Faculty and Staff

Jane Alcorn

Technician

Jane Alcorn is a Hul’q’umi’num’ speaker and a technician for the Department. She shares her insights and knowledge of the Hul'q'umi'num' language through introductions and phrases in Indigenous Studies classes.

Allyson Anderson

Department Chair

A member of the Department of Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies Studies since 1997, Allyson`s ancestral roots reach to Manitoba, and her ancestors, the Red River Métis - although she was born in New Westminster, BC, and raised in the interior plateau of that province. Allyson received a BA from Thompson Rivers University [1992], followed by an MA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia [1996]. Currently, Allyson is working on her PhD in Native Studies from the University of Manitoba. Aside from Indigenous and women’s issues, her professional interests include Global Studies, Media Studies, and social movements. Personal interests include her large, extended family, as well as horses, gardening, boating, and cooking.

Camie Augustus

Professor

Camie Augustus joined VIU in 2016. She is originally from Saskatchewan – Cree traditional lands in Treaty 6 territory – where she completed her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. She is interested in a wide array of Indigenous Studies areas, including policy and history, Indigenous knowledge, global Indigenous studies, law and the courts, and issues around identity. She has also taught at the University of Ottawa, Trent University, Michigan State University, and the University of Saskatchewan. Camie also worked in Aboriginal land claims for a number of years. Camie’s other research interests include Aboriginal identity, the impact of race ideology on Aboriginal policy, First Nations and Metis history in Canada, the history of world indigenous peoples, and colonial Aboriginal policy, all with a particular focus on the late 19th century.

Florence James

Instructor

Karen Marston

Technician

Karen Marston has been assisting students to experience the beauty of weaving and working with the natural fibres that are integral to Coast Salish cultures. Her knowledge of cedar weaving has inspired many students!

Georgina Martin

Professor

Dr Georgina Martin is an indigenous scholar and community member who is committed to honouring her community and ancestors.  She is Secwepemc (Shuswap) and a member of the Lake Babine Nation (Carrier).  Dr Martin grew up alongside her grandparents in the T’exelc community in the interior of BC.  Her approaches center on indigenous knowledge in her teaching, methodologies, and research approaches. 

Her research focuses on intergenerational trauma that emerged from 'Indian Residential Schools' and 'Indian Hospitals,' leaving a trail of cumulative damage to language, culture, and identity. She draws from her life experiences to advance reclamation of space for indigenous peoples within academic settings to address historical and contemporary injustices.  Her PhD dissertation, entitled “Drumming my way home: An intergenerational narrative inquiry about Secwepemc identities,” examined the stories of three generations of Secwepemc peoples to show how knowing oneself strengthens identities and how the content of stories and the process of storytelling opened a new world of meaning and philosophical knowledge that is expanding. 

Laurie Meijer Drees

Professor

Laurie Meijer Drees has been a regular faculty member in the Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies department since 1998. She has held faculty positions at the First Nations University of Canada, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the University of Saskatchewan. Her research and work with local Elders has brought her to a deep appreciation of the art of oral history within an Indigenous context. She is the author of two books and numerous articles.
Laurie’s top 3 authors for First Nations content - Julie Cruikshank, Gerald Vizenor, and Maria Campbell.

Fred Speck

Technician

Fred Speck is of Kwakwaka’wakw ancestry from the Gwawaenuk and Tlowitsis tribes, both located in the northeastern Vancouver Island region. He has lived within the sacred traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people for 21 years. Fred is also a current student entering third year of the Xwalmuxw/Indigenous BA Program at Vancouver Island University.