Dr. Susanne Thiessen

Dr. Susanne Thiessen
Associate Director and Assistant Professor
School of Public Administration

PhD (NCU), MBA (UVic)

Professional Information and Research

Susanne Thiessen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at UVic. As a Gitxsan/Haida scholar and practitioner she works from an Indigenous rights-based lens and her work centers on Indigenous resurgence and the decolonization of organizational structures, policy, and processes. Through resurgence, Indigenous peoples are represented in authentic and relevant ways, there is agreement and political consciousness around restitution and land back, stewardship of the natural environment is Indigenous-informed, and Nation to Nation relationships become the norm. Through decolonizing, her work reframes the stories about colonial histories, the impacts of colonialism, colonial attempts at Indigenous cultural erasure and assimilation, and Euro-normative organizational policy and processes are challenged. To engage in the work of decolonization, she takes a critical and Indigenous-wholistic view of Western-centric organizational and research practices that exclude Indigenous voices. Indigenous cultural practices and knowledge are reclaimed and repositioned to amplify their strengths, and similar goals around anti-racism and inclusion are supported. She has extensive experience working with national, provincial, and First Nations to create programming, plan, and inform policy in a way that respects and honours Indigenous worldviews and ways of being and doing.