Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism Blog

2021 - 2022 EDITION

Table of Contents

This is a living blog, and will update as the year progresses. 

July, 2021

Inclusivity in Education: A Curriculum Roundtable

Aug., 2021

Moving Towards the Margins, Uplifting Voices 

Sept., 2021

Call to recognize Sep 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Alberta

Nov., 2021

Urban Farming and Black Land Sovereignty

Nov., 2021

Post/pandemic: An Invitation to Better Research with Inuit Communities

Image is of an Inuit wall hanging, made of felt. The background is bright red, and stitched on the fabric are felt-stitched images of a drum dancer, an iglu, Arctic animals including the polar bear, seals, whale.

Inuit art hanging on the wall of an office in western Nunavut.

Suzanne Chew


17 NOVEMBER 2021

Suzanne Chew (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. Her research looks at inclusive and participatory environmental decision-making, learning from local communities in Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay in western Nunavut.

On November 17, 2021, our student group had the distinct privilege of hosting IKAARVIK, an Inuit organization working towards research in the North that is both meaningful for local communities, and carried out in ways that align with Inuit Traditional Knowledge, or "Inuit Qaujimaqatuqangit". Inuit Qaujimaqatuqangit is not only a complete knowledge system, it is also a way of seeing and being in the world, encompassing a philosophical worldview and value system. The recording for this event is shared below. 

Together with Shelly Elverum and Justin Sigluk Milton from Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), Nunavut, who lead the IKAARVIK project, we explored how one might carry out good research in the North. While dominant narratives in polar research state that the pandemic has all but ground Arctic research to a halt, researchers who have partnered closely with communities have been able to double down on local relationships to deliver critical research insights. 

How might we change the evolving narrative on what constitutes ‘good northern research’? How might we design funding proposals to encourage research that strengthens communities?


Shelly Elverum is engaging Inuit youth to reclaim their roles as the Arctic’s first scientists, capable of managing resources, determining their cultural and economic futures, and adapting to rapid climate and cultural change in the North. Shelly is a Fellow of the RCGS and an Ashoka Changemaker, a recipient of the Governor’s General for Innovation, and a double laureate of the Arctic Inspiration Prize (Ikaarvik 2013, SmartICE 2016).

Justin Sigluk Milton is an Inuk from Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), Nunavut, and he is the new manager of an Inuit-led group called Ikaarvik. Justin is currently living in Ottawa, and he is passionate about Inuit and the world of science and research. His career background includes working in the federal government as an indigenous outreach worker, as well as working in indigenous, not-for-profit organizations. Justin’s current role as manager (among others) is to identify gaps in Arctic research with the context of Inuit in the North. Building meaningful connections with Inuit and addressing community priorities is key to better research and Inuit engagement in the Arctic.

This conversation is the third in a series of fireside chats by the "Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism" interdisciplinary research working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, led by graduate students. This chat, in particular, was led by Suzanne Chew, a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary, researching environmental decision-making and inclusive public participation in Nunavut.


Watch IKAARVIK's videos:

Learn about IKAARVIK:

Read the full report here: ScIQ: Science & Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit - Research and Meaningful Engagement of Northern Indigenous Communities

Read the IKAARVIK peer-reviewed journal article here: 

Citation: C. Pedersen, M. Otokiak, I. Koonoo, J. Milton, E. Maktar, A. Anaviapik, M. Milton, G. Porter, A. Scott, C. Newman, C. Porter, T. Aaluk, B. Tiriraniaq, A. Pedersen, M. Riffi, E. Solomon, and S. Elverum. ScIQ: an invitation and recommendations to combine science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit for meaningful engagement of Inuit communities in research. Arctic Science. 6(3): 326-339.


Please note: Closed captions in English are available for this video recording - please click on the "CC" button in the player below to enable this. This video is also available in HD - please click on the "Settings" button (the gearwheel) to increase the video quality, depending on your internet bandwidth. 

Suzanne Chew


Urban community in Chicago

Quinn Dombrowski, Wikicommons



Joyce Percel (she/her) is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. Her research interests focus on ways that racialized people, places, and communities are encoded in urban administrative data and represented through software. Her current research investigates how residential property data are represented and transformed for analyses to make urban planning and redevelopment decisions in Chicago, IL. 

