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. (RTFzine.org). 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.