Advisory Team

Kelly Bull

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Brief Bio.

Chris Cromarty

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Chris Cromarty  is an elder of Wunnumin Lake First Nation. He was born in Big Trout  Lake in 1937 to Eila and Issac Cromarty and lived there until he was eight years of age. He attended Pelican Falls Indian Residential School from 1945-1952 and Shingwauk Indian Residential School from 1952-1956. In 1994 Chris became the acting director of the health department at  Wunnumin.  In the late 1990s, he was the first board chair of the  amalgamated Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, working in  the health field until his retirement. He remains actively involved with foster parenting.

Advisor 3

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Brief bio.

Advisor 4

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Brief bio.

Project Leaders

Janice Forsyth

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  I use my training in history and sociology to show how and why sport is important for understanding Indigenous-settler relations Canada. I focus specifically on the way sports  have been used as  tools for colonization and how Indigenous people have responded to those efforts by taking up sports for cultural regeneration and survival. I am a proud member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. I work at Western University (Canada) where I am an Associate Professor in Sociology and Director of Indigenous Studies. My personal website offers more information about my research experience.

Alexandra Giancarlo

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I am a cultural-historical geographer interested in how cultural politics relate to identity at an individual and group level. I approach these issues through a critical race theory lens and use historical and ethnographic methods that foreground cultural resilience. In addition to my position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University, where my focus is on Crossing the Red Line, I have ongoing research interests in residential schooling and agricultural labour, black Canadian transnational identities, and Louisiana Creoles’ cultural politics.

Research support

Gavin Bennett

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Gavin is a recent graduate of the Master of Library and Information Science program at Western University. He also holds a degree in History and Canadian Irish Studies from Concordia University, which furthered his interest in how colonialism, class, and immigrant experiences intersect. He has a talent for creative writing, which he has put to use for film scripts and gaming production. His background as Irish immigrant leads to interesting questions that have informed this project in useful ways. His main role in Crossing the Red Line is to provide feedback on the overall content and direction of the project and to assist with archival retrieval when necessary. He currently works as a metadata specialist for a boutique information consulting agency.

Fatima Ba'Abbad

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  Fatima graduated from Western University with a B.A. in 2014 and an M.A. in 2017. While at Western, she served as a Teaching Assistant for the School of Kinesiology and a Research Assistant for the International Centre for Olympic Studies. For her Master’s thesis, she interviewed two surviving members of the Sioux Lookout Black Hawks. Her thesis analyzed the role of hockey in their lives as well as how sport facilitated assimilation at the school. Her M.A. research is a cornerstones of Crossing the Red Line, as it was her research that led to the question, "What should we do next?". Fatima now works full-time in the health promotion industry, yet still provides guidance on the overall direction of the project.


Sam Cronk

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Sam is an ethnomusicologist and digital humanities scholar.  His career has taken him to the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Curator of Music), Indiana University (Telecommunications faculty and Digital Archivist), Scripps/Claremont Colleges (Anthropology and Music lecturer, Claremont Scholar and Digital Curator), the National Music Centre (Manager of Exhibitions), and Western University (Boas Papers Project).  He has lectured in Canada and the US, and is grateful to have worked with Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabek, Meskwaki, Kwakwaka'wakw and Salishan communities and organizations over the past 30 years.  He is currently Senior Curator, History, at the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives in Brampton, Ontario.   

Evan Habkirk

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  Evan holds a Ph.D. in History from Western University and an M.A. from Trent University in Canadian and Indigenous Studies. Of note, he has served as a consultant researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on Residential Schools. He continues to research and publish on Indigenous and Newcomer relations, British and Canada Imperil/colonial history politics, and policy, Indigenous and Canadian military and militarism, and the residential school system and Indigenous education. He has also worked on many on-line and public history projects including the Great War Centenary Association of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations, exploring their participation in the First World War (Doing Our Bit).

Taylor McKee

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Taylor  is a Ph.D. Candidate at Western University, working under the supervision of Dr. Janice Forsyth. Taylor’s dissertation research critically explores  intersections between  media, violence, and Western Canadian history. Additionally, Taylor is a  research assistant for the Indigenous Hockey Research Network (IHRN), a  cross-Canadian interdisciplinary initiative funded through a SSHRC  Insight Grant. Taylor’s role with the IHRN involves  helping to situate the continuing tradition of Indigenous hockey in the  context of Canadian history. Furthermore, Taylor is the co-founding  editor of The Journal of Emerging Sport Studies, which fosters new and  emerging views in sport studies.

Braden Te Hiwi

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Braden is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC. As a Maori (Ngati Raukawa and Rangitane) of the Manawatu region of Aotearoa/New Zealand, he is happy to live and work as a guest on the unceeded traditional territories of the Syilx peoples in the interior of British Columbia.  He believes that Indigenous research should prioritize Indigenous approaches, knowledge, strengths, and aspirations, and that it should be contextualized within a critical understanding of the historical legacy and contemporary effects of colonialism. His PhD on the history of physical culture at Pelican Lake Indian Residential School, completed at Western University, forms the other cornerstone to Crossing the Red Line.