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Student Profile: Carolyn Roberts
Carolyn Roberts uses her voice to support Indigenous resurgence through education. She is a Coast Salish woman belonging to the Squamish Nation, her birth Mother is from N'Quatqua Nation and her birth Father is from Tzeachten Nation. Carolyn is an Indigenous academic who holds two degrees from UBC, a Masters in Aboriginal Education and Leadership and a Bachelors of Education. She also holds a Bachelors of Jazz Studies from Capilano University. Currently she is a Doctoral Candidate at Simon Fraser University in the eTAP Program. She has been an educator and administrator for over 20 years and is currently a Faculty Member and Indigenous teaching Fellow in the Department of Education at Simon Fraser University. Recently in her educational journey, Carolyn was working alongside the Squamish Nation towards revitalizing the Squamish language and culture by beginning the conversion process of their elementary school into a Squamish language immersion school. She believes it is a critical time for Indigenous people to remember who they are, and where they came from, using traditional indigenous ways of knowing as a foundation. Carolyn is a strong voice and leader for the resurgence of Indigenous people reclaiming their languages, their history, and their cultures.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I selected SFU to further my education because of my connections to the university and the faculty that I have the privilege to work with. The group of faculty that surround me in my work make me feel heard and make me feel that I have a lot to contribute to the conversations being had. This creates the space for my voice to be heard and honoured.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.
My work is about decolonization and teacher education. I want to be looking ahead for the next 7 generations and seeing what we can do today to help the next generations with their education. I want to know what it will take to decolonize our teacher education programs and teacher practice in order to create systemic change for our educational system.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I am so lucky to have a strong supervisor that helps me expand my knowledge, she walks along side me and we work together in partnership. This is something that I appreciate in this work because the work I do is not easy and having someone that truly listens and can have these conversations makes this work easier. I am also so lucky to have found a group of other doctoral students that are of the same mindset as me. I can have deeper and bigger conversations about the work we are all doing together in education.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?
Graduate Dean Entrance Scholarship - this award has allowed for me to be able to do my studies without having to worry about picking up extra RA work or extra teaching. Having the space to really focus on my research and writing has been a true gift that has been given to me with this award.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Carolyn’s work at SFU is grounded in educating new teachers and other faculty about the legacies of colonialism that can still be felt on this land today. These legacies that continue to affect the traditional caretakers of these territories is what motivates her to be an active participant of change in educating those around her about the true shared history of this land. Her work is about grounding the next generation of Indigenous men men (children) in their culture and ancestral ways to work towards a brighter future for all Indigenous people and the seven generations yet to come.
Contact Carolyn: Carolyn_roberts_2@sfu.ca