Leadership and Pedagogy
My multidisciplinary work, which brings together design, architecture, fine art, and the curating of exhibitions, has established me as a leader in an emerging domain that bridges research, teaching and practice. I have realized high profile projects in Turkey, across Europe, and in Canada, and I am currently utilizing innovative practice-led methods that honor both visual research and the parity of First Nation and Euro-Canadian knowledge traditions. I have developed an internationally respected participatory working process that incorporates traditional community values within the process of design, demonstrates leadership within an ethical practice, and assists and empowers communities with an envisioning process that often involves my students.
Attesting to my leadership are invitations I have received from First Nation communities to develop project partnerships with my students, from territorial education organizations to lead youth and Elder workshops, from academic institutions to discuss the development of research creation. I have advised elected leaders and all levels of government, from municipal and territorial to federal, and been invited to present by national organizations such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Canada Council and the National Research Council.
I am working to expand the role of the practitioner-researcher by being a proactive creative intermediary between knowledge traditions and communities, be they civic, professional, academic, or governmental. My applied research
is recognized for helping facilitate social wellness and cultural continuity through developing innovative sustainable applications and sensitive solutions for the designed environment. As one of the first graduates of a practice-led PhD program in the United Kingdom, I developed a leadership mandate at my former university that helped establish it as one of the world centers for this new type of doctorate. At the University of Alberta, I am helping to develop a new form of scholarship by combining traditional knowledge with a flexible research method honoring practice and experience to develop a new generation of graduate students and researchers who can respond to the complexity of contemporary and environmental issues, none of which can be dealt with within the language and methods of one way of thinking.
I have also been responsible for mentoring new faculty in these methods in order to build capacity for PhD supervision.
My research into correlations between tangible and intangible cultural traditions has helped inform both my curriculum and practices in museology and exhibition design in a variety of museums at territorial, provincial, national and international levels, particularly regarding the interpretation and presentation of indigenous ways of knowing.