Winter 2016 Student Presentations

All Student Presentations will take place in Dunn 106

10:30am: Rebecca Dafoe

“The Determinants of Indigenous Mental Health in Canada: An Empirical Analysis”

Micro data from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey are used to investigate the differences in the determinants of mental health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in Canada. My research examines the gap in mental health by comparing patterns in self-reported mental health, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders using independent variables such as socio-economic status, demographics, and environmental factors. Binary and order probit models are used and compared across samples. Analyzing distal determinants of health, such as the role of residential schools and cultural continuity, provides insights into the deeper causes of the Indigenous health gap.


11:10am: Saskia van Walsum

“Reindeer and the Living Landscape: A Changing Sami Vision of Life”

This paper discusses the Sami vision of life, and how it is changing as a result of pressures from the rest of Scandinavia. A traditional view of the world, closely tied to the reindeer herds and tempered by a healthy respect for a conscious landscape, is beginning to take on a political angle, encompassing the position of the Sami within the rest of Scandinavian society. By looking at Sami arts, economics and lifestyle, I explore the Sami vision of life, what it has been, and what it is becoming.


11:50am: Catherine Stockall

“‘Too Valuable for Black Ownership’: Space and Discrimination in the Struggle for Africville”

Throughout the duration of settlement in Africville, the City of Halifax actively worked to make the community unlivable by denying basic services and encroaching on the land around the community. My project relates this example to historical processes of white settler control of space and racial politics. Using a Foucauldian theoretical lens, I will analyze the power relations implicit in the destruction of Africville. I will begin by giving a brief overview of the history of Black settlement in Nova Scotia, to demonstrate how land has been used by colonial powers to further marginalize and control racialized groups. I will then examine the actions of city officials toward the community to show that it was a deliberate attempt to delegitimize the space of Africville and, thus, justify its destruction. Ultimately, this presentation will conclude that these injustices are found in many historical and current communities in Canada, and that the regulation of space is an issue that extends far beyond the borders of Africville.


1:30pm: Sarah Murphy

“Storytelling: Speaking Truth in Canada’s Era of Decolonization”

This paper discusses the central practice of storytelling within the context of Indigenous knowledge systems.  The research centers on the written story of a Cree man and the oral traditions practiced by Métis women within the postcolonial context in Canada.  The paper draws on many anthropological sources and Indigenous stories to explore the variety of processes and content that exists within Indigenous systems in a decolonizing Canada.  Identities can be negotiated and transformations can occur through storytelling.  Interactions with dominant cultures and alternative forms of knowledge pose challenges to Indigenous life ways, but their storytelling practices remain an important means of learning and living their culture.


2:10pm: Emma Hassencahl

Indigenous history, politics and my connection between the two

In this Artist Talk, I will be talking about the work I have produced in the Fine Arts program. The work I will be talking about focuses on personal experiences on my own reserve: my upbringing and reserve politics and my views on Indigenous history and politics in Canada.


2:50pm: Jenna Gaudet

“Significant Species and Space in Fort Folly First Nation: To Methodology and Beyond”

Researchers from all fields are drawn to understanding and alleviating the very serious issues of habitat loss and species exploitation. But how do we begin to understand the root causes? One particular answer may seem too simple: start by listening to those who know the species, and use the land. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Adlam, Head of Mount Allison University’s Department of Anthropology, Jenna has been working since September, 2013 to test a three-phase, community-based methodology. Alongside this testing, they have compiled data on significant species and spaces in and around Fort Folly First Nation, their community of focus. This project has expanded far beyond its intended scope to explore related themes such as risk assessment techniques, cultural ecosystem services, and story mapping. Stemming from this research, we begin to have a clear picture of important habitats surrounding Fort Folly that may prove useful for future ecosystem protection initiatives. More broadly, the three-phase model may be borrowed and applied in any project seeking foundations built on community-based research.



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