Queen's University

Keri Cheechoo

Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Department of English Language and Literature
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I am Cree from Long Lake #58 First Nation and currently a Part-time Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa where I teach First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Education. I am in my third year of the Doctorate in Philosophy in Education (PhD) program at the University of Ottawa and am currently completing a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of English at Queen's University. I came to Ottawa after earning my BA and MA in English and Women's Studies from Lakehead University, as well as my BEd and a post-graduate certification in writing. In addition to mentoring in the Educution Graduate Student Association's Mentorship Program at the University of Ottawa, I also served as a role model for Lakehead University's Nanabijou Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement Program (NAGE). 

l previously held the Research Assistant position on a shared project between the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative at Western University. This role required researching and supporting the development of a database of Indigenous female homicides, conducting qualitative research with stakeholders to identify risk factors associated with Indigenous populations related to domestic homicides, conducting interviews with survivors of attempted homicide or severe domestic violence to identify unique risk factors for lethality, and using my personalized Indigenous Knowledge lens to create and uphold appropriate protocols to be used when approaching First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities.

I was the Regional Representative for Indspire, a national Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous Peoples. I previously worked as Oshkaatisak Coordinator at Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario.

My government-funded doctoral research questions what Indigenous women's stories reveal about public and customary practices, as well as the policies and practices of forced sterilization. Leaning on a praxis that embraces my unique Cree woman's epistemology, I constructed an Indigenous paradigm and an Indigenous methodological framework that connects me in a good way or miyopimatisowin, with my ancestors and future generations. I use an arts-based methodology in the form of poetic inquiry, along with an Indigenous conversational methodology to conduct my research.

Most Recent Project

(Re)Storying Canadian Histories: Reproductive (In)Justice and Indigenous Women

This research questions what Indigenous women's stories reveal about public and customary practices, and policies and practices of forced sterilization. Existing literature points to the higher likelihood of Indigenous women being victimized by state-sanctioned sterilization than their western counterparts who instead had to fight for the ability to have access to voluntary sterilization. From my findings, existing literature calls for further analysis of the relationship between the philosophy of eugenics and connections with reproductive injustice, racism, and Indigenous women.

My research seeks to enact transformative Canadian-FNMI (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) relationships that speak in turn to the educational and reconciliation processes of Indigenizing school curriculum. Our relationships with one another, especially as educators, require an ethically relational pedagogy (a leaning on human relationality or a reciprocity with one another) that seeks to unmask settler colonial accounts of Canadian history. I will be using poetic inquiry in my study because it informs the process of (re)storying and invites readers into the "the research space."

As a Knowledge Seeker, I use proper Indigenous Research Protocol to ensure that protocols and the Tri-Council Policy Statement entitled Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans are strictly adhered to. Protocols put in place by the governance of different First Nations communities will also be strictly followed. I will collect and organize both stories and transcripts, readying them for analysis and an eventual (re)storying in the form of poetic inquiry, while ensuring that I engage in reciprocity with all participants by sharing their (re)storied transcripts with them, gaining and implementing their feedback.

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Other Projects

  • Indigenizing Ivory Towers: Poetic Inquiry, Métissage, and Reconcilia(c)tion

    Cover page of publication entitled Indigenizing Ivory Towers: Poetic Inquiry, Métissage, and Reconcilia(c)tion, co-authored by Queen's researcher Keri-Lynn Cheechoo.In 2018, we gathered on unceded ancestral Anishinaabeg territories of the Algonquin (Omaamiiwininii) First Nations people at least once a month to share stories. We discussed our progressive struggles in relation to our respective programs and our positionality as Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues. We shared conversations about different Indigenous readings and witnessed the sustenance of our collegial relationships transform into valued friendships.

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