Academic Advisory Circle 

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark


Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2008. Her doctoral research focused on Anishinaabe treaty-making with the United States and Canada and serves as the foundation for her manuscript 'Unsettled: Anishinaabe Treaty-Relations and U.S./Canada State-Formation' (In progress, University of Minnesota Press, First Peoples Series). Her primary area of research and teaching is in the field of Indigenous Comparative Politics, Native Diplomacy & Treaty and Aboriginal Rights. She is the co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Jill Doerfler and Niigaanwewidam Sinclair (Michigan State University Press, 2013) and is the co-author of the third edition of American Indian Politics and the American Political System (2010) with Dr. David E. Wilkins.

Alex Wilson


Dr. Alex Wilson is Neyonawak Inniniwak from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is a professor with the Department of Educational Foundations and the Academic Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her BA (Psychology) from California State University, Sacramento in 1994; her EdM (Human Development and Psychology: Psycho-social and Cultural Development) from Harvard University in 1995; and an EdD (Human Development and Psychology) from Harvard University in 2007. Dr. Wilson’s scholarship has greatly contributed to building and sharing knowledge about two spirit identity, history and teachings, Indigenous research methodologies, and the prevention of violence in the lives of Indigenous peoples. Her current projects include two spirit and Indigenous Feminisms research: Two-Spirit identity development and “Coming In” theory that impact pedagogy and educational policy; studies on two spirit people and homelessness; and an International study on Indigenous land-based education.

Lianne Marie Leda Charlie


Lianne is Wolf Clan and Tagé Cho Hudän | Big River People (Northern Tutchone speaking people of the Yukon). Her maternal grandparents are Donna Olsen (first generation Canadian of Danish ancestry) and Benjamin Larusson (first generation Canadian of Icelandic ancestry) and her paternal grandparents are Leda Jimmy of Tánintsę Chú Dachäk | Little Salmon River and Big Salmon Charlie of Gyò Cho Chú | Big Salmon River. She was born in Whitehorse to her mother, Luanna Larusson, and late father, Peter Andrew Charlie. Lianne grew up on the unceded Lekwungen territories in what is commonly referred to as Victoria, BC, where she went to school and university. She is a PhD Candidate in the Indigenous Politics Program in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM). Her research focuses on modern treaty politics in the Yukon. Lianne is mom to Luka Gyo and a multimedia artist. She has created community murals in Whitehorse, Łu Ghą, and Mayo and co-created four pieces for To Talk With Others (Valerie Salez), including a life-size hot pink papîer maché bull moose made out of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Lianne is a faculty member in the Indigenous Governance Degree Program at Yukon University and on the board for Dechinta: Centre for Research and Learning.   

Daniel Voth


Tanshi!  My name is Daniel and I am Métis from the Métis Nation of the Red River Valley.  I descend from a well-respected family of buffalo hunters who lived in Red River while travelling the length and breadth of the northern plains.  I was born, raised, and educated near my family’s scrip land in the inner city of Winnipeg.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Politics at the University of Winnipeg in 2007. Between 2007 and 2008 I served as the lead intern in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly Internship Program where I wrote speeches and researched for both executive council and government members of the legislative assembly.  My doctoral research examined the political and decolonizing relationships between Métis and other Indigenous peoples in Manitoba.  Using the work of Métis scholar and activist Howard Adams, I argue that fractious and uncomfortable political relationships can foster a broad inter-Indigenous decolonizing politics.  I am thrilled to be a member of the Department of Political Science at the world class University of Calgary in the territory of Treaty 7 peoples.

Dr. Sarah Hunt


Sarah Hunt is an assistant professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Geography. She is Kwagiulth (Kwakwaka’wakw) and spent most of her life as a guest in Lkwungen territories. Sarah’s scholarship in Indigenous and legal geographies critically takes up questions of justice, gender, self-determination, and the spatiality of Indigenous law. Her writing and research emerge within the networks of community relations that have fostered her analysis as a community-based researcher, with a particular focus on issues facing women, girls, and Two-Spirit people. Dr. Hunt received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Victoria and her Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. In 2014, was awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal for her doctoral dissertation, which investigated the relationship between law and violence in ongoing settler colonial relations in BC, asking how violence gains visibility through Indigenous and Canadian socio-legal discourse and action. She continues to build on this work, researching geographies of resistance and resurgence in the intimate, everyday relations of Indigenous people and communities.

