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Brielle BeaudinBrielle Beaudin

A Métis woman from St. Eustache, Manitoba

Brielle entered the program with a 4yr undergrad BA in History, while also meeting the requirements for a 3yr BA in French. In 2014, Brielle was fortunate to be the recipient of the Darrel Posey Ethnobiology Fellowship, the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies Harrington Fellowship, the Audreen Hourie Graduate Fellowship, and the University of Winnipeg Graduate Student Scholarship, which have given her significant support as she works towards the completion of her program.  After finishing the required course work for the program in 2013, Brielle is now working towards her thesis research under the supervision of Dr. Shailesh Shukla, which examines the issue of food sovereignty from a Métis perspective. The legal recognition of Métis status in Canada is unusual in other parts of the world and therefore, research on Métis food sovereignty not only adds to the body of knowledge, which suffers from a paucity of research on contemporary Métis issues, but also provides a valuable comparative lens for researchers and policy makers both in Canada and internationally. She is passionate about research and is thankful for the many opportunities that the MA in Indigenous Governance has provided her.

Research interest

Brielle’s research interests are Traditional Métis food systems and its historical development, contemporary perspectives from Métis harvesters on food sovereignty and understanding the legacy of several relevant food related policies that have shaped and are shaping the Métis experience in Manitoba.

Darren Courchene Darren H. Courchene

Sagkeeng First Nation

Darren has attended both Red River College and the University of Winnipeg obtaining a diploma in Aboriginal Self-Government Administration and a bachelor degree in Aboriginal Governance and Religious Studies. He has worked in the field of oral history documentation for over five years in two major research projects – the Treaty No.1 Oral History Project and the Manitoba Treaties Oral History Project. Darren has entered the University of Winnipeg’s Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance for the theoretical training in governance and to explore other methods of collecting, analyzing, presenting, and preserving oral histories. His thesis is tentatively titled: Gaagiikido gaagii-bi-izhisemaagoowin (Articulating an Anishinaabe Oral History Research Methodology).

Jeff DecontieJeff Decontie

Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario.

Member of the community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec.

He obtained his BA in Indigenous Studies from Trent University. He successfully defended his master’s thesis in this program titled, “Indigenous Identities and Nation-Building within Canadian Urban Centres: Relevance for Algonquin Nationhood” in May 2013. Jeff is now studying Common Law at the University of Ottawa.

His research documented historical and contemporary understandings of Indigenous identities, focusing primarily on Indigenous Canadian identity in urban centres. He focused on the reconstruction of Indigenous identities in urban centres through maintaining certain connections to specific places, traditions, and narratives. He then deconstructed and compared western and Indigenous understandings of nation and nationalism. This analysis led to the idea that rebuilding Indigenous nations is a form of justice and equality because it develops the opportunity for nations to determine their own futures. He then applied the literature and theory to the Algonquin Nation in the Ottawa River watershed.

Read more about Jeff’s thesis.

Tamara Margaret DicksTamara Margaret Dicks

Margaret is Oji-Cree/Cree Metis/English of the Peguis First Nation on Treaty 1 territory.

She completed two undergraduate degrees while residing in BC, Bachelor of Music Therapy (Capilano College/Open University) and a Bachelor of Social Work (University of British Columbia). In 1997 Margaret completed a Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Manitoba where she focused her studies on women survivors of child sexual abuse.

Developing a deeper understanding of the impact colonialism has within the lives of Indigenous people brought her to the MA program in Indigenous Governance in 2013. Margaret’s areas of interest include: Indigenous feminism, healing and wellness, the historical and contemporary role of music within Indigenous healing practices, the process of decolonization and acts of resistance.

The end result of her MA studies culminated in a thesis called “Exploring drumming/song and its relationship to healing in the lives of Indigenous women living in the City of Winnipeg”, completed in December 2014. While studying at the University of Winnipeg Margaret received the University of Winnipeg Graduate Studies Scholarship Award for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years and was the recipient of the 2014-2015 Graduate Student of Highest Distinction Award. Following her thesis defense Margaret was accepted into a doctoral program.

Jennifer Keith photoJennifer Keith

Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan. After spending almost a decade living in the NWT and working for the Thcho Dene, she came to Winnipeg to study Indigenous Governance at the University of Winnipeg. In May 2013 she successfully defended her master thesis titled, The Thcho Agreement and Small Acts of Freedom: From Self-Government to Self-Determination.

Jennifer's MA thesis, positions the Thcho Agreement, a modern treaty between the Government of Canada and the Thcho Dene, as an instrument facilitating the eventual exercise of Indigenous self-determination. Her thesis demonstrates that the Thcho are using the new political space created by self-government, which Canada intended to be an agent of further colonization, as a framework for decolonizing by protecting, recovering, revitalizing, adapting and personalizing ways of being that are uniquely Indigenous. She argues that their freedom of thought and action within the self-government structure is a small but subversive act of freedom and such small acts of freedom, can further the re-establishment of the Indigenous right to self-determination.

Jennifer's PhD research builds on the work she did in her MA. Her proposed doctoral thesis will study the intersection of sovereignty between Indigenous Nations and Canada. Beginning from a position of assumed legitimacy of Indigenous sovereignty and using a case study approach, she will work with the Thcho Dene and seek to find ways Indigenous governments can (or perhaps can not) accommodate Canadian sovereignty. It is an attempt to 'turn the gaze around' by focusing on deconstructing the assumed legitimacy of the Canadian state and centering the discussion around how Indigenous people can reconcile and accommodate Canadian sovereignty. Building on her long-standing relationship with the Thcho Dene she is directing her gaze towards Canada in an attempt to disrupt the status quo by assessing Canadian policies and laws to determine their legitimacy in the context of Indigenous sovereignty. From this positionality Jennifer hopes to offer a unique narrative on the relationship between Indigenous Nations and Canada.

