About us

The Native Studies Graduate Students’ Association started as a group of Native Studies graduate students at the University of Manitoba. It has since expanded to include Indigenous and non-Indigenous students across campus. We have hosted Rising Up annually since 2015.

Rising Up is an interdisciplinary and international graduate student conference. We work to make the conference friendly and welcoming for early career scholars, community members, and senior researchers. It’s a wonderful environment to meet amazing researchers and community members, a friendly environment to perfect your presentation skills, and a great chance to get feedback on your research.

For any inquiries or more information, please contact risingup [at] umanitoba.ca.

James Chalmers

NSGSA Co-President, Rising Up Abstract Committee Member

Sessional Instructor of Anishinaabemowin, University of Manitoba

Boozhoo, Manidoo-Bines nind-izhinikaaz. Waagoshens nind-izhinikaanigoog, James Chalmers zhaaganaashimo-izhinikaazoyaan gaye. Adik nin-doodem. Mikinaak Wajiw nind-onjii. James Chalmers is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. He graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (2014) and with a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree in 2019. His research examines early Anishinaabeg movement from the woodlands of Minnesota into the plains of North Dakota and southern Manitoba with a focus on reclaiming Anishinaabemowin place names through oral stories in North Dakota.

Ashley Edson

Rising Up At-Large

Prairie Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Network (PIKE-Net) Coordinator

Ashley Edson is a mixed ancestry Cree woman. Her family’s home community is the Peepeekisis First Nation, Sask. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts (2010) and Masters of Social Work degree (2016) from the University of Manitoba. Ashley is currently the Prairie Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Network (PIKE-Net) Mentorship Program Coordinator, a student network mentorship program housed at Ongomiizwin Research on the University of Manitoba Bannatyne Campus.

Iloradanon Efimoff

Rising Up Chair, Rising Up Fundraising Committee Member, Rising Up Abstract Committee Member

Ph.D. Candidate, Social and Personality Psychology

Iloradanon Efimoff is Haida and European settler from the Northwest coast of British Columbia. Her dissertation research focuses on creating anti-racist interventions to reduce racist attitudes and behaviours towards Indigenous peoples in Canada. In her spare time, she likes to bead, crochet, and watch movies.

Ashley Hayward

Rising Up At-Large

Ph.D. Student, Peace and Conflict Studies

Ashley Hayward is a Métis doctoral student with broad interests in Indigenous health, the social determinants of health, research ethics, and Indigenous rights. Ashley is currently the Research Coordinator for a CIHR Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research funded project at the University of Winnipeg.

Micheline Hughes

Rising Up Secretary

Ph.D. Candidate, Native Studies

Micheline Hughes grew up in Newfoundland and is a member of the Cape Sable Island Wampanoag. After finishing her Masters in Religious Studies she moved to Winnipeg to begin her Ph.D. in Native Studies. Her research examines the relationship between oral tradition and Mi’kmaw Catholicism.

David Le

Rising Up Treasurer

B.A. Student, Political Studies

David Le is a Vietnamese-Chinese Canadian, hailing from Edmonton, Alberta. He is interested in constitutional law and international relations. His favourite television (well, netflix) show is Big Mouth and he spends his spare time following John Oliver.

Aimee Louis

Rising Up Abstract Committee Member

M.A. Student, Indigenous Governance

Aimee Louis lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and her ancestral roots are from Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation. She is a Nehiyaw iskwew in the Master of Arts Indigenous Governance (MAIG).

Belinda Nicholson Wandering Spirit

NSGSA Co-President, Rising Up Abstract Committee Member

M.A. Native Studies

Belinda (Nicholson) Wandering Spirit is the current Female President for the Native Studies Graduate Students’ Association (NSGSA) and a member of the Rising Up organizing committee. Belinda was one of the three founding members of the NSGSA and has held a position on the executive team since its inception. She has held a position on the Rising Up organizing committee since its inaugural year and was the general chair in 2017 (she delivered her ‘conference baby’ two days later!). A recent graduate with her M.A. in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, her research looks at the impact of pro-whiteness messages in the education of Indigenous children in the 1800’s, Interracial relationships, and she is currently is exploring the impact of the Canadian justice system on Indigenous people for her future dissertation. Belinda is a proud mother to five wonderful children and life partner to her soul mate Joseph Wandering Spirit.

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