Tania Willard


Tania is from the Secwepemc Nation, working within the shifting ideas of contemporary and traditional as it relates to cultural arts and production. Often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard has worked as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’ curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, a national touring exhibition first presented at Vancouver Art Gallery in 2011. Recently Willard curated CUSTOM MADE at Kamloops Art Gallery and was selected as one of 5 National curators for a National scope exhibition in collaboration with Partners in Art and National Parks. Her upcoming project co-curated by Karen Duffek will be a solo show, Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun at the Museum of Anthropology. Willard’s personal curatorial projects include BUSH gallery, a conceptual space for land based art and action led by Indigenous artists

Michelle Daigle


Michelle Daigle is Mushkegowuk (Swampy Cree) and a member of Constance Lake First Nation, located in the Treaty 9 territory. She is interested in bringing Geography into critical dialogue with Indigenous Studies to examine colonial-capitalist dispossession (particularly through exploitative extractive development), and Indigenous movements for decolonization and self-determination. Dr. Daigle received her Ph.D. in geography from the University of Washington. Her doctoral work examined how Indigenous land-based food practices, such as hunting and trapping, challenge colonial territorial boundaries while cultivating a multi-scalar decolonial politics that reclaims Indigenous political and legal authorities, and governance practices. Her current research examines resource exploitation and gendered forms of dispossession and violence within Indigenous communities in settler colonial contexts (particularly in her home territory- Mushkegowuk territory). Simultaneously, she is interested in the spatial and gendered politics of Indigenous water governance, as they are entangled in colonial capitalist developments.

Madeline Whetung


Madeline Whetung is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University. She is currently completing a PhD in Geography at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Hunt. Maddy is of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg and Scottish descent and a member of Curve Lake First Nation. Her interdisciplinary research emerges out of her background as a frontline anti-violence educator and advocate as well as land-based practice and revolves around questions of decolonization, gender, race, law, and violence. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation work is focused on drawing together grounded knowledge and practice surrounding accountability for violence and harm across multi-scalar, intercultural, and interethnic queer relationships within the contemporary layered geography of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg territory. Maddy is a past Dechinta land based coordinator.

Riley Kucheran 


Riley Kucheran is an assistant professor in Fashion at Ryerson University. As an Indigenous fashion researcher and academic he supports a global community of Indigenous makers who are leading design resurgence. Riley’s experience in fashion retail and entrepreneurship and his knowledge of Indigenous theory means he sees fashion as a powerful tool for decolonization. Indigenous design is sustainable because it relies on communities to collectively make clothing in a respectful and reciprocal way. In my work Riley tries to bridge Indigenous methodology with research in the creative industries and fashion management while connecting industry partners to communities in mutually beneficial ways. He also has responsibilities in my own community, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, and I is currently completing a PhD with them about how Indigenous creative industries like fashion can mobilize our cultural and economic resurgence. Riley is a past Dechinta alumni and academic coordinator. 

Glen Coulthard


Glen Coulthard is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Departments of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book, the Canadian Political Science Association’s CB Macpherson Award for Best Book in Political Theory in 2014/2015, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book in 2016. He is also a board member and instructor at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, musician and member of Alderville First Nation. She is the author of seven previous books, including newly released, A Short History of the Blockade, and the novel Noopiming: A Cure for White Ladies which was released in the US in 2021by the University of Minnesota Press.  Leanne has released four albums including f(l)ight and Noopiming Sessions, and her new work Theory of Ice. Her latest book, co-authored with Robyn Maynard and entitled Rehearsals for Living: Conversations on Abolition and Anti-Colonialism, is forthcoming in 2022. Leanne is a visitor to the north, and works with the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. She served as a mentor and editor on this