Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

shamanic historical consciousness: retu(r)ning to the Ellemental as an indigenous education

Date created: 
2017-01-19
Abstract: 

In Canada, as in much of the western world, history has traditionally been seen as the rational pursuit of knowledge of the past. More recently, however, historians have taken a historical consciousness (HC) approach, which emphasizes the significance of memory. Scholars of HC pursue their work in different ways—typically described as cognitive HC and critical HC. For the purposes of this thesis, I was especially interested in the intersubjective relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people—how we were relating to each other both past and present, and how the past impacts how the present is being negotiated. As a scholar of French and Mohawk ancestry, I view history, or histoire in French, as synonymous with story, or better yet, someone’s story to which I am related. Thus, I questioned if the two current HC approaches provided a sufficient understanding of history, if the attention was not on those whose history it was we were disseminating, particularly, when the other was obfuscated, obscured, or omitted altogether from the historical narrative and/or landscape. Drawing on Thomas King’s idea that if you want a different ethic, tell a different story, I propose a shamanic historical consciousness as a way of expanding upon the two former HC strands, and in a way that falls outside many academic conventions with its emphasis on creating alliances with and not for those who have passed before us. Shamanic historical consciousness moves away from a dependence solely on rationalist principles (where reason, and not experience, is viewed as the root of knowledge); it looks to wampum belts—mnemonic devices that recorded history—as a way of knowing/seeing/reading the world. Shamanic historical consciousness dwells in the spaces of obscurity, affording the world of the apparition, the shadow, the reverse of reality. It requires a decentring of the I (or ego), and introduces a proto-ethical o/Other relationality, as a means for (re)thinking Canadian history and Indigenous education. But most of all, my thesis asks that you allow yourself to sway in the breeze like the tall grass in the field, that you allow the winds to unclutter centuries of colonial thought, and allow the wind to whisper ancestral stories that have laid dormant for too long.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ann Chinnery
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Automatic Building Damage Assessment Using Deep Learning and Ground-Level Image Data

Date created: 
2017-01-20
Abstract: 

We propose a novel damage assessment deep model for buildings. Common damage assessment approaches require both pre-event and post-event data, which are not available in many cases, to classify damaged areas based on the severity of destruction. In this work, we focus on assessing damage to buildings using only post-disaster data in a continuous fashion. Our model utilizes three different neural networks, one network for pre-processing the input data and two networks for extracting deep features from the input source. Combinations of these networks are distributed among three separate feature streams. A regressor summarizes extracted features into a single continuous value denoting the destruction level. To evaluate the model, we collected a small dataset of ground-level image data of damaged buildings. Experimental results demonstrate that models taking advantage of hierarchical rich features outperform baseline methods.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Greg Mori
Anoop Sarkar
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

An evaluation of a program supporting Indigenous youth through their FASD assessment

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-01-16
Abstract: 

This dissertation was a program evaluation of a three-year program focusing on the intersection of health, justice and child welfare in relation to FASD where holistic, culturally-informed support services are provided to justice-involved Indigenous youth before, during, and after FASD assessments. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a diagnostic term used to describe the resulting neurodevelopmental impacts of prenatal alcohol exposure. Not only is FASD a health concern, but FASD is also a concern within justice and child welfare. There are several areas where an individual living with FASD may experience difficulties navigating the justice system and advocating for themselves. Children living with FASD are also more likely to be wards of child welfare agencies. At the heart of this Program, the focus is on exploring, revitalizing, and nurturing cultural connections and Indigenous identity. The scope of this evaluation focused on a formative and process evaluation which aimed to garner information for program improvement. A total of six Program staff and management and three Program advisory committee members participated in evaluation interviews developed by the evaluator, and 65 Program stakeholders participated in a program needs assessment survey. Evaluation data collection tools were developed in a participatory manner with the Program manager and staff. Qualitative data were hand-coded using thematic analyses. Findings from the evaluation showed the strengths of Indigenous youth living with FASD are plenty, yet also underscored the many challenges they face in accessing services and being supported. Several needs emerged from the evaluation, including needs around brain-based services, public awareness and education, culturally-informed services and professionals, holistic support, and access and exposure to culture and identity. Evaluation findings showed that the Program is reaching the right youth and the holistic design was perceived to be effective. While the Program rolled out differently than designed, adaptations were necessary to address the needs of those being served. Findings also highlighted that the Program is contributing to community level changes in stigma, and increases in cultural connections and identity among youth. Findings from this evaluation are informative for the Program in moving forward as several recommendations for program improvement were developed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ronald Roesch
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

