School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Indigenous Research Collaboration Day 2021

Weaving sustainable futures for the generations to come: Insights from Indigenous research. 

We envision this event as an opportunity to share experiences about integrating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with Indigenous Research perspectives.  

There will be focus on three specific Sustainable Development Goals:  Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, and Reduced Inequality. 


Registration will close 5pm on Wednesday 3rd November 2021.  All registrants will be provided login details the week of the event.

Full Program Agenda (PDF, 111KB)

Keynote - The Honourable Murray Sinclair, LLB, MSC, IPC

Murray Sinclair(extract from the University Secretariat & Legal Council website)

 15th Chancellor of Queen's University

The Honourable Murray Sinclair’s legal credentials are well known. What is less well known is that he is Anishinaabe and a member of the Peguis First Nation. He is a Fourth Degree Chief of the Midewiwin Society, a traditional healing and spiritual society of the Anishinaabe Nation responsible for protecting the teachings, ceremonies, laws, and history of the Anishinaabe. His Spirit Name is Mizhana Gheezhik (The One Who Speaks of Pictures in the Sky).

He graduated from law school in 1979. He has been involved with the justice system in Manitoba for over 40 years, first as a lawyer representing Indigenous clients, as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Robson Hall, as Associate Chief Judge of Manitoba’s Provincial Court and as a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench. He was the first Indigenous Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.

He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the TRC’s widely influential report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events. In 2017 Governor General Julie Payette awarded him and the other TRC Commissioners the Meritorious Service Cross (Civilian) (MSC) for service to Canada for their work on the TRC.

He was active within the profession and his community and was a member of the faculty of the National Judicial Institute training judges about Indigenous law and social justice issues. He has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001), its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and the CBA President’s medal (2018). He has been named as one of Canada’s Indigenous People’s Counsel (IPC) by the Indigenous Bar Association.

He has received Honorary Doctorates from 14 universities. He retired from the Bench in January 2016, and was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016. He retired from the Senate effective January 31, 2021, to return to the practice of law and to mentor young lawyers. He is currently writing his memoirs.

He has been invited to speak throughout Canada and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of the Commonwealth Courts.  He continues to maintain an active public speaking schedule.

Danton and Nicholas Danton & Nicholas Delbaere-Sawchuk

Danton and Nicholas are Métis from the Red River Settlement, sharing their heritage, research and music of the Indigenous elders they have learned from. As members of the Métis Fiddler Quartet, they were awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award for best traditional album of the year in 2014 for their album Northwest Voyage. Danton is currently completing his undergraduate studies in Geography at Queen’s University, while Nicholas continues to deliver and develop programming in schools.  They hope to inspire others to research and continue heritage practices of all ethnicities and backgrounds.


Good Health and Well-Being

Tyler Twarowski

Tyler Twarowski

I am Tyler Twarowski, Métis from Saskatchewan who now calls northern Ontario home. I am a proud graduate of Queen's University WISE program (M.ED) and currently a doctoral student in Queen's University Ph.D. (education) program. I work in the addictions and mental health field as Director of Service for Canadian Mental Health Association- Cochrane Timiskaming branch.  

Dead Reckoning at the End of the World: an exploration on using Métis traits and adaptations to help navigate critical times

The last Métis buffalo hunter would have faced circumstances out of his control. Much like the last buffalo hunter, our current generation must be prepared to adapt to change. This is necessary because we are living in critical times. The world is dealing with a worldwide pandemic, divisiveness in society, an increase in populism, and the existential threat of climate change. Progress as a proposed solution has been misguided. These challenging times serve both as warning and as opportunity. This research will explore factors that have contributed to navigating catastrophic circumstances by examining traits and characteristics of Métis such as adaptability, tradition, resilience, creativity, humor and a stubborn ability to endure, which could be emulated and/or transitioned to the larger Canadian society. They have gifts which will benefit society, including the ability to traverse two cultural worlds and hybrid thinking.

Key questions informing this work include “What can the Métis trait of adaptability teach us?” and “What features allowed for survival and thriving?” Although we face periods of great change, there have been instructions to never take hope from the people. Indigenous ancestors have laid down directions to correct our path, so we must embrace wisdom it and utilize it in a good way to create change. This research will build on efforts to Indigenize social constructs such as the educational academy and health care in Canada. Indigenization is an intentional, culturally sensitive and appropriate approach to adding Indigenous ideas, concepts, and practices into programs. Indigenizing our society is key to sustainable survival. By foregoing Indigenization, we are missing out on millennia’s worth of ways of living successfully in this world, both socially and ecologically.

