Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Community Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Terry Mitchell

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Colleen Loomis

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Absolon


This multiple manuscript dissertation project contributes to a larger case study research project examining Matawa First Nation experiences of negotiating a proposed mining project known as the “Ring of Fire.” Nine independent First Nations located in the Treaty 9 territory in Northern Ontario, comprise a collective regional organization called Matawa First Nations. These First Nations have a long history of living their Ancestral ways of trapping, fishing, and gathering from the lands. During the early 20th century, the southern Matawa communities began to have contacts with forestry development, but a chromite deposit with an estimated value of 65 billion dollars on Matawa’s traditional territory in 2008 gave rise to interest in mineral extraction across the entire region. In 2012, active communications began with Matawa First Nations to secure access to these lands for development. As a critical Indigenous doctoral student involved in this case study, my interest was to capture first-hand experiences of Matawa Peoples as they contemplate development on their traditional territory. This multiple manuscript dissertation shares three specific areas of interest: the challenge of conducting Indigenous research on lands and culture different than my own, Matawa’s knowledge of Anishnawbe Natural Laws and inherent rights and the communities’ priorities in the face of this proposed development, and lastly the knowledge gained by visiting with Matawa Knowledge Holders to learn the perspectives of leaders and Elders on the proposed development and what they see as future directions for the generations to come.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season