"SFU has a reputation for being a radical think-tank. The 1970s were a radical time generally, but the SFU students were next level. I was drawn to the energy that SFU had to offer."

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Student Profile: Kirstie Goodfellow

March 15, 2022
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History master's student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I am a junior scholar of settler ancestry. My academic interests are in Modern Canada and literary futurisms. In my spare time you may find me walking my dog around the lower mainland, waiting in long brunch lineups, or kicking around the stables with my horse.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

SFU has a reputation for being a radical think-tank. This reputation traces back to the early days at SFU. The 1970s were a radical time generally, but the SFU students were next level. I was drawn to the energy that SFU had to offer. I always wanted to make a difference in the world, to effect change. I felt like SFU was a great place to develop solid critical thinking skills in an environment where dialogue, challenge, and change is not only encouraged, but nurtured as well.

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

My research looks into the deeper questions about what Canada will look like in the future. My project examines Indigenous women's contributions to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples hearings held across Canada between 1992-1994. I do this by analyzing the RCAP Hearings transcripts published on the Library and Archives Canada website. There are 198 transcripts in total. I have read every one of them to see what women said at these hearings. My research has discovered themes of resurgence in the testimony given by Indigenous women. This project is significant because it revives the entire collection of the RCAP hearings transcripts, a collection yet to be examined by scholars. It is also significant, and perhaps even more-so, because it highlights women's voices and contextualizes Indigenous women's experiences by demonstrating that what Indigenous women said at the RCAP hearings -- their concerns, hopes, dreams, desires -- is reflective of their historical time!

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

I enjoy the freedom that SFU gives me to dig deep and explore the tough questions. My supervisor constantly challenges me to go deeper, and to consider all perspectives. I enjoy the intellectual challenge of looking back at history to map a way forward.

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.

Graduate Fellowship, Bridwell Grad Scholarship, Saywell Graduate Scholarship in HIST for Fall 2021. The funding from these awards changed the course of my academic career. I was able to work less at wage labour and focus more attention on my studies. I was able to attend academic conferences and share my research with others. I would not be where I am today without this funding.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

You will be challenged, but you will learn so much about yourself. You will be able to talk about your subject for hours. You will gain valuable tools about the mechanics, ethics, and philosophies of writing history. You will spend a lot of time reading, but even more time thinking and questioning.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

Don't chase the grades -- Use grad school as an opportunity to think of the big "life" questions. Be practical. How can your work make a difference?