On November 3, 2021, the Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism research working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities hosted its second public event, Urban Farming and Black Land Sovereignty 

We had the pleasure of speaking with Bweza Itaagi and Mecca Bey for this event on November 3. Bweza Itaagi is an urban farmer, food justice advocate and horticulturist. She has worked with a range of organizations focused on urban agriculture, community empowerment, and land sovereignty and is passionate about bringing together Black and Brown communities to build solidarity​ and resilience. Mecca Bey is a healing circle keeper, community outreach leader, urban farmer, and a speaker about health and wellness as it relates to farming and community. She is passionate about rebuilding communities and sharing knowledge on living a sustainable life through urban organic farming and growing. Both of our speakers work at Grow Greater Englewood, an organization that connects black urban growers to vacant lots in the neighborhood of Englewood, Chicago. They are also co-owners of the Sistas in the Village, an urban farm located in South Chicago. 

There were over 30 attendees at this event, coming from both the UCalgary community and abroad. The event was set up to be conversational, with a discussion between the speakers and host for the first half, followed by an audience Q&A during the second half of the event. Audience members seemed to have a wide range of interests and backgrounds based on their questions during the Q&A. Questions asked ranged from practical ones about hurdles with city officials about access to land and water to philosophical ones about viewing land and growing food as a way of healing. As evidenced by these questions, the conversation shifted across a range of topics, but the love and passion the speakers had for growing food and caring for land and neighbors was centered throughout the entire conversation.  

I wanted to share some highlights from our discussion that have stayed with me. For those interested in hearing the whole event, a recording is also below. We started recording a few minutes after the event started, so we apologize for anything we missed from the beginning of the event. 

A “clarion call” to provide food for their communities: While they always had a desire to grow healthy, organic food for their communities, they felt the push to move ahead with developing their farm during the initial wave of the pandemic back in spring 2020. Grocery stores in their neighborhoods had noticeably empty shelves, and the panic from the pandemic increased the strain to the routine barriers to food access in their communities. The context of the pandemic highlighted the preventable health issues that were present in their communities because a lack of access to nutritious, culturally relevant, organic food. 

Reclaiming food chains and farming: Bweza and Mecca noted that many of the current food sources available in their communities were not giving people what they needed to survive. Because of this, Bweza and Mecca try to keep all the food they grow in Black and brown communities through business partnerships and a produce stand on their farm. All their business partnerships have been developed through word of mouth, which speaks to a demand for having alternative farmers like them. Any remaining produce is donated to their communities because they believe that being unable to purchase healthy, nutritious food should not be a barrier for access to it. 

They also discussed how food charities that run models for producing large volumes food distribution boxes often don’t consider the type of food that valued in the surrounding community, the nutritional value of the food, or where the food is sourced from. They, along with other local Black and brown farmers, are working on having conversations with these organizations to get them to consider sourcing produce from these farms and are also working on developing their own food boxes which will consist entirely of food from these farms. 

Healing through food and land: Caring for the land, connecting to their ancestors through the land, and giving it all back to their community through food is a big part of the pride and love Bweza and Mecca have for growing food. They emphasize that they are land stewards, not owners. Land stewardship is an Indigenous practice from all around the world, and they recognize that land is a living, breathing entity that we all have a spiritual connection and obligation to. Land is an extension of themselves and if anyone harms the land, they have an obligation to protect it and nurture it.  

“Local” solidarity is not exclusive of broader solidarity: While Bweza and Mecca’s motivations for starting Sistas in the Village stemmed from issues they noticed within their own communities, they see their work as being part of a larger movement. They know that the issues they see in Chicago parallel those experienced in other North American cities like Detroit and Baltimore, and so they are a part of a larger network of Black and brown land and food justice organizers. These solidarity networks are necessary to better address the parallel issues that are present in Black and Brown communities around the country and world.  

Joyce Percel

June, 2021 - About 10,000 people marched from Queen's Park to Nathan Philips Square (Toronto) demanding action on the 215 children found in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School in B.C.

