Queen's University

Evelyn Poitras

Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Gender Studies
LinkedIn profile for  Evelyn Poitras


I am Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree and Saulteaux) from the Peepeekisis Nation in Treaty Four Territory (now known as Saskatchewan). Currently in my third year of doctoral studies at Trent University, I am completing a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Gender Studies at Queen's University.

My undergraduate degrees are in Film and Video Studies and Indian Studies, and I have also completed an Honors Certificate in Indian Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Agriculture and Land Management. My interests include the numbered Indian Treaties, Sovereignty issues including Indigenous Governance, and Indigenous community development. I earned my MA in Indigenous Governance in 2015 from the University of Winnipeg, where my thesis focused on Treaty Four Sovereignty and Governance: Emawasakonaman Isicikewina (Gathering the ways of the People) for Peepeekisis Cree Nation and the File Hills Indian Farm Colony. I began my doctoral studies at Trent University where I continued my work on Nitanis (Daughter) narratives and Nehiyawak Iskwewak (Cree Women) roles for Governance and Treaty Enforcement, Treaty Four and Treaty Six. I have worked as a teaching assistant and sessional instructor for courses including "Indigenous Women and Settler History" and "Treaties in the Classroom." Since 2015, I have also been in development for a one-week summer Treaty Law School at Luther College at the University of Regina. I am continuing this development in 2018 with a theme on Women and Treaty to be incorporated into these plans.

I was an elected Headman of Peepeekisis in 2010 and maintain a commitment to my home community and Nation. My personal project work includes the Peepeekisis Kiskimanacihk Treaty Enforcement and the George Poitras Memorial Foundation.  I produced the documentaries:  "To Colonize A People: The File Hills Indian Farm Colony” on the history of my band Peepeekisis, and "Buffalo: A Memorial" that related a personal account of my late father George Poitras' experience in the Qu'Appelle Indian Residential School in Lebret, Sasatchewan in a broader context of other stories of healing and reconciliation.

Part of my proposed research is on Nikawiy (mother) to Nitanis (daughter) narratives on the Nehiyaw Iskwew role in governance, leadership, and Treaty enforcement with particular focus on Treaty Four and Treaty Six.

Most Recent Project

Nikawiy to Nitanis narratives for inherent role of Nehiyawak Iskwew in Governance and Numbered Indian Treaty Enforcement: Treaty Four and Treaty Six

niya askitako piasew iskwew.
I am Blue Thunderbird Woman.

Nikawiy narratives including Mother to daughter, nation to nation, spirit and intent, and Treaty Enforcement will be based on nikawiy (my mother's) teachings that I will interpret as my inherent role as Nehiyaw Iskwcw (Cree woman) specifically for governance and numbered Treaty Enforcement. My proposed methodology is also based on Circle of Life, Pimalisiwin, Calendar (Poitras, 1996) curriculum that is related and included in the "universe is listening to me" paskwaw moostoos Treaty Law School (Poitras, 2016). We are from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation in what is now known as Saskatchewan. My mother osawasrimahkoop iskwew is originally from Onion Lake on what is now the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Peepeekisis is in Treaty Four territory and Onion Lake is in Treaty Six territory.

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Other Projects

  • To Colonize a People: the File Hills Indian Farm Colony

    Video entitled "To colonize a people: the File Hills Indian farm colony" by Queen's researcher Evelyn Poitras. Video still of a man riding a horse in a field amongst cattle.The File Hills Indian Farm Colony operated on the Peepeekisis Indian Reserve in southern Saskatchewan between 1900 and 1932. The Colony brought together select graduates from Indian Industrial and Residential Schools for the purpose of farming, community development and, ultimately, assimilation. Although celebrated nationally and politically as a success, the Colony was also an admitted experiment with human lives and social engineering, meant to solve the "Indian Problems." 

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