Jennifer continues to work with the Thcho Dene on the implementation of self-government and related political development as she pursues her PhD. Her work with the Thcho Government is primarily in the domains of self-government implementation with a keen interest in co-management, aboriginal rights, land rights and consultation, accommodation and negotiation. She has written articles regarding Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination and the Indigenous-state relationship. She also teaches Aboriginal politics at the University of Winnipeg and is a freelance writer with regular contributions in the Manitoban. She lives in Winnipeg with her son Alexander.

Ogimaaginewikwe Colleen Sheryl McIvorOgimaaginewikwe Colleen Sheryl McIvor
Long Plain First Nation

Ogimaaginewikwe has attended the University of Winnipeg obtaining a 4 yr, Bachelor of Arts Degree concentration in Sociology and Political Science. She has worked in the field of Economic and Community Development for over two decades. She has taken the Program of Legal Studies for Native People at the University of Saskatchewan. She now has defended her Master thesis and has completed the University of Winnipeg’s Masters of Arts requirements.

Her research is paradigm shaking and groundbreaking as she unearthed  debwewin (truth) exercising her Anishinaabekwe viewpoint when identifying effects of colonization and the impact this progression had on the roles of Anishinaabe Ogichidaakweg (women warriors/leaders). The application of her Anishinaabe worldview, Anishinaabe language use and the spiritual practice of the Jiisikaan (shake tent method) within this worldview were used in her research. Using this Anishinaabe method was central for gaining an accurate understanding of the impact colonialism may have had on the roles and responsibilities of the Anishinaabe Ogichidaakweg.

Krupskaia Torrez Krupskaia Neiza Torrez Medina

Born and raised in La Paz- Bolivia

Krupskaia has attended to the University of San Andres, in La Paz, Bolivia where she got her law degree. Krupskaia’s early concerns about indigenous peoples  led her to develop her Bachelor Thesis  about  "Indigenous Peoples as New Subjects of International Law" that involved a great deal of research relevant to the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the International arena. Her advocacy and eagerness to learn more about indigenous rights brought Krupskaia to Winnipeg, Canada to do her M.A in Indigenous Governance. This program has allowed Krupskaia to understand the disadvantageous position of Aboriginal people and First Nations in Canada and indigenous peoples worldwide. Overall to better understand Indigenous perspectives and worldviews.  Krupskaia’s thesis research focuses on the analysis of legislation and policies Legislation and Policies Related to Biodiversity, Ancestral Wisdom and Knowledge in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.  Krupskaia is thankful for the many opportunities that the MA in Indigenous Governance has provided her. The Duff Roblin scholarship and the Indigenous Studies Graduate Assistantship program support Krupskaia through her education.

Research interests

Krupskaia is especially interested in undertaking research in the areas of the Aymara life-vision of suma qamaña (Vivir Bien) as an alternative to development, traditional knowledge, genetic resources and International Indigenous rights.

Tanya Rashmi MuthusamipillaiTanya Rashmi Muthusamipillai
Canadian born Sri Lankan Tamil

Tanya graduated from the University of Toronto with an H.B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Tanya gained a passion for learning and advocating for Indigenous rights as a result of educating herself about her own peoples’ struggle for self-determination in Sri Lanka. After taking courses in Aboriginal Politics in university and spending many years volunteering and working with various Indigenous organizations, she realized that she wanted to spend her career dedicated to working on issues related to Indigenous rights and advocacy. As an ally with a long-term goal of becoming a legal advocate for Indigenous rights, Tanya believed it was critical to undertake this MA to better understand Indigenous worldviews and perspectives. The program has also made Tanya realize the critical need for non-Indigenous peoples’ awareness and alliance to advance Indigenous rights and interests in Canada and across the globe. This MA led Tanya to undertaking a practicum with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto of which she successful secured a position as a Research Consultant working in the areas of Cultural Competency and Community Engagement related to identifying Health Priorities for Toronto’s urban indigenous people.   

Research interests

This MA has significantly helped Tanya outline her research interests in the following areas: Indigenous rights, Traditional Knowledge, Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships, resource development and rights and Indigenous-state relationships.       


Evelyn PoitrasEvelyn Poitras
Cree and Saulteaux from the Peepeekisis Nation in Treaty 4 Territory (now known as Saskatchewan)

Evelyn’s undergraduate degrees are in Film and Video Studies and Indian Studies.  Evelyn has also completed an Honors Certificate in Indian Studies and a Post Grad Diploma in Aboriginal Agriculture and Land Management.  Her interests include the numbered Indian Treaties, Sovereignty issues including Indigenous Governance, and Indigenous community development.  Her personal project work includes the Peepeekisis Kiskimanacihk Treaty Enforcement and the George Poitras Memorial Foundation.  Evelyn has completed the documentaries:  "To Colonize A People: The File Hills Indian Farm Colony” on the history of her band Peepeekisis and "Buffalo: A Memorial" a personal family story told within the context of the Indian Residential School experience.

Evelyn's thesis topic is on Treaty Four Sovereignty and Governance.

Greg Querel

Tamara Dionne StoutTamara Dionne Stout

was born in Alberta and is a member of the Kehewin First Nation.

Tamara has an undergraduate degree in Geography from Carleton University in Ottawa. After living in Bogota, Colombia for almost five years, she came to Winnipeg and focused her research on Indigenous territorial rights. Her thesis is entitled Protecting Indigenous Territorial Rights through the Tutela in Colombia.

Previously she has worked with Environment Canada on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and has been a consultant with the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.