Janet Macbeth

Project Review Coordinator

Walpole Island External Projects Program
Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre


After graduating in 2005 with a B.S. in Physics (Astrophysics) from the University of California –Santa Cruz, I moved to Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN) where my wife grew up. In 2009, I joined Dean Jacobs at the Walpole Island Heritage Centre to work as the Project Review Coordinator for the newly minted WIFN External Projects Program which deals with Consultation and Accommodation requests within WIFN’s Traditional Territory.

Research with PWIP

The main focus of my research is to investigate how language in land use policy can be altered to promote better working relationships between First Nations and municipalities. Once enabling language is in place the next step is to actually work on a mutually beneficial project with a municipality. For example, archeological master planning is a priority for WIFN. Historical Indigenous land use along with historical ecology of the area is being collected to better inform these archeological master plans.

Other Research Interests

  • Historical Indigenous land use and historical ecology in Southwestern Ontario and how it can be used to inform modern day land use decisions
  • Tracking the effects of inclusive language in policy to see if it translates to on-the-ground action
  • Developing methods to bring awareness to the general public on Indigenous land use and the continued connection to the land.


  • McLeod, F., Viswanathan, L., Whitelaw, G. S., Macbeth, J., King, C., Alexiuk, E., and McCarthy, D. 2015. Finding Common Ground: A Critical Review of Land Use and Resource Management Policies in Ontario, Canada and their Intersection with First Nations. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 6(1). Retrieved from: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol6/iss1/3

  • McLeod, F., Viswanathan, L., King, C., Macbeth, J., and Whitelaw, G.S. 2014. “2014 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) at a Glance: Changing Tides in Ontario Provincial Planning Policy with respect to First Nations Interests.” Publisher: Authors. [PDF]

  • Viswanathan, L., McLeod, F., King, C., Macbeth, J., and Alexiuk, E. 2013. “Are we there yet? Making inroads to decolonize planning knowledge and practices in Southern Ontario.” Plan Canada, 53, 2, 21-23.

Research in the News

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