Native Studies is a community of scholars in pursuit of knowledge. We recognize that students and teachers can learn from each other, and we also accept our responsibility as teachers to guide that process. Our dialogues and debates allow us all to deepen our ideas, to sharpen our views, to hone our skills. We engage in conversations in a manner that is respectful of all participants. Whatever your views, whether you are Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, you have a contribution to make and we invite you to join our circle.
In Native Studies, human rights and social justice issues are different from, yet also linked to Aboriginal rights as can be seen in Dr. Peter Kulchyski’s work. Peter Kulchyski’s whole career is dedicated to the advancement of Aboriginal and treaty rights. He has published a collection of court cases on Aboriginal rights (Unjust Relations), his co-authored book Tammarniit won a prize for human rights and his award winning Like the Sound of a Drum is a defense of Dene and Inuit rights. He teaches issues pertaining to land claims and self-government in his undergraduate courses ‘Native Politics and Communities’ and ‘Native Law’, and makes frequent media appearances on issues related to resource use conflicts and Aboriginal rights especially in northern Canada.
Dr. Kulchyski is on the board of the hemispheric institute for performance and politics, which is strongly dedicated to human rights issues through the arts. Dr. Kulchyski is a founding member of the Friends of Grassy Narrows/Winnipeg Indigenous Solidarity Network and the Defenders of the Land, both Aboriginal rights community activist groups. Peter Kulchyski has also been president of the board of New Directions, which is a non-profit child and family services agency in Winnipeg.
Dr. LaRocque is a scholar, human rights advocate, poet, author and social and literary critic. A Plains Cree Métis from northeastern Alberta, she has been published more than sixty times, including the groundbreaking 1975 work Defeathering the Indian. Most recently, LaRocque published When the Other is Me, a powerful interdisciplinary study of the Native literary response to racist writing in the Canadian historical and literary record from 1850 to 1990 that recently won a Manitoba Book Award.
LaRocque teaches, researches and writes about colonization and how it impacts native/white relations, with a focus on cultural productions and representation. LaRocque’s work examines colonial interference and Aboriginal resistance strategies the areas of literature, historiography, representation, identity, gender roles, industrial encroachment on Aboriginal (Indian and Métis) lands and resources, and governance.
LaRocque was awarded the 2005 Aboriginal Achievement Award, was nominated for the University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award in 1999 and has been singled out three times as a “Popular Prof” in Maclean’s magazine’s Guide to Universities & Colleges
LaRocque is one of the most recognized and respected Native Studies scholars today. Her prolific career includes numerous scholarly and popular articles on images of “Indians” in the media and marketplace, Canadian historiography, Native literature, education, racism, and violence against women. Her poetry has appeared in national and international journals and anthologies.
Sherry Farrell Racette is a member of Timiskaming First Nation in Quebéc, and is a scholar and artist. She strives to broaden understandings of Métis and First Nations history, while bringing to the fore women’s voices, stories and lives.
Her scholarly background is in art history, education, history, anthropology and Native studies. Blending women’s and gender studies with Native studies, Farrell Racette studies how reconstructing Indigenous art histories can change museum collections and reclaim women’s voices and lives.
She also has an active arts practice, which includes painting and multimedia works. Her art has been featured in solo, group and museum exhibitions, and she has won awards for her illustrations in children’s books.
Dr. Shore specializes in Métis history and political issues of the Iniut, First Nations and Métis people. He is executive director of the Office of University Accessiblity, after many years as an advocate for Aboriginal concerns on campus. He has also served as department head and graduate program director for Native Studies. He makes many presentations to community organizations, schools, and government.
Dr. Shore was born and raised in Montreal and spent most of his early years in Quebec, where he taught grade and high school. He moved to Manitoba with his family in 1977, where he worked for the Manitoba Métis Federation as senior housing development officer and later as employment development director. He was also elected to serve for one term on the federation’s board in 1980.
Since 1980, Dr. Shore has been a student and teacher at the universities of Saskatchewan, Brandon and Manitoba. He graduated with a BA from Brandon University in 1982, an MA in history in 1983 from the University of Manitoba; and a PhD in history in 1991 from U of M. He joined the Native Studies department at the U of M in 1984.
Dr. Shore has been awarded the U of M Outreach Award, the Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Dr. and Mrs. Sanderson Award for Excellence in Teaching 2005.
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair recently released the award-winning book, Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water. In this collection of writing by Manitoba Aboriginal peoples over the past 300 years, he and co-editor Warren Cariou shatter the stereotype that Indigenous cultures were only “oral” and did not write.
Always aiming to bring Indigenous issues into public consciousness, Sinclair is a regular commentator for CTV, CBC and APTN and is a member of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba’s speakers bureau. His critical and creative work can be found in books such as The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Guardian, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. He is also the co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories.
Sinclair is an associate professor of Native studies and teaches courses in Indigenous literatures, cultures, histories and politics. He is originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) First Nation and is a proud Treaty One member.
The average Canadian doesn’t know much about what happens in our far north. Chris Trott helps to bridge this gap through focusing his work on northern and Inuit issues.
In a recent paper, Trott shares how polar bears are integral to Inuit understandings of gender: they symbolizes a third gender that is neither male nor female, but also both male and female.
Trott also edits a book series called Contemporary Studies on the North. These publications allow us to challenge our misconecptions of and better understand Canada’s North through sharing groundbraking research and empahsizing works by and about Inuit and First Nations peoples.
Interested in learning more about and sharing Inuit perceptions of climate change, Trott translated and advised on the production of Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change. In the world’s first Inuktitut language film on this topic, viewers learn from hunters and elders – true experts of the land – and come to see that climate change is a human rights issue affecting Inuit peoples today.
Trott is the warden and vice-chancellor of St John’s College and an associate professor of Native studies. His other teaching and research interests include missionaries and colonialism in the north and political development of the north.
Dr. Wuttanee (Cree, Red Pheasant First Nation, Sask.) researches Aboriginal economy, community economic development, participatory research methodologies, governance, social responsibilty and leadership. She is also director of the Aboriginal business education program, where her work examines the strength of the community and the gifts Aboriginal people bring to the business table.
Dr. Wuttanee is interested in the role of tradition, culture and gender in the decision-making process used by communities in developing and implementing their economic development strategies. Her work in the community includes board positions and committee work around issues of education, business and culture. She participated in the 2003 Commonwealth Study Conference in Australia for future leaders entitled People First in a Global Community. Her exploration of a community-based perspective of economic resilience is outlined in her recent book Living RhythmsL: Lessons in Aboriginal Economic Resilience and Vision.
Dr. Wuttanee’s current research projects include sitting as co-chair of the financing node for the linking, leveraging learning social responsibility project, and as advisory committee member for the Urban Aboriginal Economic Development Network and for the Assembly of First Nations end First Nations poverty committee.