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Student Profile: Michaela M. McGuire | Jaad Gudgihljiwah
I am a current Ph.D. student in the School of Criminology at SFU. I am of the G̲aag'yals K̲iiG̲awaay and a citizen of the Haida Nation. I want to contribute to the trajectory of my Nation away from the harmful impacts of colonialism that are often weaponized through imposed systems of justice, identity, and governance. Unravelling, reclaiming, and reimagining our place within the world as a sovereign Nation is not unrealistic but it will require considerable preparation, research, and engagement. I hope to be a part of that process through this research.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
I have stayed at SFU while I pursue my Ph.D. in order to work under the supervision of Dr. Ted Palys. As a mentor, teacher, and supervisor he pushes me to think more critically and to continue to pursue justice.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
My Ph.D. research will build upon my Master's (MA) thesis research on Decolonizing Justice: The formation of a Haida Justice System. While I was conducting my MA research, I came to understand that justice is not limited to notions of right and wrong or criminality but includes recognition and unravelling of the (in)-justice that the Canadian state has inflicted over hundreds of years. My Ph.D. research will utilize a decolonial, resurgence lens to further examine the importance of belonging.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
My research interests and critical perspective are quite different from my peers. However, with the support of Drs. Sheri Fabian, Ted Palys & Danielle Murdoch- I have been able to find a place for myself within our department. I formed friendships during my MA with my peers and faculty that have provided space for meaningful discussion, laughs and comradery. I have also really enjoyed the opportunity to teach (and learn from my students) in the Fall 2020 semester when I was the sessional instructor for Ted's class- CRIM/INDG 419 Indigenous Justice.
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.
Ph.D. Graduate Dean's Entrance Award. MA: Dr. Brian Burtch Graduate Award; SSHRC CGSM; SFU Graduate Deans Entrance Award; SFU Indigenous Community Engagement Award; and SFU Travel and Minor Research Award; Indigenous Grad student travel award. These awards along with working as a TM/TA, and sessional instructor allowed me to focus on my studies. My MA research involved spending a year doing interviews and working from Haida Gwaii. I also travelled to Toronto, San Francisco, and Phoenix for conferences presenting on MMIWG, my MA research, and co-presenting with Dr. Danielle Murdoch on an earlier version of our forthcoming paper (In)-justice: An exploration of the dehumanization, victimization, criminalization, and over-incarceration of Indigenous women in Canada.