Mavis Underwood

Research and Planning Advisor

I am proud to be invited to the Living Lab Project. As a past IGOV scholar, I pressed for improved curriculum in our professional schools of law, health, education and social development to counter the colonizing influence of education and history on relationships with Indigenous First Nations. As one of 16 children of George and Geraldine Underwood of Tsawout First Nation of W̱SÁNEĆ Nation, I was quite familiar with ideas of “getting along,” and my Dad instilled that into my mind as I feared my first walk to public school. He told me we had to learn how to get along. With that in mind, I persevered and have made every effort to make my education, work and life meaningful. However, in learning to get along, I want people to know the richness of our Indigenous First Nations history. I want people to realize our great prosperity and connection to land and marine territory. I want people to appreciate the richness described by scholars such as Dave Elliott Sr., who repeatedly reminded us that we were rich and did not need money because we had everything. I am looking forward to the exhilaration of working with dynamic young scholars who bring me such incredible energy when I get weary.