meet each other in dialogue is not a matter of choice, but dictated by the political, social and economic landscape; it is a meeting over the struggle for power and knowledge. Education must engage the heart as well as the mind, and SFU is taking measures to move there.

Is there anything else you wish to share?

It is important for Indigenous scholars to claim and open space in the Academy for new Indigenous knowledge to support the regeneration of language, and culture.