Research Assistants
trained through GRASAC grants

GRASAC has benefitted enormously from the talented students it has been able to work with over the years as research assistants; these positions have been funded by various grants raised by GRASAC members (click here for details on funding GRASAC has received).

Crystal Migwans, photographer extraordinaire, at work in Geneva’s Musée d’Ethnographie, in 2013.

Take a look at the list below to see the names of research assistants who have helped to create GRASAC since 2005. Some of these researchers are also featured in our series of GRASAC profile articles. For more on the history of GRASAC, see our project timeline.

Two of GRASAC’s tech-savvy RAs, Lisa Truong (Carleton University) and Alexandra Taitt (Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville), with GRASAC’s project manager Kate Higginson, at the Woodland Cultural Centre in 2014.

Research Assistant Listing

RA Richard Laurin with Daniel Laxer and Maureen Matthews at the 2014 GRASAC Research Conference.

Name & GRASAC Dates

Program of Study

GRASAC Roles

Shenella Charles (2016-18) PhD student, Department of History, University of Toronto GRASAC Coordinator, working with Heidi Bohaker and Kate Higginson on overall GRASAC administration and planning; member of GRASAC pilot project “Jiingwan: Sounding Out Law.”
Julia Gil (2016-18) Undergraduate student, Humanities, University of Toronto Working with Heidi Bohaker and Kate Higginson on GRASAC communications and project organization.
Wahsontiio Cross (2014-17) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Working with Ruth Phillips and Kate Higginson to conduct research on and document collections for the GRASAC database. Has worked on collections including those of the Royal Ontario Museum, Weltmuseum Vienna, Rochester Science Centre, Peabody Museum of Salem, Peabody Museum Harvard, and Haffenreffer Museum. Member of the Akwesasne Material Culture Archives pilot project.
Dusti Bridges (2016-17) Masters student, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University Working with Dr Kurt Jordan on the GRASAC pilot project: “Translating Onöndowa’ga:’ Archaeology into Stories.”
Zachary Smith (2016-17) PhD student, Department of History, University of Toronto Working with Heidi Bohaker on archival research for the Rice Lake project; member of GRASAC pilot project “Jiingwan: Sounding Out Law”; helped with 2016 GRASAC Gathering at the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Cathleen Clark (2016-17) PhD student, Department of History, University of Toronto Working with Heidi Bohaker on Indigenous rights activism in Canada during the 1960s and 1970s; helped with 2016 GRASAC Gathering at the Woodland Cultural Centre; co-authored profile article on Lewis Debassige.
Orivs Starkweather (2015-17) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Maureen Matthews on creating GRASAC records for the Manitoba Museum; worked with Anne Taylor, Heidi Bohaker, Kate Higginson, and the Curve Lake Elders Council on the Rice Lake 1860 research and exhibit.
Nadia Kaakati (2015-17) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Heidi Bohaker on interface design and conducted a usability study of the GRASAC database. Advisor on redesigning GRASAC’s public website.
Sarah Proulx (2016-17) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Cara Krmpotich and the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Mitchell Mittelstaedt (2016-17) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Cara Krmpotich and the Woodland Cultural Centre; helped with 2016 GRASAC Gathering at the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Naomi Recollet (2015-16) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Heidi Bohaker on documenting GRASAC’s database and adding records to it, participated in the GRASAC meetings at Cornell University and the Woodland Cultural Centre, travelled to Vienna’s Weltmuseum Wien as part of a GRASAC research team, shared research results with the Wikwemiking Heritage Organization.
Alex Nahwegahbow (2011-2016) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips to study and document numerous collections for the GRASAC database, including those of the Denver Art Museum, National Museum of Denmark, Canadian Museum of History, Peabody Museum of Salem and Peabody Museum Harvard, Haffenreffer Museum, and Museum fur Volkenkunde (Netherlands).
Lisa Truong (2011-16) Masters student in Art History, University of Toronto and PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Lisa first worked with Heidi Bohaker and Cory Willmott (during her MA) to create records of items from the Royal Ontario Museum and analyze community consultation data. She then moved on to work with Ruth Phillips on documenting various collections, creating video clips and guidelines for GRASAC, testing our new database, helping to organize the 2014 GRASAC research conference, and participating in the Recovering Voices GRASAC trip to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington.
Christina Williamson (2015) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips and Kate Higginson to test the new version of the GRASAC database.
Emma Knight (2014-15) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Cara Krmpotich and the “Memory, Meaning-Making and Collections” project to document the material culture collection of First Story Toronto at the Native Canadian Centre.