Michael Swan



Suzanne Chew, MSci, MSc, and Harrison Campbell, BE.d, MA. Suzanne and Harrison are the co-convenors for this student-led research working group, Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism. 

In recognition of the 144 years[1] since the signing of Treaty 7 at Blackfoot Crossing in southern Alberta, on September 22nd, we invite students and scholars to renew their relationships with Indigenous communities in Canada, toward honouring the “true spirit and original intent[2] of the treaties.

As part of this, we, the graduate student research working group, “Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism”, call on the Government of Alberta to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which has been federally established for September 30th. This day is an important day of reflection and action intended to bring together Indigenous and settler communities. We believe that it is essential that our government recognize this National Day immediately.   

Here in Southern Alberta, Treaty 7 calls upon each of us to honour the promises of peace and friendship with the Indigenous peoples here – the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, the Stoney Nakoda (comprising the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations), and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

In the oral form of Treaty 7, Indigenous peoples agreed to make peace instead of war, by loaning only “the topsoil of the land and one foot only, to plant seeds to grow wheat for flour”, thus allowing settlers to farm, in exchange for non-interference with and support for Indigenous sovereignty and ways of life such as hunting, as well as when desired, provisions of medicine and food, protection and education. Land was neither surrendered nor ceded[3].

In this, our call to action and personal reflections, we also acknowledge that we are situated on land adjacent to where the Bow River meets the Elbow River, and that the traditional Blackfoot name of this place is “Moh’kins’tsis”, which we now call the City of Calgary.



Suzanne Chew:

As an international student, I remember how shocked I was to learn about Canada’s genocidal colonization of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and the systemic colonialism that endures today. I was even more surprised to learn that as a person living in Calgary, Treaty 7 lays upon me the responsibility of being in-relation with the peoples to whom these traditional territories belong. As Dr. Linda Many Guns[4] says,

“Treaties are not just with government, they’re with all the people the government represents too, so every single person here, in the Alberta Treaty 7 region, is a relation of ours now, and considered a friend.”

In the past many months, with the mounting numbers of unmarked graves of children who did not survive the residential school system, I have seen and felt the heavy hearts and deep grief of my Indigenous friends and communities I have worked with. I seek to become a better Treaty person through learning from, listening to, and uplifting Indigenous voices.

Harrison Campbell:

As a domestic student, who was born and raised within the treaty 7 territory in Southern Alberta I have had to deeply consider my own place within the systemic colonialism which Suzanne mentioned previously. By being in relation to both this place (Moh’kins’tsis/Calgary) and the traditional people of this treaty region I have a responsibility to move forward in a good way – and to do my part in supporting the important work of reconciliation. Suzanne also discussed the importance of relationality above as well as the importance of coming together with Indigenous communities. As a settler on this land, I undertake this work with the guidance of Indigenous community members through the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society (MT7). MT7, which is Indigenous-led and settler-supported, is committed to the promotion of healing through the sharing of Indigenous knowledge. This is done within the mandate of using contemporary and traditional art and performance to tell inspiring stories that educate, entertain and forge relationships across cultures and generations. I fully believe that the arts are transformative and have the power to both educate and to heal. On this, the 144th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 7 and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation I invite us all to reflect on the power of education through the arts as a means of healing and promise to continue my own personal quest to become a better Treaty person through the examples set by Indigenous voices.    

Gwen van der Wijk:

I am an international student, an uninvited guest on Turtle Island and a citizen of the Netherlands, a colonizing nation which has yet to officially recognize and set right most of the harms our nation has done to others. I have only recently begun to learn about and reflect on the devastating impacts of colonialism on people around the world, including Indigenous Peoples in so-called Canada, and my role in upholding and supporting the oppressive systems that were shaped by this process and are still in place today. I know I have a personal responsibility to do much more, but as this is a call to our provincial government I also want to comment on our collective responsibility. While recognizing and respecting everyone's individual journey and all the amazing work some are already doing, I think it is clear that collectively we need to do a lot more. By ‘we’ in this case I mostly mean settlers, as Indigenous People are already working relentlessly to dismantle colonialism, reclaim and live their cultures on their lands, sharing their stories and experiences and telling us what they need us to do through reports and calls to action - it is past time we follow their lead and act on their calls. Recognizing September 30th as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and using that day to learn, reflect and act is the least we can do to collectively work towards Reconciliation.