Incorporating the use of metaphor and learnings from ancestors is a way of bringing Indigenizing elements into a non-Indigenous setting to contribute in a meaningful way and bring Indigenous worldviews to bear. A case study will illustrate efforts of Indigenization at a mainstream mental health organization, designed to transform the way the organization goes about its work. As this research took place at an organization simultaneously facing worldwide pandemic, homelessness crisis and opioid epidemic, the implications of findings may be significant, as it demonstrates even with these critical events, it was still possible to create the groundwork to Indigenize.


Jodi-Mae John

Jodi Mae John

Jodi John is Mohawk , Bear clan from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory where she has been living and working as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator for 10 years. Jodi has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Psychology from Trent University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from McGill University.  She is a second year PhD student in the department of Geography and Planning working with Dr. Heather Castleden. Her research interests include Indigenous health and Indigenous research methodologies.

Exploring Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawk) values and relationship building with healthcare providers in Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga): Addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Three, Good Health and Wellbeing

Prior to European colonization Indigenous peoples thrived within our own knowledge systems. Today however, Indigenous health disparities exist worldwide. There is growing consensus that colonization is a key determinant of Indigenous health and health inequities. Access to healthcare is likewise recognized as a determinant of Indigenous health. However, the current Canadian healthcare system is entrenched in the western clinical model of care which marginalizes Indigenous ways of being and notions of health creating barriers to engagement for Indigenous people.

As a healthcare provider in my own Kanyen’kehá:ka community of Kenhtè:ke, my clients showed me the potential for improved health outcomes when together we move beyond western clinical professional models of healthcare and engage with our own ways of being. Using Indigenous methodology, I will explore Kanyen’kehá:ka values and ways of relating that are present in relationship building between healthcare providers and clients when both are Kanyen’kehá:ka community members from the same territory. I will examine how these relationships differ from typical western clinical interactions, and how clients perceive these interpersonal relationships transform and impact engagement in healthcare. I will also identify Kanyen’kehá:ka perspectives on “measuring” health.

By centering Kanyen’kehá:ka notions of health and ways of being this project works towards creating healthcare spaces that are safe, engaging, and empowering for Indigenous people and improving Indigenous health outcomes. Further it works towards building a sense of community agency and pride and raising community voice where often we are unheard.


Brittany McBeath

Brittany McBeath

Brittany McBeath is a Kanyen’kehá:ka PhD Candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. She is of mixed ancestry with roots in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. She is currently studying health promotion, completing her research, and training under the supervision of Dr. Lucie Lévesque and in partnership with the Kahnawà:ke Schools Diabetes Prevention Project. Her master’s research explored diverse conceptualizations of wellness by three First Nations communities across Turtle Island using concept mapping as a method for participatory analysis. For her doctoral research she hopes to bridge her current studies and personal interests to explore the intersection of Indigenous language revitalization efforts and community mobilization for health promotion. She can be contacted at


Indigenous approaches to promoting planetary health 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015 provides 17 Sustainable Development Goals positioned to promote planetary health and global prosperity. The third sustainable development goal is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Conventional conceptualizations of health promotion in Canada have been shaped by seminal documents published in 1986, including the Epp Report titled Achieving Health for All: A Framework for Health Promotion (Epp, 1986) and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (World Health Organization, 1986). Since its inception, health equity, social justice, community empowerment, and self-determination have been central to health promotion practice and research.

However, conventional health promotion has not and cannot truly achieve these goals because it is situated within a larger context of systemic racism, and colonialism that devalues the lives of Indigenous people. Research approaches that challenge these colonial systems and seek Indigenous liberation are often described as ‘decolonizing’. Current understandings of decolonizing health promotion within an Indigenous context have informed an Applied Decolonial Framework for Health Promotion that emphasizes the importance of placing self-determination and full engagement of communities at the core of decolonial processes.

The pursuit of the United Nations sustainable development goals for the health and prosperity for all must involve Indigenous peoples and include Indigenous knowledge. This presentation positions the emerging field of Indigenous Health Promotion as a wealth of innovative and sustainable approached to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.


