Indigenous Reconciliation Committee

Territorial Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge and that SFU Burnaby is located on the unceded Traditional and Contemporary Coast Salish Lands including the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.

We also respectfully acknowledge that SFU Vancouver and SFU Surrey are also located on the Traditional Coast Salish Lands including  Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm)Nations in the case of SFU Vancouver, and that  SFU Surrey is located on, and serves many First Nations local to the campus including the Katzie (q̓icə̓y̓), Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Qayqayt, Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Semihamoo and Tswawassen Stó:lō Nations.

Additionally, we humbly and respectfully acknowledge that the work, particularly the research, of members of the Psychology Department is not limited to these territories. We respect the sovereignty, lands, histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit nations across the area now known to many as Canada, as well as the Indigenous nations and communities on whose territories we are grateful to work. 

Statement of Goals and Principles

Broadly speaking, the IRC’s mission is to support respectful, equitable, and reciprocal relations between Indigenous Peoples and Settler (non-Indigenous) Peoples. By following the TRC Calls to Action, our committee works to eliminate the marginalization and under-representation that Indigenous Peoples experience in academic settings. We pursue this by:

  • Encouraging and supporting faculty and staff to publicly acknowledge the unceded Coast Salish territories where we work and study. 
  • Supporting and organizing learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty about Indigenous Peoples, colonization, ongoing inequities, and cultural safety.
  • Supporting and organizing opportunities for Indigenous students to connect with each other and build community.
  • Supporting faculty to Decolonize and Indigenize their courses, and more generally serving as a resource on teaching, research, and practice as it relates to Indigenous Peoples.
  • Supporting Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, and providing opportunities for emerging leaders.
  • Promoting initiatives at the department and university to recruit more Indigenous Scholars as permanent faculty and as guests.


The SFU Psychology Department IRC committee is commited to organizing various events including Colloquia with Indigenous Scholars, as well as small conversational meetings of Indigenous students with these scholars. Because of the pandemic, we have been able to hold these Colloquia and Small Conversational meeting over Zoom, and as such to date the Colloquia have been public events open to the international community, and the Small Conversational meetings have been attended by Indigenous students from across Turtle Island.

In April 2023, the Psychology Department and the Psychology Department IRC also joined the SFU ISC (SFU Indigenous Students Centre) and FNMISA ((SFU First Nations, Métis & Inuit Student Association)) as co-sponsors a lunch for SFU Indigenous Students, Staff, and Faculty members, through the monthly SFU Indigenous Community Monthly Lunches organized by the SFU ISC (SFU Indigenous Students Centre) and FNMISA . Monthly Lunches - Indigenous Student Centre - Simon Fraser University ( We are thankful for this opportunity to co-sponsor this lunch organized by the SFU ISC & FNMISA which creates a welcoming space and place for connection amongst Indigenous members of the SFU community. For more information about lunches, past and future (e.g., March 28th & April 18th), please see the above link. 

Additionally, the IRC is currently working with Indigenous students on the Department IRC on semi-regular informal gettogethers for SFU Indigenous students in Psychology to meet with Elders, as well as to meet amongst each other. If you are a student at SFU who is Indigenous or is of Indigenous background, we hope you will join in this community space. 

Planning for 2023/2024 Colloquia/Small Conversation meetings, and other events are currently underway, e.g.

- September 21st, 2023 , Mark Champley

- October 20, 2023, Dr. Kyle Mays 

For more information on the above and other UPCOMING EVENTS, please see the "IRC Events" page in the sidebar.   


To review events and colloquia that the IRC has organized previously, you can check out the events below:

May 2021: A Year In Public Health: The Collision of Three Public Health Emergencies with Dr. Cornelia Wieman

The Department of Psychology’s Indigenous Reconciliation Committee hosted a talk on Thursday May 6th featuring the first female Indigenous psychiatrist in Canada, Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman, MSc, MD, FRCPC titled, 'A Year in Public Health: The Collision of Three Public Health Emergencies – the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug poisoning crisis and Anti-Indigenous Racism.' This event was opened formally by Syexwaliya (Ann-Louise Whonnock), Squamish Elder and Knowledge Keeper. 

October 2021Indigenous Research and Indigenous Methodologies: Convergences and Divergences with Dr. Margaret Kovach

Indigenous research scholar Dr. Margaret Kovach, discussed "Indigenous Research and Indigenous Methodologies: Convergences and Divergences". This invited colloquium was hosted by the Department of Psychology's Indigenous Reconciliation Committee and the department area of History, Quantitative, and Theoretical Psychology.

April 2022Utilizing the Culturally Responsiveness Framework to Develop a Strength- Based, Trauma-Informed Practice: Understanding the Practitioner’s role in Indigenous Wellbeing with Dr JoLee Sasakamoose

On April 20, 2022, Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose provided an important and informative Invited Colloquium of use to students, researchers, practictioners and educators across disciplines -- indeed to everyone.  The event was organized by the SFU Department of Psychology Indigenous Reconciliation Committee Invited Scholar Colloquium Series. The event was formally opened by Elder Margaret. The Colloquium and Q&A were recorded. Links to the video, slides generously provided for distribution by Dr. JoLee -- which include important resources and citations, are provided from the highlighted link. 

May 2022: iskotew & crow: (re)igniting narratives of Indigenous survivance & trauma wisdom in psychology with Dr. Karlee Fellner

On May 17, 2022, Dr. Karlee Fellner provided a colloquium. The event was organzed by the SFU Dept IRC. The Clinical Science area of the Department co-sponsored the event. The event was formally opened by Elder Margaret. The Colloquium and Q&A were recorded. A link to details and the video are provided from the highlighted title link.


March 2023: Intergenerational trauma and the protective effects of culture in relation to mental health in Indigenous populations with Dr. Amy Bombay

On March 2, 2023, Dr. Amy Bombay provided a colloquium. The event was organized by the SFU Dept IRC. The Developmental Psychology area joined the Department IRC in co-funding the event. The event was formally opened by Elder Marie Hoooper. The Colloquium and Q&A were recorded. A link to details (and forthcoming video) is provided from the highlighted title link.


March 2023: Going where the need is: Psychological research in the context of reconciliation with Dr. Adam Murry

On March 9, 2023, Dr. Adam Murry provided a colloquium. The event was organized by the SFU Dept IRC. The Social Psychology area and Department Colloquium Committee joined the Department IRC in co-funding the event. The event was formally opened by Elder Marie Hoooper. The Colloquium and Q&A were recorded. A link to details (and forthcoming video) is provided from the highlighted title link.


Accountability Statement

We will make our work transparent and hold ourselves accountable in the following ways:

  • Meeting approximately once per month and at least three times in the Fall and Spring terms, and at least twice in the Summer term. Assessing our progress by collecting relevant data, for example, tracking the amount and type of Indigenous content included in the curriculum. Results of the IRC Curriculum Survey can be found here
  • Provide regular progress reports on the work of the IRC, posted to our webpage: 
  • Meetings will be organized and facilitated by the committee chair, who also drafts the agenda based on input from committee members.
  • The IRC is made up of faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate student members. We make efforts to include self-identified Indigenous people on the committee.
  • Take minutes of meetings that are shared with committee members after the meeting to be checked for accuracy.
  • Include information on our committee budget and spending on our webpage.


If you have any suggestions for additional links or content to be included on our Indigenous Reconciliation pages, feel free to contact co-chair Rachel Fouladi at