Watch these short films:

  • ᐃᑭᓖᑦ ᒪᒥᓴᐃᔩᑦ | Wounded Healers (28 min)

ᐃᑭᓖᑦ ᒪᒥᓴᖅᑎᓂᑦ, ᑐᑭᒧᐊᒃᑎᑦᑎᔨ ᕉᒪᓂ ᒪᒃᑭᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᖅ ᐃᖏᕐᕋᓂᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᓴᐃᒻᒪᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᕐᒧᑦ. ᒪᒃᑭᒃ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ, ‘ᖃᓄᖅ ᐅᕙᒍᑦ ᐃᓅᓪᓗᑕ ᓴᐃᒻᒪᖃᑎᒌᒍᓐᓇᖅᐱᑕ ᐅᕙᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ’? ᐱᒋᐊᓚᐅᖅᑐᒥ ᐃᓱᓕᑦᑎᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕈᑕᐅᔪᒥ ᓴᖑᓚᐅᖅᐳᖅ ᐃᓗᑐᔪᒥ ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐃᓅᓯᓕᕆᓂᐅᔪᒥ ᐱᓕᒻᒪᒃᓴᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᔪᒥ, ᓴᙱᔪᐊᓗᖕᒥ ᐊᑐᕐᓂᑯᒥ ᐃᒻᒥᓂᒃ−ᐃᖅᑲᐃᓂᕐᒧᑦ, ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓕᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥ ᖃᓄᖅ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᑲᑐᔾᔨᖃᑎᒌᖑᔪᑦ ᐊᒻᒪ ᐊᑕᐅᓯᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᓅᓯᖏᓐᓂ ᓴᖑᑎᑦᑎᓲᖑᓂᖓᓂ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖃᖅᖢᑎᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᖅ ᓴᙱᓂᖏᓐᓂ.

In Wounded Healers, director Romani Makkik takes us on a personal journey into reconciliation. Makkik asks, ‘how can we as Inuit come to reconcile amongst ourselves’? What started as graduate study research turned into deep engagement with a counsellor training program, a powerful experience of self-reflection, and learning how one organization and one community transforms lives by drawing on its strengths.

  • The Unforgotten (35 min)

Exploring the health and well-being of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples across five stages of life: birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and elderhood. Featuring stories rich in visuals, poetry and music, the film uncovers instances of systemic racism, the impacts of colonialism and the ongoing trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples in the Canadian health care system. The Unforgotten is a five-part anthology. While the film is meant to be watched as a whole, each story can also be watched individually.

  • Angry Inuk
    The anti-sealing industry has had dire impacts on Canada's Inuit families - CBC Docs POV (44 min)

Canada's seal hunt has been protested and condemned for decades, with targeted anti-sealing campaigns and political sanctions having a real impact on the Inuit families that hunt the seal for survival. These families are stewards of the land, but are being punished for their subsistence hunting - and they want to meet these protesters face to face. #CBCdocsPOV

Seal meat is a staple food for Inuit, and many of the pelts are sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are spread across extensive lands and waters, and their tiny population is faced with a disproportionate responsibility for protecting the environment. They are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy, but in opposition stands an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities.

Arnaquq-Baril and her cameras travel through the Canadian Arctic, giving voice to the people the animal activists rarely bother to meet: the hunters, the craftspeople, the families for whom the seal hunt is a critical part of their livelihood and survival. She follows a group of students to Europe, where they plead the Inuit case before a European Union panel.

The film interweaves the reality of Inuit life with the story of their challenge to both the anti-sealing industry and those nations that mine resources on Inuit lands while simultaneously destroying the main sustainable economy available to the people who live there. As one student said, “We need to stop the cultural prejudice that is imposed on us by not being allowed to benefit from our natural surroundings without having to drill into the ground. And that’s really all we want as a people.”

  • nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (English, 52 min) (English, full 1 hr 38 min) (Cree, full 1 hr 38 min)

ohpahowi-pīsimohk kēkā-mitātaht ēhakimiht, nēhiyāsis ēhisiyihkāsot Colten Boushie ēkīnipahiht ēpāskisoht nāway ostikwānihk ēkīsipihtokwēpayicik Gerald Stanley otaskīm wiya asci owīcēwākana. owiyasiwēwak kāwīyasiwātahkik ēwako itwēwak namoya ēmāyinikēt Stanley pikwihtē askiy pēhtācikātēw, kakwēcihikēmonāniwiw iyikohk pakwāsiwēwin ēhitakohk anita kanāta wiyasiwēwinihk ēkwa Colten opēyakohēmāwa ōta askiy ēkwa misiwihtē askiy nīpawistamwak kwayask kapaminikawiyak wiyasiwēwinihk isi. kwayask nansihkāc atoskātam Tasha Hubbard, nīpawistamāsowin: We Will Stand Up ita ēhācimot kākīhotiniht, pēhci-nāway ēwako ōma opaminikēwin ōta kāpaskwāk, ēkwa tān’si ōte nīkān kēsi miyopimātisicik iyiniwawāsisak ōta ēnehiyawāstēk.

māyitōtamowin wāpahcikātēw ōta cikāscēpayis. kwēyāci kiwihtamākawin ēwako pāmayēs kakanawāpahtaman ōma.

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Read these:

  • The Yellowhead Institute’s “Land Back” Red Paper[5], an incisive analysis calling for the repatriation of stolen lands and honouring of treaties, and Indigenous sovereignty on Indigenous terms.
  • “The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7”[6], a riveting collection of Elders’ narratives of the making of Treaty 7, and rich analysis of Treaty understandings among the signatories.

Support these:

  • The Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society (MT7). This Indigenous-led, settler-supported, arts organization and theatre company is committed to the promotion of healing through the sharing of Indigenous knowledge. 



[1] Alex Tesar, “Treaty 7,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2019,

[2] Sarah Carter, Walter Hildebrandt, and Dorothy First Rider, The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 (Montreal, QC.: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996).

[3] Carter, Hildebrandt, and First Rider. Page 145.

[4] Calgary Public Library, “Treaty Day: The Making of Treaty 7,” September 30, 2020,

[5] Shiri Pasternak, Hayden King, and Yellowhead Institute, “Land Back: A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper,” 2019,

[6] Carter, Hildebrandt, and First Rider, The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7.

Open book on green grass, with daisies in front of it


23 JULY 2021

Harrison Campbell, BE.d, MA: Harrison Campbell is a Doctor of Philosophy student at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. His area of scholarship explores the use of theatrical phenomenology in understanding secondary student experiences of literacy. His PhD research has been generously funded by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, through the Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS Doctoral), and The Killam Trusts through the Izaak Walton Killam Doctoral Memorial Scholarship.  

In late July 2021, the Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism research working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities hosted its first public event called: Inclusivity in Education: A Curriculum Roundtable.

This event brought together over forty local UCalgary graduate students, faculty, and community members in conversation with MLA Janis Irwin of the New Democratic Party of Alberta. MLA Irwin was first elected in the neighbourhood of Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood in 2019 and is currently the Critic for Status of Women and LGBTQ2S+ Issues while also serving as the Official Opposition Deputy Whip. Prior to launching a career in politics and becoming an MLA Janis worked in a rural Alberta high school as first a teacher and later a vice-principal. She worked her way up from here into positions with Alberta Education where she would eventually work as the Executive Director for High School Curriculum. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta Janis also holds a Masters degree from the University of Calgary.  

This wealth of both professional and academic experiences made MLA Irwin the perfect guest for a conversation about the proposed curriculum drafts in Alberta. Recent events surrounding the newly proposed curriculum in Alberta have ignited conversations surrounding the integrity of education in this province. Teachers, students, and parents all have concerns surrounding the age appropriateness of content, plagiarism, and worries about who is being left behind or being left out of the drafts as written. These worries brought us together to reflect upon the future of education and classrooms. Discussion was rich with topics such as integrity, ethics, and proper resource development taking center stage. Many attendees raised concerns surrounding the implications of this new curriculum for Alberta schools and families, in particular the lack of consultation with teachers and educational professions as well as concerns around the integrity of certain resources.  