Olivia Franks

Olivia Franks

Olivia Franks is a Kanien’kehá:ka woman who recently completed her master’s degree in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. She is of mixed ancestry with roots in Wahta Mohawk Territory. Her master’s research was completed under the supervision of Dr. Lucie Lévesque and in partnership with Wahta Mohawk Territory. Olivia can be contacted at

Grounding Meals on Wheels Programming in Community Voice and Perceived Wholistic Health in Wahta Mohawk Territory

Food practices and wholistic health are two concepts that have been altered by the colonization of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. Research literature exploring the relationship between current food practices and wholistic health among Indigenous older adults remains sparse. This presentation will discuss a community-based participatory research project that addressed the community-identified need of understanding how the community Meals on Wheels (MOW) program can nourish the perceived wholistic health of the older adults it serves on-reserve in Wahta Mohawk Territory.

Utilizing an Indigenous epistemological stance of the Two Row paradigm and guidance from Wahta’s Community Health and Cultural Healing principles, storytelling sessions were held with 10 older adults living in the community who subscribe the MOW program. A reflexive thematic analysis was undertaken to identify emerging themes from the data following Braun and Clarke (2021).

Four prominent themes emerged from the storytelling sessions, Evolving Food Practices in Wahta, With Age Come Changes in Life, Sourcing Food Locally in Wahta and Continuing to Gather with Food. A community-based conceptual model grounded in the resultant themes will be presented and discussed as symbolic of a community-grounded MOW program that nourishes the perceived wholistic health of the older adults in Wahta Mohawk Territory.

Quality Education

Jackson Pind

Dr. Jackson Pind

Dr. Jackson Pind is currently the Postdoctoral Fellow in Indigenous Education at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. He received his doctoral degree from Queen’s University in October 2021, his dissertation was entitled, Indian Day Schools in Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg Territory, 1899-1978.

Quality Education Through The Decades At Queen's University, 1841-2021

This presentation will share how the term of quality education has evolved through the decades at Queen's University by examining its history of educational programs. By exploring where this institution has been, we can envision new ways of weaving together sustainable solutions for our most pressing educational needs. We must fully understand our past, before being able to effectively integrate the United Nations Sustainability Development goals. Relying on research both at Queen's University Archives, and the Library and Archives of Canada. this presentation will look to the past with an Indigenous perspective to help bring clarity to what it means to provide quality education in 2021.  


Kenneth Gyamerah

Kenneth Gyamerah

Kenneth Gyamerah is a PhD student at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. Kenneth’s PhD research explores the critical role of African Indigenous knowledge systems (AIKS) and African Indigenous pedagogies (AIP) in decolonizing Primary Education in Ghana.

Examining the Critical Role of African Indigenous Knowledge System in Promoting Quality Education in Ghana

Quality Education has been perceived as the potential driver to achieving sustainable development, prosperity and reducing all forms of inequalities. Education is inextricably linked to all UN 17 global goals and thus, a crucial cog in achieving sustainable development. Yet in Ghana, evidence from Education sector reports indicate that most primary school students are failing to achieve minimum proficiency in reading, writing and basic arithmetic despite spending between four (4) to seven (7) hours in school every day for six years or more, a situation described as a global learning crisis.

For decades, the country has been expending much effort at reforming the education sector to improve the quality of educational provision. Whilst these reforms may have succeeded in improving access to education especially in girls’ education, learning outcomes have not kept pace. Over the years, the Ministry of Education in Ghana, under the direct influence and pressure from international aid agencies, development partners and educational policy entrepreneurs often resort to reforms that entail borrowing Euro-centric ideas from beyond their borders as examples of best practice.

This uncritical adoption of perceived best practice in curriculum and pedagogic choice from Europe and North America excludes, marginalises and alienates Ghanaian students as they fail to include Ghanaian students cultural, linguistic and historical experiences, identities, their Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing. Drawing from my current doctoral research at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, this presentation explores the critical role of African Indigenous Knowledge systems in promoting Quality Education in Ghana.


Alice Johnston

Alice Johnston

Alice Johnston is a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Education whose research examines the decolonizing potential of land-based learning in K-12 STEM education. Alice is also the Indigenous Knowledge/STEM program coordinator for the Queen’s University Biological Station.

Decolonizing Grades 7-10 STEM Instruction: The Generation of Guiding Principles and Discovery of Unanticipated Outcomes

Within Canada, research indicates that Indigenous learners are vastly underrepresented in STEM subjects. As a result, there are lower than average numbers of Indigenous peoples employed within and an underrepresentation of Indigenous knowledge in STEM fields. Additionally, STEM fields suffer from the lack of inclusion of Indigenous perspectives. Because Western science, by design, prides itself on being value-free, it struggles to address moral questions regarding how nature should be treated. Combining Indigenous knowledge with the tools of Western science can enable Western science to be applied in a manner that addresses questions of “good or bad,” “right or wrong” in regard to environmental management.

