- President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award
Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis appointed as inaugural Indigenous Executive Lead
I am pleased to announce that Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis has been appointed as SFU’s inaugural Indigenous Executive Lead, effective Nov. 20, 2023.
This position was created to provide the university with strategic leadership to advance Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenization and to ensure that Indigenous voices are represented at the highest levels of SFU’s governance structure. It addresses Calls to Action and recommendations set out in the Walk This Path With Us and Pathways reports while advancing our priority of Upholding Truth and Reconciliation as outlined in What’s Next: The SFU Strategy.
Through this appointment, Syeta’xtn continues his long and meaningful connection with SFU. He graduated in 2005 with a BA in geography and First Nations Studies, has served as Board Chair and co-chaired the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (SFU-ARC). Since 2022, he has served as SFU’s director, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation, advising myself and senior leadership on topics related to Reconciliation. His work and insight have been highly appreciated by the executive team and broader community.
As chair of the search committee, I want to thank committee members for their time, thoughtfulness and diligence, as well as the many Indigenous Elders, students, faculty and staff who participated in our engagement process and provided input into the candidate profile and position description for this role.
In this position, Syeta’xtn will continue to foster community, bring together Truth and Reconciliation activities from across the university and lead the creation of a renewed Indigenous Strategic Plan. The executive team is excited to work with him as we deepen our commitment to Upholding Truth and Reconciliation together.
Pronouns: she, her, hers
President & Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University