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Susan Roy

Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Graduate)

Research and teaching interests

Susan Roy

  • Indigenous history of Canada
  • Global Indigenous issues
  • Canadian social and cultural history
  • Public history
  • Oral history

My research examines the history of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relationships in Canada with attention to cultural performance, resource and urban development disputes, and political activism. I was a guest curator for the award winning, collaborative museum exhibition, c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city, that highlights an Indigenous urban landscape of Vancouver. My book, These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Coast Community, details how the Musqueam First Nation’s legal and cultural expressions challenged public accounts of Indigenous history throughout the 20th century.

My current research includes a collaborative book project that examines the intersections of Sechelt First Nation genealogies, literacies, and colonial encounters on the Northwest Coast; a study of resource development and cultural property disputes in Ontario; and a history of Indian residential schools managed by the United Church of Canada. I also incorporate digital technologies and other forms of multi-media presentation to bring historical research to wider publics.

Courses taught

  • HIST 269     Aboriginal History of Canada
  • HIST 271     Global Indigenous Issues
  • HIST 202     Introduction to Public History
  • HIST 302     Public History Project
  • HIST 403A   Canadian History Seminar
  • HIST 612     Global Indigenous Rights

Areas of graduate supervision

Indigenous history

Canadian social and cultural history

Community-based research methodologies

Oral history

Public history

Recent publications and exhibitions

Guest curator for c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city at the Museum of Vancouver, an exhibition on the Indigenous history of Vancouver, 2015-2020.  http://www.thecitybeforethecity.com

These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Coast Community Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010, 2nd ed 2016.

“Visualizing Nature and Culture: William Taylor’s Murals in the Hall of the Northwest Coast Indian, American Museum of Natural History,” in Antiquities and Nature in the Americas, 1820-1914, eds. Eds. Irina Podgorny, Philip Kohl, Stefanie Gänger. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014.

with Ruth Taylor, “‘We Were Real Skookum Women’: The shíshálh Economy and the Logging Industry on the Pacific Northwest Coast,” in Indigenous Women’s Work: from Labor to Activism, ed. Carol Williams. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2012.

 “A History of the Site: The Kitsilano Indian Reserve,” in Digital Natives, eds. Lorna Brown and Clint Burnham (Vancouver: Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and City of Vancouver Public Art Program, 2012). 

Awards and achievements

Governor General’s History Award for Museums, c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city, with the curatorial team, 2015.

Public History Award, Canadian Historical Association, c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city, with the curatorial team, 2015.

Ontario Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, The History and Politics of Indigenous Heritage Sites in Canada, 2014-2019.

SSHRC Insight Grant (principal investigator), The Indigenous Archive: Sechelt Genealogy, Literacy, and the Colonial Encounter, 2015-2017.

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (co-applicant with Allan Downey, principal investigator McGill), Ratiristakehron (Haudenosaunee Ironworkers): Indigenous Economies, Identity, and History on the High Steel, 2015-2017.

SSRHC Partnership Development Grant (principal investigator), The Marpole Project: The History and Politics of Indigenous Heritage Sites in Canada, 2013-2015.

Education

  • B.A. University of British Columbia
  • M.A. Simon Fraser University
  • Ph.D.  University of British Columbia
Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo
Contact information: