Working Circle

The RESPECT working circle is comprised of SFU community members who have strong reputations in the work of decolonization, Indigenization, equity, inclusion, or anti-racism. Gathering this working circle meets the mandate to: Provide guidance and ongoing feedback on the development of the RESPECT professional development training for all SFU employees. 

We acknowledge the leadership and support of the RESPECT project from the Faculty of Education, SFU.

We are grateful for the generous sharing of time and knowledge of the following people:

Ashley Edwards

Indigenous Initiatives and Instruction Librarian
SFU Library


Ashley Edwards has Métis, Dutch, and Scottish heritage, and is a citizen of Métis Nation British Columbia. She was raised in Stó:lō territory, without connection to her Métis roots, but proud of her Indigenous heritage. Learning about her Indigeneity and Métis roots has been a journey of personal discovery, without Elders to guide her, and she is grateful for the connections being made within the MNBC community. Ashley has a Library Technician diploma (University of the Fraser Valley, 2009), and a BA in Adult Education (University of the Fraser Valley, 2015), and a Master in Library and Information Studies degree (University of Alberta, 2020). She has been with SFU Library since 2013.

Heather Williams

Curriculum Design


Heather is a fifth-generation settler to Canada, with ancestry to England and Ireland.  Heather is a proud mother to two beautiful children who continue to teach her so much.  In her work at SFU Work Integrated Learning and the Faculty of Education she collaboratively designs and delivers intercultural and equity minded curricula to students, faculy, and staff.  Heather earned her Masters in Equity Studies in Education and is now pursuing a PhD in Education.

Jeremy Jones

Resolution Health Support Worker/LGBTQ+ Liaison
Indian Residential School Society


Jessica La Rochelle

Indigenous Student Services
Student Services


Jessica La Rochelle is the granddaughter of Siyamtelot and Swelimeltxw  (Shirley and Rudy Leon). She shares her traditional name, Lhkwemiya, with her mother. Jessica is Stó:lō, Okanagan, and Trinidadian. Jessica joined SFU as the Director, Indigenous Student Recruitment & Admission in August 2020 and became Acting Director of the Indigenous Student Centre in January 2021. Jessica completed her both her Bachelor of Arts degree and MEd in Indigenous Education at UBC in 2006 and 2018, respectively.

Nicole Manson

Indigenous Academic and Student Liaison
Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Quincy Wang

Website Coordinator
Faculty of Education


A website developer and digital engagement specialist at SFU's Faculty of Education, Quincy earned her master’s degree in Educational Technology and Instructional Design. As a research collaborator on an SSHRC New Frontiers project (Raising Nisga’a Language, Sovereignty, and Land-Based Education Through Traditional Carving Knowledge), Quincy contributes to implementing VR technology in Indigenous education. Interested in utilizing web technology for knowledge co-creation through unique digital formats, she is pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology.

Dr. Dorothy Christian

Associate Director
Indigenous Policy & Pedagogy
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Dorothy holds a PhD and is a member of the Secwepemc and Syilx Nations from the interior of BC. Her home community of Splatsin, is one of 17 communities that comprise the Secwepemc Nation. She is the eldest of 10, have one daughter and over 60 nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. Her research in academia has consistently centralized Indigenous knowledge even before those terms were recognized in the academy. Indigenous cultural knowledge informed both her MA at SFU’s School of Communications and her PhD at the Department of Educational Studies at UBC, which focused on Indigenous visual storytelling/filmmaking practices. In 2018, she guest curated the Voices From The Western Regions of Turtle Island program at the Imagine Native film festival in Toronto – the largest Indigenous film festival in the world.

Jennie Blankinship (on leave)

Office of Indigenous Education
Faculty of Education


Dr. Michelle Pidgeon

Associate Dean, Indigeneity 
ʔək̓ʷstənəq ts'up'new̓ásentas
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
Faculty of Education


Michelle Pidgeon's research is located within the areas of higher education and Indigeneity. In particular, she is interested in the intersections between student affairs and services, recruitment and retention, Indigenous peoples, and student success in post-secondary education. She is also passionate about expanding understanding of Indigenous research processes and research ethical protocols. Theoretically, her work is influenced by Indigenous theory, social reproduction theory, and retention theories. This research agenda, with the goal of empowering Indigenous success, focuses on university and college responsibility and accountability to Aboriginal higher education from policy to practice.

Ronald Johnston

Director, Office for Aboriginal Peoples
Office for Aboriginal Peoples


Ron is a member of the Squamish Nation and is an SFU alumnus. He has worked at SFU since 2012 and is currently serving as Protem Director of the Office for Aboriginal People. Prior to his current role, Ron worked as the Director of the Office of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education. His career as an Aboriginal educator spans over two decades and through his work he has come to realize that education is a transformative change agent that raises levels of awareness, understanding, and empowerment for Aboriginal People

Wesley Scott

Acting RHSW/CSP/QQXX Manager
Indian Residential School Society


Mindy Ghag

Research Assistant

We raise our hands in thanks to Marcia Guno, Jessie Williams and Karen Johnson for their contributions to the RESPECT project.

Advisory Circle

Black Eagle Canoe, 1987. Bill Reid.

The RESPECT advisory circle is comprised of union representatives, staff, faculty members, and students. Their unique knowledge and skills complement those of the RESPECT working circle and they play an important role in the progress of this project. Gathering this advisory circle adds a layer of effectiveness in meeting the mandate to: Provide guidance and ongoing feedback on the development of the RESPECT  professional development training for all SFU employees. 

We give thanks to the following people for their ongoing participation in the RESPECT advisory circle:

Alix Shield

Term Lecturer
Department of Indigenous Studies

Amie McLean

Manager of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Curriculum
Work Integrated Learning

Danielle Levine

Executive Director
Aboriginal Social Enterprise

Kari Gustafson


Lakshmi Gosyne

Communications Coordinator
Administration and Professional Staff Association at SFU

Leah Sanford

Associate Director
Education & Training, RADIUS

Mike Boyd

SFU Facilities
Polyparty Representative

Shaneza Bacchus

Graduate Assistant, School of Criminology
CUPE Representative

Suman Jiwani

Specialist, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty Relations

Timothy Michel

Indigenous Student Engagement
Work Integrated Learning

Anisha Arora

Assistant Registrar
Surrey Campus

Ashley Edwards

Indigenous Initiatives and Instruction Librarian
SFU Library

Jenna Walsh

Indigenous Initiatives Librarian
SFU Library

Kumari Beck

Associate Professor
Faculty of Education

Lea Hogan

Organizer II

Mary-Catherine Kropinski

Associate Dean: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Faculty of Science

Rosie Dhaliwal

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Human Resources

Sheri Fabian

Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines

Suzanne Norman

Instructor, Publishing Program

Vera Jones

Resolution Health Support Worker/Elders Liason
Indian Residential School Survivors Society