Jesse Robertson

Jesse Robertson
PhD Student

BA (University of King's College, Halifax); MA Public History (Carleton University, Ottawa)

Area of expertise

The Pacific West; Indigenous-settler relations; Canadian history; Maritime and coastal studies


Jesse’s doctoral research examines histories of marine navigation and colonialism in the Pacific Northwest. His dissertation considers the exchange of navigational knowledge and practices between Indigenous and transpacific mariners, showing how voyages of exploration, hydrographic charts, and lighthouses transformed the coast by permitting newcomers to transit its waves without local consent or assistance.

Jesse has a professional background in historical consulting, having conducted oral histories, Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Studies, and archival research for government, private firms, and Indigenous clients. He has written reports for Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and has authored a historical entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Jesse is a Fellow of the Center of the American West (University of Colorado Boulder) and serves on the board of the Friends of the BC Archives. In his spare time, he can be found playing guitar on his porch or hiking the coast of Vancouver Island.


‘Aid from that unpeopled coast’: Colonial Navigation and Indigenous Intermediaries at the Cape Beale Lighthouse, 1861-1906 (forthcoming). Contribution to Canadian Coastal Histories Workshop (November 2021), L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University. Workshop papers will be submitted to McGill-Queen’s University Press for inclusion in an edited collection.

Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge. Canada’s History. June 14, 2016.

Chinese Students Challenge Segregation. Canada’s History. March 31, 2016. 

Shelburne Race Riots. In The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada. November 19, 2014;