In memoriam: Elder Kat Zu’comulwat Norris

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Elder Kat Zu’comulwat Norris recently passed away.

The School of Social Work is very fortunate that Elder Kat joined us in teaching the undergraduate course SOWK 325, Indigenous Peoples and Critical Social Work Analysis, in 2021. With much love Kat generously shared her wisdom, life experiences, teachings, songs and drumming with us – experiences that touched us deeply and guide our work immensely.

Elder Kat was a member of Lyackson First Nation and a mother and grandmother. She was a beloved community leader and activist, theatre artist, SFU radio-show host, cultural educator, counsellor and powwow organizer. She was a residential-school survivor. Elder Kat was voice for many and worked endlessly for the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people. At Vancouver she contributed to the creation of Indigenous Day events, the Trout Lake powwow, the Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and was known and loved for her New Year’s Eve fry-bread giveaway. Elder Kat also was part of the Heart of the City Festival. She cared for and taught many – she will be missed by many.

We are thankful that Elder Kat’s commitment to sharing her knowledge with others led her to spend time with us – we are honoured and forever grateful.

We extend our condolences to Elder Kat’s family, near and far – much love and support from all of us at the School of Social Work.