Skip to main content
SFU Indigenous Student Centre
Acting Director
Position Title

Meet the ISC staff!

Pleasure to meet you! My name is Jessica La Rochelle and I am the granddaughter of Siyamtelot and Swelimeltxw (Shirley and Rudy Leon). I share my traditional traditional name, Lhkwemiya, with my mom. This name was given to my mother by my great-grandfather and passed onto me by my maternal grandparents. I am Stó:lō, Okanagan, and also have some Trinidadian ancestry from my father's side. I was raised in Sts'ailes (Chehalis Band) by my kwiyó:s (aunt and uncle) as a daughter of their heart. 

I joined the SFU as the Director of Indigenous Student Recruitment & Admissions in August 2020. I was previously the Assistant Director of NITEP, the Indigenous Teach Education Program, and the Manager for Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at UBC for almost ten years. I have completed both my BA degree and MEd in Educational Administration and Leadership with a focus on Leadership in Indigenous Education at UBC in 2006 and 2018, respectively. I am so grateful to work in an environment that fuels my passions for Indigenous education and feeds my spirit. I continue to be motivated and inspired by current and future Indigenous students to provide an engaging and positive learning experience and evoke change in education.

Jessica goes more into detail into her wellness routine and what she does to center herself every day in her Staff Saturdays post on the ISC Instagram. 

"Part of my wellness routine is to go for walks and practice yoga and meditation every day. I find that practicing mindfulness helps when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. One of my favourite yoga poses is tree pose because it helps me feel balanced and declutters my mind. What is your favourite stretch or yoga pose? I also love to bake and have been experimenting with different pies. Currently my favourite flavour is strawberry peach! In my early teens, my Gram taught me to knit when and I started up again several years ago. Knitting has been a lifesaver during the pandemic because it helps me feel connected with my Gram when we can’t visit and I am able to show her my projects over zoom. Knitting during long online meetings also helps me stay focused and engaged. How do you maintain focus on long zoom days?

I am so grateful to work in an environment that fuels my passion for Indigenous education and feeds my spirit. I’m passionate about creating and maintaining safe spaces for students to have meaningful discussions about mental health and what it means to be an Indigenous student at a mainstream university!"

This Story was originally published on the Indigenous Student Centre's Instagram on Mar 14th, 2021.