Shared Experiences of Serving on Committees for Indigenous Grad Students as Non-Indigenous Faculty

Featured Panelists

David Chariandy
Professor, Department of English

David Chariandy is a writer/critic specializing in Black, Caribbean, and English Canadian literatures.  He has published widely in academic books and periodicals, and co-edited three special issues of journals, most recently Transition Magazine 124: Writing Black Canadas (2017).  His award-winning novels are Soucouyant (2007) and Brother (2017); and his latest work is an epistolary memoir entitled I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You: A Letter To My Daughter (2018).  David’s books have been published internationally and translated into twelve languages.  In 2019, he received Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction.

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Kirsten McAllister
Professor, School of Communication

Kirsten Emiko McAllister is a Professor in the School of Communication at SFU. She conducts research on memory and political violence using community-based research. She has worked closely with elders in her community to learn about the internment camps where the government interned her mother’s family and thousands of other Japanese Canadians during the 1940s as part of a larger plan to remove “all people of Japanese racial origin” from Canada.

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She has also worked with artists and asylum seekers to explore contemporary cases of displacement, internment and political violence. She has had the honour of working with Indigenous students at SFU as well as Indigenous staff and faculty members who are leaders not just in decolonizing academia but generating innovative new methodologies, theories, studies and pedagogical approaches. Drawing on what she has learned from her own community and the examples of Indigenous, Black and other racialized artist and activists, both her research and her teaching are committed to anti-racism and decolonization. In addition to Terrain of Memory: a Japanese Canadian Memorial Project (2010), Locating Memory: Photographic Acts (2006 co-edited with Annette Kuhn), After Redress: Japanese Canadian and Indigenous Reflections on Reparations (under review, WT, UBC Press, with Mona Oikawa and Roy Miki) as well as  Art and the Geography of Asylum in  Glasgow (WT, Palgrave-MacMillian in progress) she has published in art catalogues, volumes, for example, like the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and journals like Communication, Culture and Critique, the Canadian Journal of Communication and Visual Studies.

Visit Kirsten's faculty profile to learn more about her work and research.

Sophie McCall
Professor, Department of English

Sophie McCall is a settler scholar in the English department at Simon Fraser University. Her main areas of research and teaching are Indigenous literary studies in Canada from the 20th and 21st centuries. She has published widely on topics such as textualizing oral history, collaboration, the struggle for Indigenous rights, decolonization, resurgence, and reconciliation. She is honoured to have worked closely with her colleague, Dr. Deanna Reder (Cree-Métis) on several book projects, as well as co-supervising or serving as a committee member for Indigenous graduate students working on their PhD dissertations.

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Travis Salway
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences

Travis Salway (he/him) is a settler of German and English descent and queer man from Ohio (Shawnee, Myaamia/Miami, Kaskaskia, and Kiikaapoi territories), currently living as an uninvited guest on unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. He is a social epidemiologist who works to understand and improve the health of Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (2S/LGBTQ) populations. Since 2019, Travis is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and conducts research in affiliation with the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity.

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In 2019-2020, he testified for two standing committees of the Canadian House of Commons, to inform federal policy to promote 2S/LGBTQ health equity. This resulted in the passage of Bill C-4, making it a crime to perpetrate anti-2S/LGBTQ practices, otherwise known as “conversion therapy.” Travis directs the REAFFIRM Collaborative, an interdisciplinary team committed to researching 2S/LGBTQ+ health and co-directs the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, Turtle Island’s first research group exclusively dedicated to understanding the health of Two-Spirit Indigenous people. He is the founder of, a 2S/LGBTQ-affirming mental health service finder. In 2022, his team will launch the national survey, to understand the range of settings where Canadian youth have their sexual and gender identities supported or threatened.


Dorothy Christian
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian is a visual storyteller, scholar, writer and editor who is from Splatsin, one of the 17 communities of the Secwepemc Nation. She also honours her Syilx ancestry. She is the eldest of 10, has one daughter and over 65 nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and as of Oct 2021 two great, great nieces. She serves as the Associate Director, Indigenous Policy & Pedagogy in the Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at SFU. Dorothy Cucwla-7 also sits on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory at SFU.