M.A.: Archaeology, Simon Fraser University (2012)
B.A. (Honours) Joint Archaeology & First Nation Studies, Simon Fraser University (2008)
Supervisor: Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn
Research Areas: Historical Archaeology; Indian Residential Schools; Indigenous Feminism
Indigenous archaeology and traditional knowledge, First Nations and Indigenous Studies; Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest Coast regions, contact period and colonialism, intellectual property
My PhD research questions the role that the residential schools played in affecting Aboriginal girl’s identities, and how the praxis of daily life crafted gender through the built environment and materiality of the residential schools. I am interested in questions concerned with how dominant power, moral and social ideologies were used in increasing attempts to control Aboriginal women regardless of customary roles or traditional knowledge. Institutions such as the residential school shaped the lives of Aboriginal girls by embedding western ideals of femininity in habitus. Modelled behaviour, appearance and clothing, personal possessions, and household goods informed respectability, and Aboriginal girls were taught a Christian home life geared towards removing them from their otherwise savage, morally degraded, and uncultured behaviour. Coupled with the materiality and ideology of the dominant culture, resistance and defiance towards these institutions is also a critical component in the analysis of shifting identity. Analytical study of the material culture of residential schools brings tangible meaning to the role of education in crafting gender and (re)creating identity within Aboriginal communities. A deeper understanding of these phenomena and how the materiality of the schools pressured Euro-Canadian gender norms, reveals the lived, real world experience of Aboriginal girls thus contributing to the discourse of Aboriginal women’s experiences with colonialism.
Other Activities: I am a member of SFU’s Indigenous Research Institute (http://www.sfu.ca/aboriginalpeoples/research.html), and contributor to the Active History editorial collective’s initiative on Residential Schools and Aboriginal History in Canada series (http://activehistory.ca/ ).
2015 An Archaeology of Institutional Confinement: The Hyde Park Barracks 1848-1886 [Book Review] by Peter Davies, Penny Crook, and Tim Murray. Historical Archaeology (49)2:146-148.
2015 Being a ‘Good Girl’: Crafting Gender in Indian Residential Schools [Paper Presentation] 2015 Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington.
2014 Being a ‘Good Girl’: Crafting Gender in Indian Residential Schools [Poster Presentation] 2014 Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec.
2013 Being a ‘Good Girl’: Crafting Gender in Indian Residential Schools [Poster Presentation] 2013 Canadian Archaeology Association Conference, Whistler, BC
2013 Teaching a School to Talk: Lessons from the Victoria Jubilee Home. [Paper Presentation] 2013 Canadian Archaeology Association Conference, Whistler, BC
2010 If Not for School, Then for Life: Archaeology of an Indian Residential School. [Paper Presentation] 2010 Canadian Archaeology Association Conference, Calgary, Alberta.
2009 Teaching a School to Talk: Historical Archaeology of the Victoria Jubilee Home, Piikani Reserve, Alberta. [Paper Presentation] 2009 Chacmool Conference, Calgary, Alberta.
2009 (Dielissen, S. and E. Yellowhorn) Teaching a School to Talk: Historical Archaeology of the Victoria Jubilee Home, Piikani Reserve, Alberta. [Poster Presentation] 2009 Canadian Archaeological Association Conference, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
2008 Archaeology and Intellectual Property: Results of a Survey of British Columbian Archaeologists. [Invited Presentation] 2008 BC Archaeology Forum, Sto:Lo Research and Resource Management Centre, Chilliwack, BC.
Encountering Modernity: Piikani Historical Archaeology Project