I completed the requirements for a Collaborative PhD program in Geography with a Specialization in Political Economy in November 2013, and have a longstanding interest in multidisciplinary research.
In the mid-eighties, I studied philosophy and psychology, and focused on developing a holistic model of cognition that incorporated emotion in a balanced way.
Following graduation, I devoted 11 years to reporting the Debates of the House of Commons and revising federal legislation for the Justice Department. This experience provided me with an appreciation of political issues, the relational dynamics involved in the parliamentary processes, policy development and the drafting stages of lawmaking, in addition to the need for critical understanding in all of these areas.
This need for critical understanding led me to pursue an MA in Philosophy, which I completed in December 2005. Studies toward this degree focused on development ethics, including issues related to environmental sustainability. My MA thesis, "Full Responsible Reason and Good Development" presents a holistic view of rationality, both as a bridge between perspectives originating in western European and Anishinaabe world views, and as a good way to view and approach development.
After completing my Master's studies, my focus shifted to people's assumptions about space and place and their relationships to those entities. This interest "naturally" led me to the PhD program in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton in September 2006. In May 2008, I began actively exploring the benefits of applying a cartographic approach to understanding these assumptions when I became the research assistant responsible for creating the Treaties Module of the pilot 'Living' Cybercartographic Atlas for Indigenous Perspectives and Knowledge for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region, which was launched in May 2008.
My doctoral research builds on this initial work and involves the creation of an online, interactive, multimedia (cybercartographic) atlas intended to shed light on the many dimensions of treaty relationships, including those under the Robinson Huron Treaty. It combines many interests, reflects a critical perspective and seeks to contribute to enhanced intercultural understanding and awareness. My doctoral work expands the Treaties Module into an Atlas. With the addition of new maps, map layers and related content, and the working title, the Lake Huron Treaty Atlas, this collaborative ongoing Atlas-making project aims for a comprehensive and context-sensitive presentation of the relationships that characterized the Robinson Huron Treaty signing and survey processes throughout the mid-nineteenth century, in addition to treaty-based and other relationships that continue today.
Although the latest version of the Atlas is still under development, it is available online at lhta.ca. If you have any comments about the Atlas project, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.