Renewable in Remote Communities – Whitehorse, YK – October 23-26, 2017

The HEC Lab is excited to announce that A SHARED Future team member, Dave Lovekin of the Pembina Institute is hosting a conference in Whitehorse, YK to discuss renewable energy and micro-grid technologies in rural, remote, and northern communities. The conference takes place on October 23rd to 26th, and A SHARED Future team members will be in attendance to present some of our research findings thus far. For more information, or to register, click here.

Castleden and Lewis at the IMGS in Angers, France

HEC Lab director Dr. Heather Castleden, and Diana Lewis, PhD (ABD) are travelling to the University of Angers in Angers, France for the International Medical Geography Symposium (IMGS) to present their research from A’sek (Boat Harbour), Nova Scotia.

Diana Lewis will be presenting her work:
Combining Indigenous worldview and science to measure how land displacement and environmental dispossession are disproportionately effecting Indigenous communities globally.

Following this presentation, Heather Castleden, Diana Lewis, and Sheila Francis will be presenting:
(Don’t) Put it near the Indians: An integrative approach to implementing Indigenous and Western knowledge systems for investigating environmental health injustice in Canada.

For more information on the IMGS, and to see the full program of sessions and attendees, visit:

Castleden Participates in Panel Discussion on Reconciliation and Humanities and Social Science Research

HEC Lab Director Dr. Heather Castleden recently participated in a panel discussion for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The panel, titled, Wise Research Practices: Reconciliation and HSS Research, was monitored by Dr. Peter H. Russel (University of Toronto) and hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The panel was an interdisciplinary session that featured presentations from three leading thinkers – Dr. Margaret Kovach (University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Chelsea Gabel (McMaster University), and Dr. Heather Castleden (Queen’s University) – each of whom explored how HSS scholars could ensure that their research respects and engages Indigenous perspectives and communities. The session provided insight into the current state of HSS research on Indigenous issues, with a focus on the participation of Indigenous scholars and communities; discussed Indigenous methodologies; and offered strategies for conducting respectful, mutually beneficial research with Indigenous peoples.

The HEC Lab at the CAG Conference

HEC Lab Director, Dr. Heather Castleden, along with PhD Candidate Vanessa Sloan Morgan, and Master of Arts Candidate Marc Calabretta, traveled to York University in Toronto, Ontario to engage in academic discussions regarding their respective research.

Heather Castleden chaired a round table session in which Vanessa Sloan Morgan was a participant. The session, titled, Making Space for Community: A Discussion on Community-Based Research in the Neoliberalized Academy also featured Sarah Wakefield (University of Toronto), Luisa Veronis (University of Ottawa), Jon Corbett (UBC Okanagan), and Zoe Meletis (University of Northern British Columbia).

Marc Calabretta gave a presentation titled, Ancient Spirit, Modern Mind: Documenting Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Journey to the Maa-nulth Treaty. The presentation was based on his masters research, which has focused on tracing the journey Huu-ay-aht First Nations embarked on when they began negotiating a modern treaty with B.C. and the Federal government in 1993. He engaged with community-based participatory research and feminist archival methodologies to develop an understanding of how Huu-ay-aht First Nations successfully negotiated and implemented the Maa-nulth Treaty in 2011.

New Publication in Settler Colonial Studies for Vanessa Sloan Morgan

The HEC Lab’s Vanessa Sloan Morgan had her article published in Settler Colonial Studies. Her article, titled,  Moving from rights to responsibilities: Extending Hannah Arendt’s critique of collective responsibility to the settler colonial context of Canada, is available in full at: 

Congratulations Vanessa!

Heather Castleden and colleagues receive Indigenous Mentorship Network Program Funding

HEC Lab Director, Dr. Heather Castleden, has received confirmation that two Indigenous Mentorship Network Program (IMNP) applications in which she is a project team member have received funding from CIHR. The two separate projects, led by Dr. Chantelle Richmond (Western University) and Debbie Martin (Dalhousie University) present a tremendous opportunity to undertake important research, and to continue to foster capacity growth in the Indigenous health research community.

Dr. Chantelle Richmond (Western University) – Mno Nimkodadding Geegi: We Are All Connected – Central Region. Dr. Heather Castleden: Principal Investigator.

Dr. Debbie Martin (Dalhousie University) – Wabanaki Mentorship Network – Atlantic Region. Dr. Heather Castleden: Co-investigator.

New CIHR Project Grant for Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group and Heather Castleden

The HEC Lab is proud to announce that we have received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to continue working with the Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group to develop a documentary film about our research in the A’se’k (known in English as Boat Harbour) estuary.

For the Mi’kmaq of Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN), the estuary adjacent their community, known as A’se’k and the surrounding landscape have provided them with the foods, medicines, transportation, shelter, and tools they have needed to survive and thrive since time immemorial. But for 50 years, a nearby mill has been piping its effluent directly into the waters of A’se’k and pumping its particulate matter out the stacks into the prevailing winds, which directly target PLFN.

Concerned about their children’s health, the Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group mobilized in 2010 to undertake community-based participatory health research. They were concerned for their community’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in relation to the industrial pollution. Bringing academics in, our team has worked together since then to implement a Two-Eyed Seeing approach to research the women’s question: “Are we getting sick from Boat Harbour?”

To date we have been researching the mill’s health impacts using a number of Indigenous and western research methods to meet this goal. Throughout, we have been documenting our journey by collecting film footage for the production of a documentary film. Now we want to share our novel health-related knowledge vis-à-vis a documentary film about our integrative research. Using the film as a catalyst, we can investigate how university-based and community-based researchers across disciplines, professions, and sectors can begin to conceptualize a Two-Eyed Seeing approach in their own research in the spirit of healing and reconciliation in Indigenous health.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Pictou Landing Native Women’s Group!