Honoring UBC IRSI IAC Members: In conversation with Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi


Fran has more than 20 years of experience in senior management and direct engagement working with Indigenous peoples. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous adult and post-secondary education and training. Fran is currently the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness and was the inaugural Director of the Office of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Victoria. Fran is also an entrepreneur and owns a consulting business, Hunt-Jinnouchi Enterprises. She has a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Adult Education and has completed the coursework for a Doctorate in Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Leadership. Fran is passionate about social justice and has dedicated her life's work to Indigenous community capacity development.

UBC IRSI takes guidance from an Indigenous Advisory Committee comprised of members from Indigenous communities as well as faculty, staff and students from the UBC campus. The committee's purpose is to provide culturally-relevant advice, leadership and support to inform IRSI's strategic direction and members are chosen to bring to the table expertise in a variety of relevant disciplines. Fran has been a key member of the UBC Vancouver advisory committee for 5 years and is leaving this year. To honour her time on the IAC, IRSI sat down with Fran to highlight her insights, wisdom and experiences with us.

Please tell us about your interest in Indigenous, community-based research and why you decided to join UBC IRSI’s Indigenous Advisory Committee?

Research allows us to tell our own story. I have always recognized the need to go beyond the anecdotal to evidence based knowledge gathering, on our own terms, using Indigenous methods within an Indigenous epistemology. This is what intrigued me about IRSI, the possibilities.


Over the years that you have been with the IRSI IAC, what aspirations have you seen manifested for Indigenous, community-based research and what have not?

Indigenous community empowerment. Creating awareness and a bridge between the institution and the community.


What are some of the biggest highlights and challenges from your time on the committee?

I have been inspired by the in-depth dialogue about complex issues, structural barriers, colonial processes, research and ceremony related to people’s experiences and stories, such as the residential school survivors. The data/documents are much more than research and paper, these are personal stories that speak to the long-lasting residue of contact, dislocation and disenfranchisement.


What are some of the key insights or learnings that you would like to share about your involvement with UBC IRSI, your time on the IRSI IAC and what are your hopes for the future?

I still believe in the potential of IRSI. However, to have the most impact there needs to be an institution wide approach and the Advisory Council needs to be resourced.


Tell us more about what you are currently working on and what comes next for you.

Soon I will be retiring. My goal is to write a book on the dual model of housing that I have created to address the challenges that the Indigenous street community face when they are unhoused but more importantly the promising practice behind culturally supportive housing, or focus my PhD on this subject.

To keep up with Fran and her work you can visit https://acehsociety.com/