Current Students – Master’s Program

Nathaniel Bruni

Nathan is a second-year M.A. student in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. He graduated from Carleton in 2015 with a B.A. in Law and Political Science with a concentration in Canadian Politics. He also has a Graduate Certificate in Project Management that he received from Algonquin College and is a certified Project Management Professional®.  

Nathan currently serves on Carleton Senate and previously served on GSA Council as a SICS rep. He also sits as the graduate student member on the Senate Executive Committee and has previously sat as a graduate student member of the Senate Quality Assurance and Planning Committee. Nathan was a member of the Editorial Board of the Capstone Series Seminar earlier in 2020. 

Nathan’s research focuses on the rise of the Canadian Right-Wing Extremist Movement, how the impacts of the movement have changed over Canadian history, and how the movement has become mainstream. Nathan’s research also includes issues involving Canadian multiculturalism, white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia.  

Samantha David

Samantha is a third 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.

She is currently with the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton on a part-time basis, looking to expand her understanding of Indigenous knowledge systems and the approaches that can be taken to create space for Indigenous-led innovation, both domestically and abroad.

Currently, Samantha is a planning analyst for the Indigenous Science Liaison Office at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where she facilitates relationship-building activities, scientist cultural competency training and the co-development of research between Indigenous communities and western-trained scientists. She also co-chairs the Indigenous Network Circle and works to increase opportunities for, and the advancement of, Indigenous employees in the public service.

Her academic research interests are focused on innovation driven by Indigenous knowledge systems, 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.

Christopher DesRivières

My name is Christopher DesRivières and I graduated from La Cité Collégiale in 2008 with a degree in Architectural Technology and I began working in the construction industry. After spending over a decade working full-time in construction, I returned to school part-time in 2014, graduating from Carleton University with a Major in Canadian Studies and a Minor in Anthropology. My return to school allowed me to further challenge my understanding of built spaces through a decolonizing lens, and reflect on my own identity as a white, male settler navigating unceded and unsurrendered lands.

I had the privilege to take two graduate-level courses last year though Carleton’s Accelerated Program, which has only reinforced my decision to pursue an MA in Canadian Studies, with a specialization in Heritage and Conservation. I intend to use my professional experiences in construction and architectural technology to guide my MA research, which will examine the ways in which heritage buildings and sites built on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory are used to portray narratives that reinforce settler histories. My main objective is to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the decolonization of heritage sites in the hope to better facilitate the Indigenization of heritage and conservation practices.

Breanna Kubat

My name is Breanna Kubat and I am a second-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 nation branding.

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.


Vanessa Hodge

I completed a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Carleton University in 2020. I am currently enrolled in Carleton’s Canadian Studies master’s program and the Indigenous Policy and Administration graduate diploma.

My experience working with Indigenous peoples and my interest in Canada motivated me to take numerous Canadian and Indigenous literature courses in my undergraduate studies.

In the final year of my studies, I realized that my interest in Canadian and Indigenous affairs extended beyond literature and I began supplementing my literary knowledge of Canada with courses in Canadian history and Canadian studies. I am particularly interested in the implications of what it means to be a settler in a settler-colonial nation, the contemporary debates surrounding Canadian identity, and the politics concerning Indigenous peoples. I examine how colonial institutions are still strongly embedded in our society, even—or especially—at the different levels of government.

Jack Hollinger

I am a second year MA student in the SICS Heritage Conservation stream.  I worked for many years in the heritage sector prior to coming to Carleton for graduate school – initially as a carpenter and joiner and later as an educator, coordinating the Heritage Carpentry and Joinery program at Algonquin College’s Heritage Institute.  As a craftsperson I have an intimate relationship with the material world.  I feel the combining of academic and practical pursuits is imperative for the successful understanding and retention of our heritage resources.

I also feel many of these resources – specifically those pertaining to traditional craft knowledge – are essential to a holistic understanding of our national fabric.

My research explores the divide between blue and white collar workers in the heritage sector, the role education can take in bridging this divide, and the capacity for craftsmanship to maintain links between our past and our future.

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.

Greg MacPherson

I am a first-year M.A student in the SICS Heritage Conservation stream. In 2020 I completed my Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S) in Urban Planning at the University of Waterloo, where I had the opportunity to complete several work placements in municipal and private sector planning throughout Ontario.

My research interests include the salvage and reuse of building materials, including those originating from demolished modern and post-modern buildings. In particular, I am interested in how salvage and reuse can be implemented within existing development planning and heritage conservation policy frameworks at the municipal and provincial level. I am also interested in the decolonization of planning systems and how heritage planning can more equally and effectively conserve and support the diverse histories which make up Canadian communities.

In my spare time I love watching sports of all kinds, reading, playing board games, and hiking.

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.

Kelvin Sun

I am a Chinese Canadian that was born in China and have lived there for my entire childhood life. I graduated with a Political Science major with a minor in Canadian studies.

I wanted to pursue a MA degree in Indigenous and Canadian Studies because I believe that as a Chinese Canadian with a thorough understanding of the Chinese culture, I have much to contribute to the discourse and conversation of Canadian Studies. I consider it my duty as a Canadian to understand Canada and the Canadian culture and to share the wisdom that I gather here with the Chinese Canadian community.

Oliver Thorne

Oliver (Ollie) Thorne (he/him) is a nonbinary white settler who resides on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory. Ollie is continuing in Indigenous and Canadian Studies after finding his stride post transfer from the University of Waterloo in his undergrad. Switching from piloting to Canadian studies was a big jump but he would not have it any other way.

Oliver is a trans activist and facilitates Support and Education for Trans Youth (SAEFTY) Ottawa. SAEFTY is the only by-and-for trans youth group and advocacy collective in the Ottawa area. He and SAEFTY advocate for the demedicalization of trans bodies and identities. SAEFTY has presented their work on the treatment of transgender children at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) at national conferences hosted by the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) and the Canadian Bioethics Society.

In his spare time, Ollie enjoys reading literature that challenges colonialism and trying new coffee shops. His go to order is a medium caramel latte with oat milk.”

Jonas Vasseur

I graduated from MacEwan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, and have been working at a museum in the Yukon for a few years now. I am very excited to be enrolled in my first year of an MA in the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University.

I’ve always had an interest in what makes people tick (both now and in the past), and I look forward to a deep dive into another aspect of that through this program at Carleton. Every person has an interesting story to tell, especially with some digging. I love being part of sharing and discovering a new story and I’m hopeful that in the future I can be regularly and directly involved in caring for and researching pieces of our (and others) collective past.

In my spare time I love to get up on a mountain, try a board game, cook a meal, read a book, or play some music.

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.