Shannon Hecker

Arts Liaison for Indigenous Studies

Motivated and conscientious settler of mixed ancestry, I am primarily Irish Celtic. My maternal grandmother was born in Canada, and half of her siblings were born in Ireland. Their family came to Canada in the 1930s and received a farm through a settlement program. My maternal grandfather was a German emigrant. My paternal grandfather was a descendant of Irish emigrants who fled during the potato famine.  My paternal grandmother was also of mixed Irish, French, and Mi'kmaq ancestry.  Although I learned as an adult I have an Indigenous ancestor, this goes back several generations, and I do not claim to be Indigenous.  I am sharing this to be transparent and to exemplify a person can have an ancestor and still not be Indigenous. There is a way to honor, and walk in a good way without stealing from Indigenous people.  I am proud to carry the name Shannon Colleen after the River Shannon in Ireland & my late Nana Colleen Hecker (O’Neill). 

I was born in Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal & grew up in Qayqayt/ New Westminster.  Gratefully living in St’at’imc territory/ Lillooet BC and working here at Kwantlen, on the unceded traditional and ancestral territories of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem peoples.  I am an artist, avid gardener, and editor of the Right to Food Zine. ( In my final term at UBC completing my undergraduate Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology. My main academic interests are Decolonization, Food sovereignty, Community building, and Antiracism initiatives. In my role, I hope to support making space for Indigenous voices and also to facilitate Arts Faculty in making connections with Indigenous communities. I strongly support Indigenous sovereignty in every regard and am very grateful for this opportunity to offer my support toward the ongoing decolonization work here at KPU.