Jen Argan

Jen Argan

MA student


Brian Thom


Space, place, knowledge and power

I would like to acknowledge my presence on the indigenous lands of WSÁNEĆ, Songhees and Esquimalt peoples, and show gratitude to those whose ancestors have lived on this land since time immemorial. As the descendant of uninvited European settlers on indigenous land, I am attempting to grow in my relationship with the land and people here. This includes learning more about my own ancestry and my ancestors' relationships with the land they are from and on Turtle Island.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Alberta, where I took part in a cultural  anthropology field school in Belgrade, Serbia. I have volunteered with environmental and social justice NGOs in Canada and abroad. Following an interest in small-scale organic agriculture, I have worked on organic farms in BC, Quebec and Europe. Since moving to what is now Victoria, I have continued to be fascinated by community agriculture and our relationships with the land.

Under the supervision of Dr. Brian Thom, my master's thesis will explore Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) on Vancouver Island as a way in which First Nations people are securing their land rights under the Canadian legal system. I am interested in how community-led projects can subvert power regimes in Canada and how protected areas are, or are not, part of reconciliation between First Peoples and the Canadian state. I also intend to explore IPCAs as an aid in cultural revitalization, while looking at how cultures necessarily change and adapt over time.