Many in attendance expressed shock that no practicing teachers were on the central committees that provided input into the curriculum. While some members of these committees did have prior teaching experience, it was often many years prior, making them far removed from the modern classroom. It was also pointed out that there is a real lack of resource support within this curriculum draft with librarians raising concerns regarding what will be approved for use, as well as both the risk of, and additional burden placed on, teachers being required to develop supporting materials as they went along. Despite these numerous concerns, however, our vibrant dialogue sparked with hope and resilience. Conversations highlighted how teachers are resourceful professionals who have already been working with an outdated curriculum. While the burden will be larger, given the limitations of the drafts, it is not impossible for teachers to find avenues for effective learning. However, those teachers will need, and deserve, much support. This makes educational research and the work done within post-secondaries to support our K-12 system more important than ever. The Werklund School of Education, for example, is committed to bold solutions for a complex and connected world. Such solutions are exactly what we will need as we move into an uncertain future within Alberta classrooms.

This conversation was the first of many in a series of Fireside Conversations organized by the Voice and Marginality at the Nexus of Racism and Colonialism research working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities. Please keep up to date regarding each of our upcoming events by following along on our website or on our social media pages.

Moving Towards the Margins

Demonstrations held in Syria, where the war is entering its 11th year

Middle East Monitor (March 18, 2021)


6 AUGUST 2021

Suzanne Chew, Co-Convenor and PhD candidate in the Department of Geography

Harrison Campbell, Co-Convenor and PhD candidate at the Werklund School of Education

Welcome! If you are new to this blog, or our working group in general, we explore how the concepts of voice and marginality are intrinsically intertwined with racism and colonialism. 

We endeavour to pay attention to the nuances across our research, asking whose voice is being heard? Who speaks for whom? Western academic spaces are often shaped by power, and Western research paradigms, in general, leave little space for other ways of being and doing. 

We share Mahtani’s (2014) concern that there is an entrenched marginalization of scholars of colour in Western academia despite, paradoxically, the growth of scholarship on race and colonialism. Through this working group’s focus on voice and marginality, we seek to privilege the perspective and priorities of the vulnerable communities with whom we conduct research, across the diverse focus areas of our members, including Indigenous sovereignty, environmental and natural resource governance, curriculum, literacy and participatory communication, with rural and remote communities, Indigenous communities, diasporic and immigrant populations. Both within this blog and within the wider working group, we are seeking to create an inclusive forum for students and faculty for interdisciplinary research and engaged scholarship (Nightingale, 2021) – crucially and critically led by graduate students as active agents of change.  

The space we co-create together here seeks to foster opportunities for both enriched perspectives and revitalized scholarly engagement. We hope that you will join our members for ongoing scholarly conversations relating to critical reflection, racial equity, Indigenous politics and geographies, and innovative ways of sharing scholarship in ways that honour our research communities, such as research storytelling, scholar activism, and more.

We strive, within this group, to model a collaborative, creative, and critical research space stemming from the common call against imperialism and paternalism, toward a new epistemic community that fosters productive intersectionality, praxis, and engaged scholarship. 

We invite you to reflect on your own positionality, and the stories which shape your epistemological and ontological ways of knowing and being in the world. We welcome you to join us in co-creating a space that validates different ways of knowing and being, building relational trust with each other towards a network of solidarity and support. If you are curious to know more, please join us at one of our monthly public meetings, or join our mailing list at   

We look forward to connecting with you over the coming year! 


Mahtani, M. (2014). Toxic geographies: Absences in critical race thought and practice in social and cultural geography. Social & Cultural Geography, 15(4), 359-367.  

Nightingale, A. (2021). Chimeric Scholarship: situated knowledges, mixing methods and the challenges of interdisciplinary research [Conference presentation]. 58th Annual Department of Geography Conference, Calgary, AB. 

We strive, within this group, to model a collaborative, creative, and critical research space stemming from the common call against imperialism and paternalism, toward a new epistemic community that fosters productive intersectionality, praxis, and engaged scholarship.