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Field course to Northern British Columbia

Margaret is gifted with Amerindian Rebirth by editor, Antonia Mills.
Margaret is gifted with Amerindian Rebirth by editor, Antonia Mills, Chair of First Nations Studies, at University of Northern British Columbia.

October 31, 2013

In July the Center partnered with the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium (PNWCSC) to offer a week-long trip to Vancouver and Northern British Columbia to introduce faculty to the region and to meet with Canadian colleagues. Margaret Willson, Anthropology and new affiliated faculty with the Center, was much impacted by the course.

“I was delighted to be included in the PNWCSC and Center Field Study Trip to Prince George this past July. What was particularly powerful for me was meeting scholars and others in the context of places about which they were speaking. From learning about the architectural design and planning of ‘Vancouverism’, to having an extremely knowledgeable volunteer who has been working in the area for decades explain local forest management while walking an ancient forest in Northern British Columbia, the experiences of this trip have greatly increased the depth with which I now feel I am engaged with British Columbia. A visit to Barkerville revealed surprising overlap and contrasts to previous ethnohistoric work I have done with immigrant Chinese in Northwest Washington State, reflecting transnational concerns still current in the Pacific Northwest of both Canada and the United States today.

But what was the most powerful for me was the time to engage with the other participants on the trip and some of the colleagues in Prince George and other places. I am not sure how else I could have learned so much about not only Canada, but a Canada set in an international context relating to fisheries policy, treaties and concerns of indigenous peoples, sustainability of small and rural communities, and potential effects of climate change – to name but a few. The knowledge I have gained from this engagement will actually shift aspects of focus in the current research I am conducting in Iceland and assist me in placing it in the larger Northern context.

A fantastic and worthwhile connection which I hope you will be able to continue!”

Margaret Willson’s current research interests focus on issues relating to Arctic and Northern concerns, including fisheries, gender and small-scale communities. Specific ethnographic research includes work with Icelandic fisher women, a critique of practices and policy related to resilience in coastal communities, complexities of indigeneity in a Northern context, and a comparative analysis of the roles and concerns of rural and coastal communities of the North, particularly in Canada and Iceland.

The Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium (PNWCSC) was organized in late 1986 and early 1987 with the mission to facilitate the development of Canadian Studies at institutions of higher education in the Pacific Northwest, and to enhance cooperation, joint programming, and information sharing among Canadian Studies programs and faculty in the Pacific region. The Canadian Studies Center serves as secretariat for the Consortium.

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