Indigenous Initiatives: Research

The College supports faculty and student research with and for Indigenous Peoples and communities. Many of these are community-based projects which focus on Indigenous knowledge systems and co-creation of knowledge.

Nokom's House  Faculty & Recent Publications

Canada Research Chair  Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership

"All my Relations"  Dean's Graduate Research Fund

The design of Nokom's House is focused around the kitchen table

Nokom's House

Wellness and good relationships ­are at the heart of the research conducted by a group of community-engaged Indigenous scholars at the University of Guelph.

Nokom's House will be a "grandmother centered" space for research, community engagement, land-based activities and ceremony, built in the U of G Arboretum. This site will encompass gardens, a sacred fire, ceremonial grounds and a granny's cabin/research hub where visiting, cooking, creative work and retreat activity can take place.

About Nokom's House

Faculty & Recent Publications

Faculty from across the College are working with Indigenous communities to co-create ethical, collaborative research that engages Indigenous Peoples in a meaningful way. Many of these projects are conducted with Indigenous leadership using Indigenous methodologies.

Kim Anderson

Kim Anderson is an Indigenous (Métis) scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition. She has spent most of her career working for Indigenous family well-being in Canada and has several publications on Indigenous mothering, Indigenous feminism, Indigenous masculinities and Indigenous knowledge in urban settings. Prof. Anderson is also one of the driving forces behind the Indigenous land-based lab, Nokom's House.

Andrea Breen

Andrea Breen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition. One of her areas of research focuses on storytelling and de-colonizing research methodologies. Prof. Breen co-edited Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships. Prof. Breen is also a collaborator on the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership and a member of the SHARK Social Research Network.

Myrna Dawson

Myrna Dawson is a Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Her research focuses on patterns in and responses to violence against women and femicide. Prof. Dawson's Centre for the Study of Social and Legal Responses to Violence (CSSLRV) is involved in various projects, including the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. A focus area of this initiative is recognizing Indigenous populations' increased vulnerability to domestic homicide.

Minh Do

Minh Do is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Canadian law and politics, public policy, and Indigenous politics. Her work to date has focused on the implementation of the duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia's Environmental Assessment process. She is particularly interested in how judicial decisions structure policy actors' behaviours, choices, and strategies.

David MacDonald

David B. MacDonald is a mixed-race political science professor from Treaty 4 lands in Regina, Saskatchewan, with Trinidad Indian and Scottish ancestry. Prof. MacDonald's work focuses on Comparative Indigenous Politics in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), and the United States. He is the Principal Investigator of the SSHRC grant "Complex Sovereignties: Theory and Practice of Indigenous-Self Determination in Settler States and the International System" (with Sheryl Lightfoot 2017-2022).

Tad McIlwraith

Thomas (Tad) McIlwraith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. He works with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia to document food and resource harvesting practices and to identify the Indigenous rights to land. Prof. McIlwraith has worked as a consulting anthropologist with First Nations communities throughout British Columbia and northern Alberta on projects related to land use planning, local and family history, and traditional knowledge.

Faisal Moola

Faisal Moola is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics. Prof. Moola works closely with a number of First Nations communities in defense of their lands and Treaty Rights, including the Dunne-za and Cree Treaty 8 First Nations in British Columbia, and Grassy Narrows First Nation in Ontario.

Robin Roth

Robin Roth is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics. Prof. Roth's areas of specialization include the social, political and ecological outcomes of mainstream conservation practices and Indigenous-led models of conservation. She and her students work with Indigenous Peoples in Southeast Asia and North America. She is the principal investigator and co-lead of the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership.

Jennifer Silver

Jennifer Silver is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment & Geomatics. Part of her research program examines commercial fisheries, coastal communities and Indigenous fishing rights in British Columbia.

Jeji Varghese

Jeji Varghese is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Prof. Varghese's research interests focus on social aspects of environmental issues, including Indigenous and Western Science knowledge systems engagement in equitable and just socio-ecological transitions.

Anderson, Kim, & Jamie Cidro. 2020. Because We Love Our Communities: Indigenous Women Talk About Their Experiences as Community-Based Health Researchers. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 24(2), 3-17.

Marshall, Rachael, Michele Desjardine, Jana Levison, Kim Anderson, & Edward McBean. 2020. Moving towards Effective First Nations’ Source Water Protection: Barriers, Opportunities, and a Framework. Water, 12(2).

Varghese, Jeji & Stephen Crawford. 2020. A cultural framework for Indigenous, Local, and Science Knowledge Systems in Ecology and Natural Resource Management. Ecological Monographs.

MacDonald, David. 2019. The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential and the Challenge of Conciliation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Moola, Faisal & Robin Roth. 2019. Moving beyond Colonial Conservation models: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas offer hope for Biodiversity and Advancing Reconciliation in the Canadian Boreal Forest. Environmental Review, 27(2).

Nuxnuxskaca cts’e7i7elt (Julianna Alexander), Sáwllkwa (Water), Natali Euale Montilla, and Thomas McIlwraith. 2019. "Doctors and professors aren't the professors of the land": Reflections on the Interconnected Environment with Splatsin Elder Nuxnuxskaca cts’e7i7elt. Collaborative Anthropologies. 11(2):1-25.

Wilson, Shawn, Breen, Andrea, & Lindsay DuPré. (Eds.) 2019. Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Smith, Natasha & Varghese, Jeji. 2016. Role, Impacts and Implications of Dedicated Aboriginal Student Space at a Canadian University. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 53 (4), 458-469.

von der Porten, Suzanne, Lepofsky, Dana, McGregor, Deborah, & Jennifer Silver. 2016. Recommendations for marine herring policy in Canada: Aligning with asserted Indigenous legal and inherent rights. Marine Policy, 74: 68-76.

Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Relationships


Dr. Kim Anderson has been a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Relationships since 2017.

Dr. Anderson's research explores how to revitalize Indigenous relationships involving family and land in urban settings.

This research will develop the knowledge needed to chart pathways to wellness and reconciliation for Indigenous families living in urban environments.


About Kim Anderson's CRC

Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership

The Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP) represents a seven-year program of work hosted by the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, and the University of Guelph.

An Indigenous-led initiative, the CRP weaves together a wide range of partners including Indigenous thought-leaders, organizations, youth and Elders; emerging and established scholars, including several U of G faculty, students, and post-doctoral fellows; prominent conservation agencies and organizations; Indigenous Peoples and Nations; and knowledge mobilization specialists, united in the goal of supporting Indigenous-led conservation in Canada.


About the Partnership

"All my Relations"

"All my Relations," led by Dr. Kim Anderson, is the Indigenous ways of knowing research cluster at the Live Work Well Research Centre. The cluster's work consists of Indigenous mentoring and networking and providing land-based learning and activities.

"All my Relations" works to provide space on campus for Indigenous knowledges and practices. Current research projects involve questions of food sovereignty, how to develop embodied Indigenous feminist practices through performance art, and work with Indigenous men and masculinities.

About "All my Relations"

Dean's Graduate Research Fund

Acknowledging the significant contributions of graduate student research, the Dean's Graduate Research Fund encourages and supports graduate students conducting research that addresses complex, critical issues facing society.

For the 2020-21 academic year, the Dean's Graduate Research Fund is providing funding for research expenses to support graduate student research activities related to issues of systemic and structural racism, decolonization, reconciliation, critical race theory, and the impact of policies and social processes on marginalized communities.


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