The Shaping of German-Canadian Family Memory of World War II and the Holocaust

Date created: 
2017-01-12
Abstract: 

This thesis examines how German-Canadian immigrant families have addressed and remembered the Holocaust. Using a generational perspective, it is based on interviews with ten second- and third-generation German-Canadians who were born between 1950-1975. Their families emigrated from Germany in the first two decades after World War II. The questions this thesis seeks to explore are: How were memories of perpetration, the Nazi past and the Holocaust communicated within families? What information was or was not talked about? Did growing up in Canada shape how families remember their German past? How are the patterns in the stories of second- and third-generation German-Canadians similar to or different from Germans in Germany? Thematic narrative analysis was employed and demonstrated patterns in victim discourse, silence and avoidance in the interviewees’ narratives. The findings from this research project can be used to inform Holocaust and genocide education curricula and psychological interventions with German-Canadians.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Roger Frie
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Contribution of Neighbourhood Parks to Physical Activity: A Case Study of Sunrise Park, East Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-01
Abstract: 

This research is focused on the type of usage of Sunrise Park, located in a lower income neighbourhood in East Vancouver, for physical activity. This study focuses on the factors that influence the usage of Sunrise Park such as: park features, park conditions, safety concerns, the weather, the time, and gender considerations. The methodology of this study has been a mixed method approach, including a residential survey, park user interviews, park observations, and interviews with Vancouver Park Board key planners and commissioners. Results demonstrate that weather conditions and time of day affect the usage and the level of physical activity in this park. It seems that open areas, scenic views, and seating areas are more influential on the usage of this park. Males were more frequent users and also more involved in vigorous physical activity than females. The usage of this park for physical activity can be encouraged by providing walking paths and fitness equipment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meg Holden
Patrick J Smith
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Caribou is Life: An Ethnoarchaeology of Ethen-eldèli Denesųłiné Respect for Caribou

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Descendent communities request that archaeological practices in Canada change to address and incorporate their traditional values and needs. Directed by the Ethen-eldèli Denesųłiné, this study centres on their relationship to barrenland caribou. This research serves as a case study on how to close gaps between archaeological and indigenous communities by integrating community guidance and differing worldviews. This collaboration addresses how the relationship between the Ethen-eldèli Denesųłiné and the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou herds helps to maintain cultural continuity. The study uses interviews of knowledge holders to understand how Denesųłiné relate to caribou. It documents variations in Denesųłiné techniques of caribou harvest, migration routes, and seasonal rounds. It provides data on how technological, social, and ecological changes affect cultural resilience. Because of the unprecedented ecological change occurring in the barrenland caribou ranges, this research has particular value for the Denesųłiné. This community-oriented study uses ethnohistorical and ethnoarchaeological methods to understand Denesųłiné rules of caribou harvest and to show how Denesųłiné embed their respect for caribou in hunting, butchery, and management practices. The Ethen-eldèli Denesųłiné believe that caribou is life. They show respect to caribou in numerous ways and believe that these attitudes and behaviours preserve and perpetuate their way of life.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Welch
Department: 
Environment: Department of Archaeology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

A comparison of self-efficacy between pregnant women who use cigarettes versus electronic nicotine delivery systems: A cross-sectional study of participants in the BC Healthy Connections Project

Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

Self-efficacy (SE) has been regarded the strongest cognitive determinant of cigarette use during pregnancy, but has yet to be assessed in pregnant women who use alternative modes of nicotine, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Knowing that nicotine is harmful to the fetus, more research on SE in pregnant ENDS users is warranted. Using data from the BC Healthy Connections Project, the purpose of this research was to identify differences in SE between pregnant: cigarette users; ENDS users; combination users (ENDS and cigarettes); and abstainers (no tobacco or nicotine). The relationship between SE and mode of nicotine was examined using multiple linear regression. Due to small sample sizes, ENDS and combination users were collapsed (ENDS/combination users). SE was significantly higher in ENDS/combination users compared to abstainers. No other significant group differences emerged. Results from this research can be used to tailor interventions aimed at reducing fetal exposure to nicotine.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Charlotte Waddell
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Towards a spatial imperative in public urban development geovisual analysis and communication

Date created: 
2016-11-28
Abstract: 

