Chelsea Forseth

Chelsea Forseth

MA student


Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier
Andrea N. Walsh


Visual anthropology and materiality

I am a person of mixed ancestry, in short: my father is Sto:lo, Seabird Island First Nation and my mother is a 1st generation British immigrant. I acknowledge and thank the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. I value the opportunity to learn, live and share educational experiences here.

I completed my BA in Anthropology at Vancouver Island University in two halves. I started out my anthropology degree at VIU in 2007, but then I moved to Sweden for 5.5 years to learn Swedish, study Scandinavian archaeology and geology. After realizing my true passion, I moved back to Vancouver Island to complete my anthropology degree and graduated in 2018. During my time at VIU, I developed an anthropology-based podcast called Culture Talks. Guests from the VIU faculty, student body and the community of Nanaimo were interviewed on a wide range of topics such as culture shock, food and identity, field schools and Northwest Coast Pacific archaeology. One of the main goals of Culture Talks is to put the spotlight on anthropology for the public, as the discipline is not commonly present in media and written in academic jargon that is not easily accessible to everyone. Thanks to these podcast ventures, my interest for media use in anthropology has grown.

I was directly offered a position at the Nanaimo Museum after graduation. My interests in inclusion and minority representation in museums grew from my work experience.

Under the supervision of Professor Walsh and Professor Boudreault-Fournier in the Visual Anthropology and Materiality research theme, I will investigate further the phenomenon of “halfies” as described by Abu-Lughod in Writing against Culture. My research will include mixed-cultural identities and how people of mixed cultures are often asked to explain their existence. I will narrow my scope of research specifically to indigenous people of a mixed background on Vancouver Island. As a person of mixed ancestry, this inclusive research is important to me.