Staff

Welcome to the Indigenous Student Resource Centre at Memorial University St. John’s Campus.

University life can be difficult and the staff at the ISRC are here to help you on your journey--from start to finish and everything in between! Whether you are deciding if Memorial is the university for you or preparing to cross the stage at convocation we are here when you need someone to walk with you.

There are three staff positions at the ISRC, with their offices located in Juniper House at 208 Elizabeth Avenue.

  • Manager, Indigenous Student Resource Centre
  • Indigenous Student Success Coordinator
  • Indigenous Wellness Navigator

Valeri Pilgrim
Manager, Indigenous Student Resource Centre

Valeri Pilgrim is standing beside a large sign that says Atelihai Nainimut, Nunatsiavut. Welcome to Nain, Nunatsiavut. The sign has a grey inukshuk in the middle on a white, green and blue background. The woman is outside, there is snow on the ground and the hills and the low plants are brown.

Valeri has been the Manager of the Indigenous Student Resource Centre since November 2018. Prior to this, she served in the capacity of International Student Advisor with the Internationalization Office from 2014 to 2018. Her first role at Memorial was as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer from 2011 to 2014. Valeri attended one semester at Memorial, however her Bachelor of Arts degree is from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. She also holds a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Oslo in Norway where she lived with her young daughter for two and a half years. Valeri grew up in Nain, Nunatsiavut in northern Labrador and is of Inuit ancestry. She has two children.

Reporting to the Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, the manager of the Indigenous Student Resource Centre (ISRC) oversees the development of programs, resources and supports to empower Indigenous students to thrive at Memorial University. This includes providing operational direction in the areas of Indigenous student success, Indigenous education, and cultural initiatives.

The ISRC manager leads and represents the student centre in its day-to-day operations, ensuring a student-centred approach to program planning and delivery. The manager is responsible for hiring, orienting, and supervising the staff in the ISRC. The manager will establish and maintain collaborations with other student supports and services units and beyond to lead, partner, or support activities that enhance Indigenous student success. The manager is also responsible for ensuring the ISRC’s budget is planned, prepared, and monitored in keeping with university policies and procedures.

Office: Juniper House, BP-2005
Phone:(709) 864-3495
Email: vpilgrim@mun.ca
Office Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tama Fost
Indigenous Student Success Coordinator

Inuk woman in jeans and tshirt sits in front of a fireplace with Inuit drums in front of her

Tama is a first-generation urban Inuk, and mother of one. Her roots are from the Hopedale and Okak communities, as well as the Millertown area of Central Newfoundland. Tama completed a Bachelor of Arts at Memorial University with a major in English and two minors in Aboriginal Studies and Religious Studies. She has been throat singing and drum dancing locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally for over 13 years, and is honoured to host Inuit throat singing bi-weekly on alternating Fridays.

As the Indigenous Student Success Coordinator, Tama provides academic and social support to self-identified Indigenous students through: advocating for Indigenous students, assisting students with navigating university policies and procedures, pairing students with academic supports like tutoring, providing emotional and cultural support to students, and providing other supports to help retain and ensure the success of Indigenous students attending the St. John’s Campus, Marine Institute, as well as those studying via distance education.

Office: Juniper House, BP-2001B
Phone:(709) 864-8278
Email: tama@mun.ca
Office Hours: 9 a.m – 5 p.m.

Katie Hayward
Indigenous Wellness Navigator

Brown haired woman in yellow shirt smiles in front of Pride flag

Katie is no stranger to Memorial, having completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience with a minor in Biology here in 2016 and currently working towards a Master’s in Counselling Psychology. Previously working with Memorial as an Animal Care Technician II for almost three years post-graduation. However, her career path pivoted from animals to the community sector in 2019, as a Case Manager for marginalized individuals through a prominent non-profit organization in downtown St. John’s. Later, having the amazing opportunity to work in the Innu communities of Labrador. Entering this field has been the driving force of Katie’s passion for social justice, reform and education.

Born, raised and currently residing in St. John’s, with familial ties to the Bonavista and Newman’s Cove area, Katie has been recently exploring her newly discovered Indigenous ancestry. She is most content outdoors, whether it be camping, hiking or spending time at the cabin - or with a paintbrush in hand.

As the Indigenous Wellness Navigator, Katie empowers self-identified Indigenous students attending the St. John’s Campus, Marine Institute and those studying via distance education to thrive at Memorial. Doing so by offering an inclusive space, facilitating healing and wellness programs, cultural events and educational sessions. As well as, identifying and responding to individualized wellness needs of students in a variety of ways, including: navigating systems, referrals, cultural support, case management and connecting students to community-based resources to meet their holistic health needs.

Office: Juniper House, BP-2002
Phone: (709) 864-3716
Email: kmhayward@mun.ca
Office Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.