Sam Tsuruda is a proud Two-Spirit member of the Spuzzum First Nation in the Fraser Canyon, with Nlaka’pamux and Stó:lō mixed ancestry, born and raised on unceded Coast Salish territory. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UVic, and a Master in Public Health degree from UBC, with a focus on Indigenous health research. In her Masters, Sam worked at the University of Auckland in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to support the development of culturally safe education for Māori social work practice. She is extremely grateful to have been working with Reciprocal Consulting for over nine years – the learning curve is never-ending, especially when getting to work with community members, traditional knowledge keepers, healers and Elders from across Turtle Island.
Sam enjoys advocating to create space for Indigenous knowledge, decolonial race praxis, and disrupting norms to build communities of care and balance. Passionate about youth health, Sam is fortunate to have served as a Board member and President for the McCreary Centre Society, a provincial youth health research organization, and a mentor for the YWCA Indigenous Youth Mentorship Program. She currently serves on McCreary’s Indigenous Advisory Committee and Mulgrave School’s Advisory Board. Along with ancestral guidance, her passions for learning and contributing to Indigenous self-determination have led her to pursue a PhD in Educational Studies – Sam is a humble Killam scholar, Indigenous Graduate Fellowship award holder, Four-Year Fellowship holder in the Faculty of Education, and recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award through SSHRC.