Faculty & Research

Learn from exceptional faculty with backgrounds in both Western and Indigenous knowledge, and experience cross-cultural learning.  Learn how Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world are shaping our globe through a creative blend of Indigenous and Western knowledge. You will study the historical and contemporary interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous societies, and the cultural foundations of Indigenous life in areas such as performance, literature, politics, ecology, and governance. 

Full-Time Faculty


David Newhouse (Onondaga)

Professor and Chair of Indigenous Studies
B.Sc., M.B.A. (Western)

Enwayaang Building 301 ext. 7497, dnewhouse@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Aboriginal modernity; My interests are focused upon the emergence of modern aboriginal society, the key debates and ideas animating individuals and collectivities within it and the shape and nature of ‘governance’ as the key institutional idea that give expression to aboriginal modernity.

Classes: INDG 1000Y; INDG 3201H; ADMN-INDG 4500H; ADMN 4100Y; INDG 6603H​



Lynne Davis

Associate Professor
B.A. (Queen’s), M.A. (Sussex), M.A. (Alberta), Ph.D. (Toronto)

Enwayaang Building 313 ext. 7241, lydavis@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Lynne’s areas of specialization are Aboriginal community development, building sustainable communities, social change, international development, popular education, and Aboriginal alliances with social movements. 

Classes: INDG-IDST 3050Y; INDG 4050H; INDG 4051H; INDG 3813Y; INDG 6601Y


Mark Dockstator (Oneida)

​Associate Professor
B.Sc. (Waterloo), LLB (York), DJur (York); mdockstator@trentu.ca

Research Interests:  The practical application of Indigenous knowledge to the contemporary situation of Indigenous Peoples. 

Classes:  INDG 4850Y; INDG 3401H; INDG 3402H; INDG 4201H; INDG 4202H; INDG-ADMN 4500H

Chris Furgal

Associate Professor
B.Sc. (Western), M.Sc., Ph.D. (Waterloo)

​Enwayaang Building 305 ext. 7953, chrisfurgal@trentu.ca

Research Interests: My research interests are in the fields of environmental health risk assessment, management and communication in cooperation with Indigenous populations. A particular focus of the work is on communities living in rapidly changing natural environments such as coastal and Arctic ecosystems.

Classes: INDG-ERST 3730Y; 4740Y; INDG 6701H




Michele Lacombe

Associate Professor
B.A. (McGill), M.A., Ph.D. (York)

Enwayaang Building 309 ext. 7845, mlacombe@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Indigenous women’s voices include many kinds of storytelling, from oral and written versions of family and community history to autobiography, life-writing, poetry, theatre and performance, fiction, and essays.  I am interested in understanding relationships to place and nation as articulated in the arts. 

Classes: INDG-CUST 2300Y; INDG 3480Y; WMST 3521H; 3520Y

Dan Longboat

Associate Professor and Director, Indigenous Environmental Studies
B.A. (Trent), M.E.S., Ph.D. (York)

Enwayaang Building 302 ext. 7844, ies@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences

Classes: INDG-ERST 2601Y; INDG-ERST 3634H; INDG-ERST 4730Y

Don McCaskill

B.A. (Winnipeg), M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D. (York)

​Enwayaang Building 311 ext. 7820, dmccaskill@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Aboriginal urbanization, Indigenous education, community development, justice and corrections, Aboriginal-mainstream Canadian relations, culture and identity, globalization and social change, Indigenous knowledge and international Indigenous peoples.

Classes: INDG 3202H; INDG 3813Y; 6701Y; 6720H

Marrie Mumford (Métis)

Associate Professor
B.A. (Alberta), M.F.A. (Brandeis)

Enwayaang Building 101.7 ext. 7310, marriemumford@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Indigenous theatre, arts and dance

Class:  INDG 2110Y



Paula Sherman

Director, Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program


Research Interests: Indigenous Histories, Indigenous Women, Indigenous relationships within the Natural World, Colonialism and Resistance, Indigenous Performance.




Skahendowaneh Swamp (Mohawk)

Senior Lecturer and Chair of Indigenous Knowledge, Indigenous Studies
Wolf Clan Faithkeeper, B.A. (McMaster)

Enwayaang Building 302 ext. 7922, skahendowanehswamp@trentu.ca

Research Interests: Iroquoian cultural and language 

Classes: INDG 2100Y; INDG 4100Y; INDG 6600Y


Part-Time Faculty


Daystar Rosalie Jones 

Indigenous Performance Program

Daystar (Rosalie Jones) was born on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and is of Pembina Chippewa ancestry on her mother's side.  She holds a Master's Degree in Dance from the University of Utah with postgraduate work at Juilliard School in New York City. She studied Korean, Hawaiian, East Indian and Flamenco dance, mine with Reid Gilbert, and modern with Jose Limon and Hanya Holm.  Over many years, she has gained a knowledge of the Indigenous dance and cultural forms of the Plains, the Northwest Coast, and Conchero Dance, among others.  As a teacher, she was responsible for the revitalization of Performing Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the early 1990's when she was Chair of the Department. In 1995, Daystar was awarded a two-year National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Choreographer's Fellowship.


Rhonda Paulsen: Classes: INDG1001H, INDG1002H​

Heather Shpinuarsky: Classes: INDG2030H, INDG2000Y​

David King: Classes: INDG2000Y

Kelly Harrison: Classes: INDG3102

Emeritus & Retired Faculty

Shirley Williams

Professor Emeritus, Elder, Activist, Nishnaabemowin Language

Shirley is a member of the Bird Clan of the Ojibway and Odawa First Nations of Canada. Her Anishinaabe name is Migizi ow Kwe meaning Eagle Woman. She was born and raised at Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island and attended St. Joseph’s Residential School in Spanish, Ontario. After completing her NS diploma, she received her BA in Native Studies at Trent Univer-sity and her Native Language Instructors Program diploma from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Shirley received her Master’s Degree from York University in Environmental Studies. In June of 2004, Shirley retired from the Indigenous Studies Department and now holds the title, Professor Emeritus.​

Edna Manitowabi

Edna is Odawa/Ojibway from Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island; head woman for the Eastern Doorway of the Three Fires Midewewin Lodge. She is well-known nationally as a Traditional teacher, ceremonialist, drum keeper and grandmother. She has been instrumental in the re-introduction of Traditional teachings and ceremonies in the local area, and is an active researcher of Traditional medicines. Edna is the founder of the annual Aboriginal women’s symposium at Trent. It was through her vision that Indigenous Studies and Trent started Nozhem Theatre, our Indigenous performance space that is developing an international reputation in Indigenous theatre and dance performance.