Coming from a place of reconnection with my own culture, being Metis and Cree, I know the journey to holistic wellness can be embedded in cultural practices.

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Student Profile: Brandi Anne Berry

December 16, 2020
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Indigenous Population Health Master's student in the Faculty of Health Sciences  

I completed my BSc in Nursing from a combined program through North Island College and Vancouver Island University, and continue to work as a Registered Nurse. Through my degree and professional experiences, I've discovered that health is one of the most diverse and multifaceted aspects of what makes us human. I'm particularly interested in how engagement with cultural activities can impact health and wellness. Coming from a place of reconnection with my own culture, being Metis and Cree, I know the journey to holistic wellness can be embedded in cultural practices. Outside of academia, I enjoy painting and playing trivia!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

The program I entered was the first of it’s kind, working in collaboration with First Nations Health Authority and SFU. As an Indigenous student, I wanted to be part of a faculty and program that fostered academic excellence, but also promotes a sense of community.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH AND/OR PROGRAM.

My research will focus on the relationship between Indigenous language fluency and health and wellness. It is just part of discovering how closeness to Indigenous culture could promote health. I am looking at if a higher level of fluency in a language could have a larger impact on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. I am also investigating if this degree of language fluency could be protective against suicidal thoughts.

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

I like how approachable all the faculty is when it comes to questions. I am new to research, and I felt supported to ask as many questions as needed from experts in their fields. I feel encouraged to reach my full potential because I am reminded I am capable of reaching it.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR FUNDED AWARDS?

BC Graduate Scholarship

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

I hope that I can encourage Indigenous scholars who may not have a formal research/science background to apply for opportunities in graduate studies if they are passionate about it.

Contact Brandi: brandi_berry@sfu.ca

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandiaberry