Janessa Chinana

Ph.D. Candidate (2020 Cohort)

Professional Background

Education: secondary, post-secondary, Art, Community Organizing


Xaad Kil, Indigenous Research Methodologies, Community-based research


Janessa’s research focuses on establishing community-based research that will uphold and honor the Haida laws of respect and consent, the voices of the Haida, and their traditional governance structures. She wants to engage with questions intersecting Haida nationhood, politics of recognition, political representation, traditional governance structures, citizenship, land, and self-determination. As an Indigenous woman, her focus in academia has been to benefit the Haida community.

Janessa received her M.A. in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria in 2018. In 2014 she received her B.A. in Indigenous Liberal Studies (honors) from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Prior to attending JSIS, Janessa was adjunct faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Grants and Fellowships:

  • GO-MAP Graduate Diversity Fellowship
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Entrance Award (2015-2016)