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$2.5 million awarded to build Canadian Studies

A collage of headshots of 20 people mentioned in the accompanying article.

September 15, 2022

The Canadian Studies Center was just awarded almost $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education for a National Resource Center grant with the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University (WWU); and a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grant. This is for the 2022-26 grant cycle. These grants will support over a dozen UW and WWU faculty members annually to provide Canadian-content courses, research, and programming. The FLAS grant will fund an additional eight to ten graduate students each year who will gain proficiency in French or an Indigenous language spoken in Canada. Both awards will enable the Center to build expertise in Canadian Studies particularly in the Salish Sea region, Francophone Canada and the Arctic. In addition, projects will develop greater understanding of the role of Indigenous Peoples in Canada in global affairs.

In terms of teaching, the grant will support the following courses:
  • Adam Werle and Jaskwaan Bedard, visiting faculty teaching remotely from Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, Nuu-chah-nulth and Haida (Xaad-Kíl);
  • Andy Meyer, Scandinavian Studies and Jason Young, Information School, core courses in the Arctic minor;
  • Michelle Koutnik, Earth and Space Sciences, and Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, the Task Force on the Arctic;
  • Mia Bennett, Geography; Nadine Fabbi; Josh Griffin, American Indian Studies and Marine and Environmental Affairs; Andy Meyer; Michelle Koutnik; and Jason Young, the first ARCTIC 100 course, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Indigenous Futures: An Arctic Perspective;
  • Robert Pekkanen, Jackson School of International Studies, a new course for the Master’s in Applied International Studies and with the Army War College, JSIS 549: Crisis Negotiation, Arctic Security.

In terms of research the grant will support the work of:

  • Dian Million, American Indian Studies, for her edited book Unsettling Technoscience;
  • Dan Abramson, Urban Design and Planning, for the research project “Collaboration for Cascadia Earthquake Disaster Risk Reduction, Haida Gwaii.”

Regarding programming, the grant will support:

  • Katie Bunn-Marcuse, Art History and Bill Holm Center, Burke Museum, for the annual program “Curating the Conversation: A Series on Northwest Native Art”;
  • Charlotte Coté, American Indian Studies, for annual conference “The Living Breath of wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ: Indigenous Foods & Ecological Knowledge”
  • Erica Dingman, Visiting Scholar, for the annual Arctic in Context podcast series;
  • Hedwige Meyer, French and Italian Studies, for the annual UW in the High School professional development workshop as well as travel funding to develop a new course in Québec Studies – FRENCH 200: Québec History, Politics and Culture.
In addition, the Center will work with the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle and the UW Global Business Center on the annual lecture series “Voices from Canada”; the World Affairs Council on an annual professional development training on the Arctic for K-12 instructors; Title VI centers in the Jackson School on the annual Community College Master Teacher Institute; and UW Libraries on an exhibition on Inuit and the 1906 World Fair hosted at UW.
The UW Canadian Studies Center shares its National Resource Center grant with the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University (WWU) that makes a marked contribution to the strength of the proposal. In the next grant cycle, WWU will be undertaking two faculty hires in Canadian and Francophone Canada Studies significantly strengthening our undergraduate program in Canadian Studies. In addition, WWU heads up the consortium’s K-12 professional development training strongly focused on Indigenous histories, politics, language and cultures in Canada.


“So much of the work of our affiliates and students has to do with gaining a greater understanding of the role of Indigenous peoples in Canada in influencing global relations–a critical area of study.” — Nadine Fabbi, managing director
Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Program

There is no question that the Center’s success with the FLAS grant has to do with the awarding of fellowships in Indigenous language spoken in Canada. To date, we have funded fellowships in ten unique Indigenous languages spoken across Canada, from Vancouver Island, to northern Ontario, to the Arctic. This academic year students are studying French, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Haida (Xaad-Kíl). To see a listing of all of our FLAS fellows and their areas of research interest, click here.

Community & Leadership

The Center draws tremendous strength from five other Title VI centers at the UW. We are proud to have wonderful colleagues and to offer joint programming with four other Title VI Centers in the Jackson School (the Center for Global Studies, East Asia Studies, South Asia Studies and Southeast Asia Studies) and the Global Business Center in the Foster School of Business.

The Canadian Studies Center thanks Richard Watts for serving as our faculty director for the past five years and for his contributions to the successful FLAS and National Resource Center grant proposals. We are thrilled to welcome Patrick Christie, Jackson School and School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, as our new faculty director who will assist the Center in overseeing the success of the current grant project and share his expertise in Salish Sea studies and environmental justice.


“I’m honored to be part of this remarkable collective of people doing excellent work. I can’t wait to learn with and engage in important social change work with our partners.” — Patrick Christie, faculty director

At UW, Nadine Fabbi continues in her 23rd year as Managing Director of the Center and Marion Ferguson in her fifth year as Exchange Manager and Program Coordinator of the Center. At WWU, Christina Keppie serves as director; Kyla Sweet as the consortium’s Education and Curriculum Specialist; and Lisl Schroeder as Department Manager. In addition, our Center benefits from the superb management of the FLAS fellowships by Rita Bashaw, and the expertise and dedication of a team of colleagues in the Jackson School Business Office – in particular the School’s Chief Administrative Officer, Shelly Wolf, Finance Manger, Tony English and Grants Manager, Gail Schmitz.

Our success takes a village and we thank all of those of you who are involved in our tremendous community of teachers, learners, thinkers, and doers.


“The U.S. Department of Education funding and designation as a National Resource Center are well-deserved recognition of and support for the excellence and impact of the faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the Canadian Studies Center. Congratulations to all involved!” — Jeff Riedinger, Vice Provost for Global Affairs

Four other global and regional centers at the Henry M. Jackson School were also awarded NRC and FLAS funding. Read more about the awards here.