Crystal Migwans (2010-14) Undergraduate student in Intermedia, Concordia University and Masters student in Art History, Carleton University Crystal first worked for GRASAC as a curatorial research assistant with Alan Corbiere at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation where she helped to add Lewis Debassige’s photography collection and oral narratives to the GRASAC database and tested the database with community users. She then came to Carleton where she worked with Ruth Phillips to document numeorus Great Lakes collections, including those at Paris’s Musee du quai Branly, Geneva’s Musee d’Ethngraphie, Musee d’Yverdon, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Canadian Museum of History. She participated in GRASAC’s Recovering Voices trip to the U.S. Museum of Natural History and designed our first public website in 2013. Crystal now sits on GRASAC’s Steering Committee.
Richard Laurin (2013) Masters student, Museum Studies, University of Toronto Worked with Maureen Matthews at the Manitoba Museum to enter Great Lakes items from their collections into the GRASAC database.
Anne de Stecher (2009-12) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips to study and document for GRASAC material culture collections, especially those of the Huron-Wendat, in North America, France, Copenhagen, Stockholm, London, Oxford and Bern.
Nikolaus Stolle (2010-12) PhD student, Anthropology, University of Frankfurt Worked with Ruth Phillips to document Great Lakes items in the Berlin Museum fur Volkerkunde for GRASAC’s database.
Ceara Horsley (2009-2011) Masters student, Anthropology, Southern Illonois University Edwardsville Worked with Cory Willmott to beta test an earlier version of the GRASAC database; helped to draft the GRASAC Users Manual; streamlined workflow for record creation; and documented the collections at the Missouri Historical Museum.
Dana-Lyn Mackenzie (2010-11) Juris Doctor (Law) student, University of British Columbia Worked with Darlene Johnston and Alan Corbiere to compile a listing of the signatures/dodems of 18th and 19th-century Great Lakes Chiefs; created records in the GRASAC database for land deeds and manuscripts from the Detroit area.
June Allison (2009-11) Masters student, iSchool, University of Toronto Worked with Heidi Bohaker to add Great Lakes treaties and associated documents into the GRASAC database.
Gloria Bell (2009-2011) Masters student, Art History, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips, Sherry Farrell-Racette and Cath Oberholtzer to create GRASAC database records for selected Metis and Cree items.
Stacy Loyer (2008-11) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips to study and document material culture collections including at the Woodlands Cultural Centre, British Museum (London), and Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford).
Eric Gauf (2010-11) Juris Doctor (Law) student, University of British Columbia Worked with Darlene Johnston to digitize several 17th-century missionary French-Nishnaabemwin dictionaries and to create a database for these dictionaries that allows them to be searched in modern French, Nishnaabemwin and English.
Kelly Konieczki (2011) Museum Technician, Detroit Institute of Arts Worked with David Penney at the Detroit Institute of Arts to create records for the GRASAC database.
Perry Bebamash (2009-10) Native Language Instructors’ Program, Lakehead University Worked with Alan Corbiere at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation on Nishnaabemwin translations; collaborated with Mary Ann Corbiere and Rand Valentine on creating glossaries and word lists for their Nishnaabemwin dictionary (now in the GRASAC database).
Heather Igloriorte (2008-09) Masters student in Art History and PhD candidate in Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Philips on documenting Great Lakes collections and with Fraser Taylor’s Geomatics & Cartographic group on a cybercartographic atlas of Indigenous artifacts and knowledge.
Margaret Rose (2005-08) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips and Heidi Bohaker to help prepare GRASAC grant applications and organize GRASAC meetings.
Lindsay Borrows (2008) Undergraduate student, Dartmouth University Volunteer research assistant on GRASAC’s research trip to the British Museum
Aaron Mills (2008) Juris Doctor (Law) student, University of Toronto Worked with Darlene Johnston and Heidi Bohaker sourcing and adding to the GRASAC database documents pertaining to the Treaty of Niagara; participated in a GRASAC research trip to the Canadian Museum of History.
Norman Vorano (2006-07) PhD student, Art History, University of Rochester Worked with Ruth Phillips to assist in establishing GRASAC, organized the first GRASAC meetings and consultations.
Crystal Parsons (2005-06) Masters student in Art History, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips and Heidi Bohaker to establish GRASAC’s initial network, space and infrastrure. Helped organize first GRASAC meetings.
Rosalie Favell (2005-06) PhD student, Cultural Mediations, Carleton University Worked with Ruth Phillips and Heidi Bohaker on the Waugh Collections from the Canadian Museum of History.

 

RAs Alex Nahwegahbow and Wahsontiio Cross documenting an otter bag made by GRASAC member Jamie Jacobs at the Rochester Museum and Science Centre (2016).