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Congratulations, Fall 2020 Graduates!
Message from Dr. Deanna Reder, INDG Chair:
Dear 2020 SFU Graduates in Indigenous Studies,
I wish you a hearty congratulations as you complete your degree under the unusual circumstances of the global pandemic. This means that you have had to “pivot” at the end of your degree to finish your coursework remotely. It is our hope that you will be able to draw upon your education, along with your talents and energy, to help create a better society and a better world. While your work life will likely have a bumpy start, please remember how valuable you are to our future. I am confident that the strength and resilience that you demonstrated in your studies will help you navigate the twisty road ahead.
You are graduating at a significant moment. Most of you started your studies after 2012 when the First Nations Studies Program became a Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. And now, as you complete your first degree, you are departing just as we have changed our name to the Department of Indigenous Studies. As you have learned in your FNST/INDG classes, Indigenous is a more inclusive term that recognizes Métis and Inuit groups along with First Nations peoples; as well, the term “Indigenous” has an international inflection, that recognizes the similar experiences of Indigenous peoples under colonization around the world. At this politically fraught moment, this moment of unity and solidarity seems especially needed.
In the next ten years there will likely be retirements and new hires, and periodically we will reach out to you to attend certain events if you can. Please don’t hesitate to keep in touch with us, to share successes or to ask for advice, or simply to update your address or to stop by for a visit. We would love to keep in touch.
Again, Congratulations! I would like to follow local Indigenous traditions to demonstrate our respect for you:
“I lift my hands to you”!
All the best,