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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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2016 Conference Schedule

Thursday, January 28th

8:00pm: Board Games and Beer at T&L


Friday, January 29th

6:30pm – 8:00pm: Panel Discussion (Avard Dixon 111)

8:15pm – 9:15pm: Reception at the President’s house

9:30pm – onwards: Social Event (81 Salem)


Saturday, January 30th

10:30am – 12:30pm: Morning Student Presentations (Dunn 106)

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch

1:30pm – 3:30pm: Afternoon Student Presentations (Dunn 106)

6:30pm – 8:00pm: Harsha Walia Keynote Presentation (Owen’s Art Gallery)


Sunday, January 31st

11:00am: Question and answer session with Harsha Walia

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Winter 2016 Conference

This year’s ATLIS conference, “Decolonization: Space, Politics and Knowledge,” will offer engaging presentations encouraging the push back of oppressive, (neo)colonial systems through grassroots knowledge and solidarity building.

This year’s conference will feature a panel discussion composed of Elsipogtog Elder, Noel Milliea, Mount Allison’s Indigenous Affairs Coordinator, Doreen Richard, along with Jenna Gaudet and Emma Hassencahl of the Indigenous Support Group followed by a reception to be held at the President’s house and a house party off campus. The next day will be full of student presentations, followed by a keynote speech presented by Harsha Walia – an activist, organizer and journalist from Vancouver, BC who has been passionately involved with anti-racist, migrant justice, indigenous solidarity, feminist, anti-imperialist and Palestine solidarity movement organizing for over a decade, and has been dubbed ‘one of Canada’s most brilliant and effective political organizers” by Naomi Klein.

You can register online by visiting You can also register in person; there will be a table at the library set up during the day on Tuesday, January 26th and Wednesday, January 27th, as well as a Table set up at T&L on Thursday night, and at the panel discussion on Friday. The $10 registration fees will need to be paid in person, and includes lunch and cover for the house party.

The organizers of ATLIS recognize that this conference will be taking place on unceded Mi’kmaq territory, and that our role as settler colonialists is not just to recognize the histories of violence that have allowed us to occupy stolen land, but also to actively work to ease the injustice we are complicit in.

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Call for Student Presenters

The Atlantic International Studies Organization is looking for student presenters at our 2016 Winter Conference, held January 29th – 31st. This year’s theme will revolve around Decolonization, in both a national and international context.

If you are an undergraduate student who has done research in this area and are interested in presenting at this conference, please send a short 150 word abstract to atlis(at) by Jan. 10th to be considered. This call is open to students from all disciplines.

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Fall 2015 Mini-Conference

Fall 2015 Mini-Conference
On Sunday, November 22nd, from 1 pm – 3pm, in Dunn 108, three fourth year students engaged attendees regarding issues ranging from high school history curricula to global epidemics and national identity. The topics this were some of our most diverse, and we are excited to be further broadening the scope of our conference.

Charlotte Henderson:
“The Role of High School Curriculum in the Development of Canadian Citizenship: A Look at the Alberta Social Studies 20-1 and Nova Scotia Canadian History 11 Curricula”

This study looked at how citizenship is developed in Alberta’s Social Studies 20-1 and Nova Scotia’s Canadian History 11 curriculums with the goal of determining differences in the presentation of citizenship and its impact on students. The theory is that curricula are developed from the selective tradition of a region, and that this impacts how the notions of citizenship are regionally conceptualized. In order to accomplish this, themes from previous research, including the nature of citizenship and official knowledge, the role of social studies, history, textbooks, and teachers in citizenship development, and the economics of education, were assessed. These themes were then applied to a content analysis of the two aforementioned curriculums in addition to a broader analysis of social studies in their respective provinces.

Andrew Rintoul:
“Conceptualizing Global Health Governance: Inadequacies Revealed in the Face of Ebola”

This study uses the 2014 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as a case study to illustrate the inadequacies of global health governance. As was demonstrated by EVD 2014, hegemonic global entities remain unable to adequately respond to epidemics, revealing flaws within global health governance more broadly. Using the theoretical underpinnings of David Roberts in his work, Global Governance and Biopolitics: Regulating Human Security (2010), this study will examine the place of global health governance within the contemporary notion of human security. Will EVD 2014 fundamentally change the way the international community responds to infectious disease epidemics in the future and will global health governance experience the necessary amendments?

James Beirne
“Canadian Foreign Policy and National Identity”
Stephen Harper was widely recognised as having attempted to alter Canada’s national identity. Its approach to foreign policy has been characterised as a shift away from liberal internationalism and towards a more unilateral interventionism. Recent engagement in Iraq and Syria is one policy which apparently represents a step in this direction. But how does a change in policy actually affect a state’s national identity? Constructivist theory has tended to look at the effect of identity on behaviour, but the reverse relationship has been less examined. Actions tend to fit into socially defined roles, so if action changes then we should expect to often see an accompanying change in identity. To study this, we can look at key moments which prompted major, long-term shifts in a state’s foreign policy. If a state acts “out of character”, we can examine how the state responds to this challenge to its identity. If the official identity discourse accepts the challenge and changes in response, we can say the identity has changed.


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14/15 Journal


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2014 ATLIS Conference Schedule

Preliminary 2014 ATLIS Conference Schedule.

Not too late to register!

Click here to view: Conference Schedule


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