Current Research

Campus as Living Lands

Co-Principal Investigators: Jeff Corntassel, Nancy Shackelford, and Tara Todesco

Funding: University of Victoria Strategic Impact Fund

Project Term: July 2021-June 2024

In February 2021, a special online campus conversation on Indigenous approaches to climate solutions, sustainability and well-being was held by local Indigenous knowledge holders Cheryl Bryce, Tiffany Joseph, Marilyn Olsen-Page and Judith Sayers. During the conversations, they discussed what the living history of the lands and waters in around UVic tell people about traditional land-use, colonial impacts, and the interdependence individuals share with these systems. They also shared how coastal peoples are currently addressing challenges of climate change within their communities. The conversation centered around the transformative opportunity UVic has of moving beyond ‘Territorial Acknowledgments’ to action that is grounded in peoples’ relationship to the land and shared responsibility to its restoration and stewardship. This conversation was highly impactful and immediately led the creation of the ‘Campus Living Lands’ project. The goal of this project is to support a suite of land-based learning opportunities to help create tangible relationships with local Indigenous peoples and their living histories on which the UVic campus resides. Additionally, the goal of these opportunities is to increase community participation in the natural ecosystems on campus and in Indigenous approaches to sustainability and climate resilience. This project is informed by an advisory composed of Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ knowledge holders, and members of the UVic Indigenous faculty and student community.

CALL Team standing together on a sunny day

For more information please visit Campus as Living Lands.

Infrastructure Beyond Extractivism: Material Approach to Restoring Indigenous Jurisdiction

Co-Principal Investigators: Dayna Nadine Scott and Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

Funding: SSHRC Partnership Grants

Project Term: 2022-2028.

Conflicts over extraction and its infrastructures have intensified between Indigenous peoples and colonial governing bodies, dominating the political landscape over the past decade, and catalyzing a fierce Indigenous resurgence. Governments have sought to replace the legal and political authority of Indigenous peoples with colonial orders by claiming jurisdiction and using infrastructure to materialize these claims. Infrastructure Beyond Extractivism (IBE): Restoring Indigenous jurisdiction presents a complete transformation in legal, economic, and material relations and practice towards honouring Indigenous rights and authority. The goal of this transformation is to cultivate a more just and sustainable future for all those who live and work on the land. The overarching goal of the project is to determine how a “just transition” to sustainable economies can be imagined and infrastructured to foreground Indigenous governance systems. Specifically, CIRCLE’s partnership (led by Heidi Stark) with IBE is centered around Indigenous Law, Land-Based Learning & Knowledge Exchange. The objectives for this area of the project are to develop new initiatives for land-based learning about Indigenous laws and practices for exercising jurisdiction, produce new knowledge about legal tactics and negotiating strategies for re- gaining jurisdiction over specific lands and processes of decision-making, and foster new and reinvigorated venues for knowledge exchange. The IBE project offers an agenda for fundamentally re-making our socio-technical systems, both conceptually and building infrastructure.

For more information please visit Infrastructure Beyond Extractivism.

Borders in Globalization SSHRC Partnership Program

Co-Principal Investigators: Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Jeff Corntassel

Funding: SSHRC Partnership Grant

Project Term: 2021 - 2028

The Borders in Globalization (BIG) research program examines the concept that borders are primarily understood as sovereign territorial boundaries that emerge out of international treaties. Increasingly, border policies straddle sovereign boundary lines, and networked policies overlap many different jurisdictional scales, such as the sovereign territories of states. Additionally, contrary to what conventional wisdom dictates, contemporary borders in globalization are processes that are often fundamentally linked to movements around the world, rather than territoriality. BIG has collected evidence documenting how bordering policies and processes increasingly disregard the territorial limits of states and have at times implemented borders thousands of kilometers away from their international boundary line.

Specifically, CIRCLE’s partnership (led by Jeff Corntassel) with BIG is centered around Indigenous internationalism. The objective for this area of the project is to look inside of states at how Indigenous awareness and resurgences affects, fragments, and re-drafts intergovernmental relations during an era where the politics of nationhood and nationalism are becoming increasingly prevalent.

For more information please visit Borders in Globalization.

Archipelagos of Indigenous-Led Resurgence for Planetary Health

Co-Principal Investigators: Hōkūlani Aikau, Heather Castleden, Jeff Corntassel, Tatiana Degai, Heather Igloliorte, Melissa Nelson, Carey Newman, Nicole Redvers, Deondre Smiles, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

Funding: CIHR and SSHRC

The goal of Archipelagos of Indigenous-Led Resurgence for Planetary Health is to develop globally impactful research that works towards reconciling the damaging done to the health of the plant, people, and human relations. Our aim is to use this research to demonstrate how place-based evidence for Indigenous-led resurgence can be synergized across “Island” sites to create an “Archipelago” of transformative change for planetary health. By using the proof-of-concept approach, we aim to support Indigenous resurgent practices that create healthier lands and healthier people by addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and food-water-energy insecurity.

For more information, please see Archipelagos of Indigenous-Led Resurgence for Planetary Health.

British Columbia Network Environment for Indigenous Health and Research (BC NEIHR)

Nominated Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Reading

Funding: CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health

Project Term: April 2020 – March 2025

 The BC NEIHR facilitates and supports capacity for and engagement in Indigenous-led health research that is woven from the values, knowledge systems, protocols, priorities, and leadership of Indigenous communities, collectives and organizations (ICCOs), academic researchers, and students in BC. Our population of focus includes Indigenous peoples (on- and off-reserve First Nations, Métis and Inuit) living in British Columbia. Beneficiaries of the BC NEIHR include ICCOs as well as Indigenous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in BC.

For more information, please see BC NEIHR.