Despite advances in GIScience and geovisualization, public consultation for urban development often lack analytical depth or visualization methods that deliver transparent communication and democratic access. Typical methods for engaging the public include the use of architectural designs, artists’ renderings, engineering drawings, and physical models (Gill, Lange, Morgan, & Romano, 2013). These methods of urban development communication do little to accommodate portions of the population that are not design-oriented (Al-Kodmany, 1999). This thesis seeks to bridge the gap between GIScience, geovisualization, and urban development through the development of an evaluation framework for existing urban development visualizations. Next, it evaluates visualizations produced for a new development in the District of North Vancouver named “The Residences at Lynn Valley.” Following this evaluation, it proposes a set of visibility analyses that aim to reveal the intangible visual impact of future developments. This research provides the basis for future evaluative and analytical work in GIS and geovisualization for urban development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nick Hedley
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

The Pawn that would be King: Macedonian Slavs in the Greek Civil War, 1946-49

Date created: 
2016-12-07
Abstract: 

The Macedonian Question has confounded academics, politicians and the people of the Balkans since the nineteenth century. While countries have resolved the territorial component of the Macedonian Question, the critical and confusing problem surrounding the ethnic and linguistic identity of the people of the region continues to be the source of international debate. Part of the reason for this confusion is because the history of the Macedonian Question is shrouded in nationalist polemics. The role of the Macedonian Slavs involvement in the Greek Civil War is particularly contentious and embedded in nationalist polemics, which has impacted academic inquiry. This dissertation argues that the preponderance of Macedonian Slavs within the communist forces during the Greek Civil War influenced the actions of all the major actors involved, and has been a significant factor in shaping the modern Macedonian national identity. Equally important was that the Macedonian people’s cognizance of their contribution to the conflict initially allowed them to pursue political and social objectives that would have been impossible under conventional circumstances. Ultimately, regional and international politics prevented the most idealist sections of the Macedonian Slavs from achieving their goal of an independent Macedonian state. Those elements that followed the Yugoslav vision, which developments in the Greek Civil War helped facilitate, however, did achieve the goal of an independent Macedonian political entity. This dissertation demonstrates that one cannot gain a comprehensive understanding of the Greek Civil War without examining the role of the Macedonian Slavs and Macedonian Question in the conflict.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andre Gerolymatos
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Structural brain markers are differentially associated with neurocognitive profiles in socially marginalized people with multimorbid illness

Date created: 
2016-11-21
Abstract: 

Homeless and marginally housed individuals constitute a socially impoverished population characterized by high rates of multimorbid illness that includes polysubstance use, viral infection, and psychiatric illness. Their extensive exposure to risk factors is associated with numerous poor outcomes, yet little is known about structural brain integrity and its association with neurocognition in this population. In Study 1, we conducted a cluster analysis to re-construct three previously derived subgroups with distinct neurocognitive profiles in a large sample of socially marginalized persons (N = 299). Cluster 1 (n = 87) was characterized as highest functioning overall, whereas Cluster 3 (n = 103) was the lowest functioning neurocognitively, with a relative strength in decision-making. Cluster 2 (n = 109) fell intermediate to the other subgroups, with a relative weakness in decision-making. Next, we examined the association between complementary fronto-temporal cortical brain measures (gyrification, cortical thickness) and neurocognitive profiles using multinomial logistic regression. Chi-square tests and ANOVAs differentiated subgroups on proxy measures of neurodevelopment and acquired brain insult/risk exposure. We found that greater frontal and temporal gyrification and more proxies of aberrant neurodevelopment were associated with Cluster 3 (lowest functioning subgroup). Further, age moderated the association between orbitofrontal cortical thickness and neurocognition, with positive associations in older adults, and negative associations in younger adults. Finally, greater acquired brain insult/risk exposure was associated with the cluster characterized by selective decision-making impairment (Cluster 2), and the higher functioning cluster (Cluster 1). In Study 2, we examined the association between white matter integrity and neurocognitive profiles using multinomial logistic regression and Tract-based Spatial Statistics. We found significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA), with corresponding increased axial and radial diffusivity (AD, RD) in widespread and bilateral brain regions of Cluster 3. Differences in RD were more prominent compared to AD. Altogether, our findings highlight the unique pathways to neurocognitive impairment in a heterogeneous population and help to clarify the vulnerabilities confronted by different subgroups.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Allen Thornton
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.