Dr. Julia Christensen
Canada Research Chair in Northern Governance and Public Policy (2017-2022); Member, RSC College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists (2022)
Department of Geography and Planning
(on leave until June 30, 2024)
I was born and raised in beautiful Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (Denendeh), on Chief Drygeese territory. Yellowknife is my home, but it is not my homeland. As a northerner, second generation Canadian and settler scholar, my work is motivated by the desire to contribute in meaningful ways to the northern peoples and places who have sustained me since I was a child. In so doing, I also seek to build understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through research, writing, teaching, but most importantly, listening and learning.
My work lies at the intersection between social, cultural and health geographies, with a specialization in critical research with northern and Indigenous communities, in particular geographies of home and homelessness, health and housing, colonial formations, northern urbanization, cultural safety in health and social policy, and social determinants of health. I also work with arts-based methods such as creative writing, oral storytelling, and digital storytelling.
I am currently the Project Director for At Home in the North (athomeinthenorth.org), a CMHC- and SSHRC-funded Partnership that brings together over 30 university-based researchers and as many Indigenous and northern community-based organizations and governments. In partnership, we seek to collaboratively address the northern housing crisis through the implementation of action-oriented research and the development of responsive tools to support community-led housing solutions.
PhD in Geography (McGill University)
MA in Geography (University of Calgary)
BA in Geography and International Relations (University of British Columbia)
Christensen, Julia, Steven Arnfjord, Sally Carraher, and Travis Hedwig. Housing and social policy in the Urban North: Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland. University of Toronto Press, 2022.
Goldhar, Christina, Arielle Frenette, Aimée Pugsley, Danielle Browne, Kathleen Hackett, Veronica Madsen, Gillian McNaughton, and Julia Christensen. "Critical Northern Geography: A Theoretical Framework, Research Praxis and Call to Action in our (Post) Pandemic Worlds." ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 21, no. 3 (2022): 270-283.
Christensen, Julia. "Call to Action: Unsettling Topographies." Journal of Architectural Education 74, no. 2 (2020): 173-175.
Christensen, Julia, Steven Arnfjord, Sally Carraher, and Travis Hedwig. "Homelessness across Alaska, the Canadian North and Greenland: A review of the literature on a developing social phenomenon in the Circumpolar North." Arctic 70, no. 4 (2017): 349-364.
Christensen, Julia. No home in a homeland: Indigenous peoples and homelessness in the Canadian North. UBC Press, 2017.
Christensen, Julia. "Indigenous housing and health in the Canadian North: Revisiting cultural safety." Health & place 40 (2016): 83-90.
Christensen, Julia, and Evelyn J. Peters. Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives From Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. University of Manitoba Press, 2016.
Christensen, Julia. "‘Our home, our way of life’: Spiritual homelessness and the sociocultural dimensions of Indigenous homelessness in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada." Social & Cultural Geography 14, no. 7 (2013): 804-828.