"I have enjoyed the intimate work environment of the campus and the support from my colleagues and department, and I also enjoy how connected campuses in BC can be and getting to know more Indigenous graduate students, faculty, staff, writers, and artists on the mainland."

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Student Profile: Mackenzie Ground

English PhD student in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

February 22, 2021
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I am a nehiyawiskwew from Enoch Cree Nation, Treaty Six territory. I am PhD student and poet, and my work revolves around poetry, Indigenous literatures, and urban spaces, and I am interested in creative and collective reading and writing practices. I work remotely and live in Enoch, Alberta with my partner and two cats. To relax, I like to play my ukulele, knit, bead, and take lots of walks.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I came to SFU to travel, to connect to other communities, and to be a part of this university. I had lived in Alberta all my life prior to coming to SFU and wanted to take the opportunity to travel. I wanted to be a part of some amazing communities in the Vancouver area, and this university is home to some great faculty with whom I wanted to work.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I am interested in gathering and stories and what sort of stories we tell ourselves about the city. I think of a Round Dance in a city, and how it might provoke questions, writing, and conversations about the ways we can gather, what challenges us, what feels conflicted, and what remains steadfast, joyful, and nourishing when we meet. That is what I like to study.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I have enjoyed the intimate work environment of the campus and the support from my colleagues and department, and I also enjoy how connected campuses in BC can be and getting to know more Indigenous graduate students, faculty, staff, writers, and artists on the mainland. This land is beautiful, and I am grateful for the opportunity to think through and to try to enact reciprocal relationships with the land on the unceded traditional territories and the Coast Salish Nations of the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Peoples.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I have been awarded the Edward M.W. Gibson Fellowship as well as SSHRC. These awards have been invaluable during my transitions to a new province and city, a new program, and a new university. It has been meaningful to find interest and support for my work, which helps keep me motivated

Contact Mackenzie: mground@sfu.ca