SFU attracts Indigenous faculty members

February 14, 2018

Meet four new Indigenous faculty members who joined SFU in 2017. Over the past several years, SFU has been recruiting Indigenous faculty who can help the university bring Indigenous perspectives to the classroom.

Karrmen Crey, a member of the Stó:lo Nation, joined SFU’s School of Communication last fall. She holds BAs from SFU and UBC, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Crey is completing a book proposal based on her dissertation, which analyzed a surge in Indigenous film production that began in the 1990s in Canadian media institutions. She is currently researching the role of Indigenous film in film festivals, and will begin teaching in fall 2018. “SFU is an ideal fit for me. The [university's] shift towards reconciliation and the efforts to support Indigenous representation are important. SFU has a supportive and respectful environment for Indigenous research”.

Alanaise Goodwill, a member of Sandy Bay Nation, joined the Faculty of Education as a professor last July. She holds a BSc in biology from SFU and an MA and PhD in counselling psychology from UBC. She is one of the few Indigenous registered psychologists in British Columbia and works to address and improve mental health issues and practices in Indigenous communities. She teaches and supervises graduate students. “SFU has great students and a wonderful learning environment,” says Goodwill. “The faculty and SFU community are very supportive.”

Peter Jacobs, a member of the Squamish Nation village, Wiwiḵ’em, joined the Department of Linguistics as a professor last August, where he teaches courses in First Nations language grammar. He earned his PhD in Linguistics from UBC, writing his dissertation on the syntax and semantics of agent control constructions in Sḵwx̱wu7mesh (Squamish). He has spent the past 25 years working with the Squamish Nation to revitalize the Sḵwx̱wu7mesh snichim, the language of his father’s family. Teaching at SFU, he says, “is an opportunity to incorporate both my research and teaching for the Squamish language." He also conducts research on Kwak’wala, the language of his mother’s family, spoken on the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island and the adjacent B.C. mainland coast.

June Scudeler, Métis, joined the Department of First Nations Studies as a professor last September. She holds a BA and MA in English from SFU, and a PhD in English from UBC. Her current research explores Indigenous gothic, horror and science fiction film and literature. She teaches a variety of First Nation Studies courses, including a second-year Indigenous film course in which the students study films by indigenous filmmakers. “Students are hungry for Indigenous stories. They are such a powerful way to show the resilience of the Indigenous people.”