Tansi, Dela Waan, Welcome to My Website!

I am Ts’msyen from Lax Kw’alaams, BC, and Mikisew Cree from Fort Chipewyan, AB. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Prior to joining the faculty at U of T, I held a two-year UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California Santa Cruz. 


I earned a B.A.S in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bennett College for Women (2008), an M.A. in Socio-cultural Anthropology (2010), a Ph.D. in Socio-cultural Anthropology (2015), and a Graduate Certificate in Native American and Indigenous Studies (2015) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


My current research focuses on the repatriation of Ts’msyen songs from archives, and foundational issues related to the preservation, management, ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage. My book manuscript, tentatively titled Indigenous Repatriation: Law, Property and Nationhood (in progress) examines various forms of Indigenous repatriation to analyze the colonial power dynamics engendered by the transformation of Indigenous cultural heritage into the property of people, states and institutions unrelated to the source community. It necessarily confronts the contested sites of archives, museums, law, ethnographic collecting practices, cultural appropriation, collective memory, intellectual property issues, and Indigenous rights, while it also disrupts totalizing discourses of Indigeneity, nationhood, property and heritage--including the concept of repatriation itself.


Areas of specialization: Socio-cultural Anthropology and Indigenous Studies


Areas of research: Indigeneity; settler colonialism and decolonization; knowledge and power; culture and society; access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage; Indigenous  methodologies