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Lakehead researchers receiving $140k in SSHRC Indigenous Capacity and Reconciliation – Connection Grants

Press Release

January 23, 2019 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University researchers are receiving more than $140,000 in SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation – Connection Grants for important studies that will have a profound impact on the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

These projects will:

  • engage Indigenous youth to use video to present research stories about Lac Seul First Nation
  • explore the development of a consultative research process in the resource-based economy using tourism outfitters in Northern Ontario as a case study
  • bring together community members and educators at an Indigenous Mathematics Education Conference at Lakehead Orillia

Dr. Martha Dowsley, associate professor in Geography and the Environment as well as Anthropology, is receiving $50,000 to help create video research stories about Lac Seul First Nation in Northwestern Ontario.

Guided by Elders and following Anishinaabe cultural and storytelling traditions and protocols, youth will interpret research data collected in 2017 with support from Lac Seul and Lakehead University mentors.

This data includes interviews in English and Anishinaabemowin, family and archival photos and archaeological maps, artifacts and drone photogrammetry related to community history and the catastrophic annual flooding of their traditional territory that began in 1929 when Ontario Hydro created a hydro-electric reservoir.

Dr. Dowsley and her team, including Dr. Frederica Oliveira, Dr. Lana Ray and Dr. Scott Hamilton, will present the video projects in Lac Seul First Nation, Thunder Bay, and at an academic conference.

This research speaks directly to reconciliation by recognizing colonial wrongdoings, supporting Indigenous voices in expressing both the multi-generational impacts of past events and the agency of Indigenous people in response to those events, Dr. Dowsley wrote in her funding application.

Dr. Rhonda Koster, Director, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, is receiving $49,935 to gather stakeholders, including government associations and both Indigenous and settler businesses, associated with the hunting and fishing sector to create a consultative research process based on common Indigenous cultural concepts.

Dr. Koster, along with her co-investigator Kevin Eshkawkogan, Executive Director for Indigenous Tourism Ontario, is collaborating with Dr. Brian McLaren from Lakehead University as well as representatives from Lac Seul and M’Chigeeng First Nations, Destination Northern Ontario, and Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario.

The team invited guests to a two-day roundtable event on Manitoulin Island last week, to discuss issues and concerns, and will work together to create a new way of engaging in research and consultations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

The outcome was the development of a collaborative model applicable and transferable across all disciplines of research and the duty to consult for resource-based industries in Canada, and which honours the Indigenous worldview of being in relationship with all aspects of the land.

“At the conclusion of the event, people attending identified our conversations and the outcome as being historic, and that we need to celebrate our victory, however small, in moving us forward towards real truth and reconciliation,” Dr. Koster said.

“I am very excited to attend the national round table in Ottawa in March with Steve Antoine (a member of the team and a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation) to share our learning.”

Dr. Ruth Beatty, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, has found that making connections between math instruction and Indigenous culture can have beneficial effects on students’ learning of math, and on the relationships between community members and non-Indigenous educational allies.

Dr. Beatty is receiving $44,666 to organize an Indigenous Mathematics Conference at Lakehead Orillia that will be held from May 3 to 5 at Simcoe Hall.

Wiidookaadying Gikinoomaagewin: Gindaaswin Kendaaswin – Relationships and Reciprocity: Indigenous Education and Mathematics Conference will build on the work of seven research teams and other community members and educators who have been conducting similar work both provincially and nationally.

The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to contribute to a national dialogue on Indigenous research capacity and reconciliation in education. It will focus on sharing and learning about culturally responsive education and collaborative classroom-based research.

“The SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation – Connections Grants are an important part of implementing the Calls for Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

“We are proud and pleased to have our researchers participate with Indigenous communities in this program,” Dr. Dean added.

Funding from SSHRC also generates support from the federal Research Support Fund to offset the indirect costs of research incurred by universities.

In 2018/19, Lakehead University will receive nearly $2 million in assistance from the Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs of research, which includes costs for supporting the management of intellectual property, research and administration, ethics and regulatory compliance, research resources, and research facilities.

Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation – Connection Grants (one-year grants) Total – $144,601

Dr. Ruth Beatty, Faculty of Education, “Connecting Indigenous and Western Mathematical Ways of Knowing: Building Capacity”, $44,666.

  • Co-applicants:
    • Christina Ruddy,  Omàmiwininì Pimàdjwowin
  • Collaborators
    • Anika Guthrie, Lakehead Public Schools
    • Anne George, Renfrew County District School Board
    • Dr. Beverly Caswell, University of Toronto
    • Colinda Clyne, Upper Grand District School Board
    • Danielle Blair, Ways of Knowing Education Consulting
    • Greer Atkinson, Ogemawahj Tribal Council
    • Heather Lett, Eganville and District Public School
    • Jody Alexander, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
    • Linda Grant, Lakehead University
    • Michael Fitzmaurice, Renfrew County District School Board
    • Pamala Agawa, Keswick High School
    • Robin Debassige, M’Chigeeng First Nation
    • Thecla Neganegijig, Lakeview School

Dr. Martha Dowsley, Department of Anthropology, “When the Snow Blankets the Earth, It is Time to Tell Stories: Using Digital Technology and Indigenous Storytelling to Communicate Research on Lac Seul First Nation’s History”, $50,000.

  • Co-applicants:
    • Dr. Frederico Oliveira, Lakehead University
    • Dr. Lana Ray, Lakehead University
  • Collaborator:
    • Dr. Scott Hamilton, Lakehead University

Dr. Rhonda Koster, School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, “Methods of Indigenous Consultation for Resource-based Research: Moving from tokenism to relationship building in the ‘duty to consult’ for resource based developments, a case study of tourism in Northern Ontario”, $49,935.

  • Co-applicants:
    • Kevin Eshkawkogan Indigenous Tourism Ontario
  • Collaborators:
  • Dr. Brian E. McLaren, Lakehead University
  • David Maclachlan, Tourism Northern Ontario
  • Jeremy Capay, Lac Seul Events Centre
  • Laurie Marcil, Nature & Outdoor Tourism Ontario
  • Neil Debassige, Fuel the Fire TV

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or [email protected]

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

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