Current Students – Master’s Program


Mackenzie Birdgenaw

My name is Mackenzie Birdgenaw, and I was born and raised in Carleton Place, Ontario. I am a first generation Indigenous student in my first year of pursuing my Master’s in Indigenous and Canadian Studies. I am a member of the Moose Deer Point First Nations.

I was drawn to the School as part of my previous studies in the Museum Studies program at Algonquin College, as well as my work experience with various museums portraying Indigenous histories and peoples. It is my hope that in learning more about the interdisciplinary aspects of the School that I can educate myself further about Indigenous peoples and the considerations of ethically curating collections.

In particular, it is my goal to better my understanding of the political relationships between Canadian and Indigenous peoples, as well identifying aspects and evolution of Indigenous arts and their politics.

In my free time I enjoy camping, writing, and visiting museums.


Nathaniel Bruni

I am a first-year M.A. student in Canadian Studies focusing on Canadian Culture and Nationalisms. I completed my B.A. in Law and Political Science at Carleton in 2015. In 2018, I completed a graduate certificate in Project Management from Algonquin College.

Indigenous and Canadian studies have started to become an interest of mine as of last year when I started taking courses in the school. These courses gave me an avenue to think critically over whether or not Canada is morally good, how Canadian nationalism can impact Canada’s moral standing, and to investigate some of the damaging aspects of the Canadian political economy and culture on various social and ethnic groups within Canada and internationally.

My research interests include looking into how people contribute to the Canadian identity, how Canadian culture has evolved over time, and why certain groups feel they should have more control over the Canadian identity.

Outside of Canadian Studies, I am pursuing my Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification and have an ongoing interest in health and fitness.


Samantha David
Samantha is a first year MA student of Filipino and Mi’kmaq heritage. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor’s of Public Affairs and Policy Management with a specialization in International Studies. Her honors research essay, focused on a comparative analysis of traditional knowledge-western science collaborations through policy frameworks generated in New Zealand, the United States and Canada. With a desire to further her understandings of how international diplomatic tools can be used to compliment a nation-to-nation relationship within Canada, she has opted to continue her research at the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton.

Currently, Samantha is a junior analyst for the International Engagement Division at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where she facilitates scientific diplomacy through her assistance on a number of international files.

Her academic research interests are focused on innovation driven by traditional knowledge, Indigenous-Canadian relationships, global issues and research diplomacy. Samantha spends most of her spare time consuming literature and world news on a regular basis. She is also an active volunteer with Ottawa’s music festival scene and is always seeking out new experiences to broaden her understanding of other cultures.


Breanna Kubat

My name is Breanna Kubat and I am a first year graduate student in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. My research interests are centered around Canada’s international reputation and interactions with the international community. More specifically, I am interested in understanding the origins of Canada’s current international reputation, what, if any potential exists for it to be altered, and the associated consequences both in terms of international relations and the Canadian national identity.

In 2019, I graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Global and International Studies (BGInS) specializing in Global Law and Social Justice and a minor in Canadian Studies. As part of this degree, I had the privilege of studying abroad at Radboud University located in Nijmegen, Netherlands for six months.


Alison Leclaire

Alison LeClaire joined the Federal Government as a foreign service officer after completing a BA in Political Science from York University in 1987. 

 She has represented Canada at missions abroad in Brazil, Sweden and, most recently, in Geneva at Canada’s mission to the United Nations at Geneva.  Her Ottawa professional experience has covered a range of issues, including human rights, environment, China, and policy planning. 

 She currently works at Global Affairs on Arctic issues as well as on relations with Eastern Europe and Eurasia.


Sidney Moran

My name is Sidney Moran, and I am a first year graduate student in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, focusing on Indigenous Studies! This past year I graduated from Brock University with a B.A. in Sociology, specializing in Criminology and minoring in Indigenous Studies. I am originally from a small town called Paris Ontario, which is located on Haudenosaunee land and is very close to Six Nations reserve.

I was lucky enough to work for Indigenous Services Canada this past summer which has illuminated a number of focus areas for my research. My research interests include using an ecofeminist perspective to draw connections between the experiences of Indigenous people worldwide and also examining the importance of decentralized governments.


Nansen Murray

I’m in the second year of the Masters of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, with a specialisation in heritage conservation. I am interested in abandoned mining landscapes in remote areas, I want to explore ways of preserving the heritage of these sites while acknowledging the enviromental impacts they have had and using the heritage to avoid the same issues.