This presentation examines the process through which diverse stakeholders, with funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience program, worked together to produce decolonized grades 7-10 STEM resources intended to engage Indigenous youth in STEM learning and fields. Discussion will focus on principles that should be in place to ensure that STEM learning is decolonized, the challenges faced when creating decolonized STEM learning materials, and the impact creating decolonized STEM learning materials has on diverse stakeholders involved in the process.


Reduced Inequality

Kacey Dool

Kacey Dool

Kacey Dool is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Katarokwi/Kingston. Having received both a BAH and MA from Queen’s University, in Philosophy and Religious Studies respectively, her work addresses the intersections of reproductive histories and (in)justice, the settler-colonial state’s relationship to the ‘Church,’ and Indigenous re-telling of histories through visual and material cultures, as an expression and exploration of her own Métis identity (St. François Xavier, Treaty 1 Territory).

Eugenics in Colonial "Canada": Sterilization, Settler Colonialism, and Reproductive (In)Justice

Sometimes referred to as ‘population control,’ other times ‘better breeding,’ eugenics has held the attention of scientists, politicians, scholars, and even religious leaders, throughout the West since the late-19th century. From 1928 to 1973 both the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia enacted official sexual sterilization legislature resulting in over 3,000 recorded sterilization procedures. Central to so-called “Canada’s” eugenics ideology was racialized rhetoric which supported the dispossession and genocidal treatment of Indigenous people, with a particular emphasis on the gendered nature of the regulation of Indigenous reproductive capacities (namely, women and girls).

My research takes into account the systemic nature of reproductive control, as well as embodied experiences attributed to the promotion and practice of coercive sterilization. These alternate or hidden histories result from a re-engaging of archives that have previously intended to exclude the deeply personal and intimate dimensions of coercive sterilization, as well as highlight the ubiquitous nature of eugenic teaching and ideology throughout various institutional settings (such as the medical field, in academia or the ‘Church’).


Elisha Corbett

Elisha Corbett

Elisha Corbett is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Political Studies and was a Senior Researcher with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She is of Irish and Cherokee decent, currently living in on the unceded territory of the Algonquin peoples in Gatineau Quebec. Her doctoral research compares how mass media and Indigenous media cover and frame murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and Two-Spirit peoples.

Truth and Representation: Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit Peoples in Canadian Mass Media

Presentation Abstract:  In June 2019, The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that the disproportionate and distressing violence Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people experience is genocide. Mass media representation of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit peoples (MMIWG2S) is both a cause and effect of this genocide. This presentation explores how and why mass media continue to partially present the lives of MMIWG2S and the deadly consequences this representation has in redressing this violence.


Dr Tina Dacin

Dr. Tina Dacin

Tina Dacin is the Stephen J.R. Smith Chaired Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behavior in the Smith School of Business.  She is the Director of the Community Revitalization Research Program at the Smith School of Business. Tina’s current teaching is in the areas of AI, bias and ethics, community resilience, social impact and inclusive leadership. Tina is former Chair of the Principal’s Innovation Fund at Queen’s University and former Director of the Centre for Social Impact at the Smith School of Business. Tina’s research interests include cultural heritage, traditions and place-making, social entrepreneurship, and strategic collaboration.  Her work has been published in leading management journals and she has served in a variety of editorial positions for these journals. Tina received her doctorate from the University of Toronto and prior to joining Queen's University, she spent nine years at Texas A & M University.  She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and the Winspear Scholar at the University of Victoria.

Sustain the Future with Imprints of the Past

In partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) we are exploring entrepreneurship in Indigenous contexts especially in the area of food traditions and agriculture. We apply the lenses of cultural and social entrepreneurship and ask the following questions: (1) how can we better understand the challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous entrepreneurs? And (2) is there a role for social entrepreneurship in facilitating opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs? Some of the organizations we hope to partner with include Three Fires at Caldwell First Nation, CharGer Foods and Charles Catchpole, Spirit Bear Coffee and Mary Manette Seafood. In particular, we examine the link between cultural imprinting and the role of entrepreneurs as custodians of tradition.