I am doing a major research essay on the Keno Hill Mining District in my home territory of the Yukon. My research will focus on balancing various interest groups including, government, industry and First Nations. I will also explore the tension between, decay, curating decay, and other options such as building relocation and material reuse for sites which cannot be maintained. I will not look at the sites in isolation, but in relation to each other and the broader landscape.


Victoria Pelky

My name is Victoria Pelky, and I am a first year graduate student in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. I was born and raised in a small northern Ontario town called Blind River.

Over the past three years, I completed my Bachelors of Arts with Honors at Trent University. I graduated with a double major in History and French with a minor in Canadian Studies.  In my final year at Trent, I completed my undergraduate thesis which looked at the impact of Regulation 17 on the French Canadian community in Ontario, and the role ACFEO played between 1912 and 1927.

Coming from a small french community and having attended a french school since infancy, I have become very passionate in the fight for French rights in the province.


Avery Steed

Avery was born in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal, Québec) and moved to Algonquin territory in Ottawa a decade ago. A recent alumnus of Carleton University, Avery graduated from the Bachelor of Humanities with a Minor in Indigenous Studies in Spring 2017. Avery’s passion for academia was reinvigorated through the Indigenous Studies courses she took as electives in the later years of her degree.

Avery’s research interests are informed by intersecting themes in her work with various branches of the federal government, academic pursuits in both the Humanities and Indigenous studies, and a passion for the outdoors. During her time working for Banff National Park two years ago, she began to contemplate, as an area of research, the role of Parks Canada as an instrument for nation-building through the creation of the National Park system. She is also interested in the concept of “green colonialism”— that is, when environmental calls to action lead to government intervention despite overlapping assertions of Indigenous sovereignty.

In her spare time, Avery enjoys visiting her four siblings (who reside in varied locations across Turtle Island), growing and propagating plants, hiking, yoga, ballet, and sampling new craft beers!


Catherine Stockall

Catherine Stockall is a first year MA student originally from unceded Mi’kmaq territory in Sackville, New Brunswick. She recently graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Canadian Studies from Mount Allison University, after having completed the Foundation Year Programme at the University of King’s College. Her undergraduate thesis explored the experiences of Indigenous peoples with law enforcement and the construction of Indigenous criminality within the settler state.

Catherine’s current research interests consider the role of heritage sites in maintaining particular manifestations of the settler state. While working at a museum, Catherine noticed the ways that museums construct particular narratives of Canada, focusing on false and sanitized histories of nationhood, while excluding others.

While studying for her Master’s degree, she plans to examine how to challenge the ongoing legacy of settler colonialism through museums and cultural sites.

 


Kiersten Vuorimaki

After graduating with a Bachelor of Humanities with Combined Honours in History from Carleton University a decade ago, I completed a diploma in Applied Museum Studies at Algonquin College. Graduate studies were always the ultimate goal, and after taking a few career related detours, I am back as a first year M.A. student in the SICS Heritage Conservation stream. I also intend to concurrently pursue the ICSLAC’s Curatorial Studies graduate diploma. Heritage places have always fascinated me, as well as the way we identify, value, conserve, interpret and repurpose those places.

During my years working at the Bytown Museum, and the Ottawa Art Gallery, I developed an appreciation for the local cultural organizations of Ottawa, and began to see the divide between the perceptions of local heritage, and national heritage in our city. As a newcomer to Ottawa, it fascinated me how the story of Ottawa as a city is often overshadowed by the importance it holds as the Capital. My Master’s research will explore the built heritage of Ottawa, and specifically how the city was developed after 1857 with the express purpose of functioning as the nation’s capital.

In my free time I am an avid local sports fan, bibliophile and lover of other peoples’ pets. I am also a food and sports writer for the local arts and culture blog apt613.


Andrew Walker

Born and raised in Toronto, Andrew has long sought to find the intersection between Canadian identity, politics, and the arts. After attending St. Michael’s Choir School, he moved to the UK to pursue a career as a professional musician. He returned to study political science and Canadian studies at Glendon College of York University, graduating in 2018 and winning the book prizes for highest graduating average in both of his major subjects. In his final year of study, he undertook an Individualized Study under the supervision of Dr. Colin Coates entitled, “Direct and Indirect Effects of Government Arts Funding: The Perceptions of Four Toronto Choral Music Organisations”. Following his degree, Andrew moved to Ottawa to partake in the Parliamentary Internship Programme.

When not studying, Andrew loves to sing, and has performed with such groups as The Elora Singers, the Theatre of Early Music, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He is always game to talk Toronto Argonauts football and Montreal Canadiens hockey and is excited to start his Masters degree at Carleton.