Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is a Métis-Cree-Scot Ph.D. Candidate in the History program at York University in Toronto. He also teaches there as an assistant professor. His work focuses on theories of intergenerational and historic trauma of the Métis people. This work, which involves reflections on his own previous struggles with addiction and homelessness, has been recognized as having a profound impact on both the scholarly community and the greater public.

Thistle’s historical research is based on the stories and experiences of his family and ancestors. His mother, Blanche Morissette, is Métis-Cree and was a member of the Park Valley Road Allowance community in Big River, Saskatchewan. Thistle’s maternal great grandmother, Marianne Ledoux Morissette, was present at, and supported, the Métis Resistance in 1885 during the Battle of Batoche.

Thistle is married to Lucie Pekarek-Thistle and lives in Toronto. In 2017, he was the Resident Scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness where he drafted the National Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada. Currently, Thistle also sits on the executive board of Raising the Roof homeless foundation and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Contact Information:

Publications (2010-2021):

Thistle, Jesse. From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way. Simon & Schuster Canadaed. Toronto, Ontario: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2019.

Podruchny, Carolyn, Jesse Thistle, and Elizabeth Jameson. “Women on the Margins of Imperial Plots: Farming on Borrowed Land.” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 29, no. 1 (2018): 158–81.

Thistle, Jesse, L. Sandberg and Martha Steigman Anders. “‘But Where Am I?’: Reflections on Digital Activism Promoting Indigenous People’s Presence in a Canadian Heritage Village.” In Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research, eds. Jocelyn Thorpe, Stephanie Rutherford and Anders L. Sandberg. London: Earthscan-Rutledge, 2017.

Thistle, Jesse A. “We are children of the river: Toronto’s Lost Metis History,” YOUR Review, no. 3 (2017): 1-12.

Thistle, Jesse and Carolyn Podruchny. “A Geography of Blood: Uncovering the Hidden Histories of Metis People in Canada.” In Spaces of Difference: Cohabitation and Conflict: Conference Proceedings of the International Research Training Group (IRTG) Conference, eds. Ursula Lehmkuhl and Laurence McFalls. New York: Waxmann, 2016.

Thistle, Jesse. “The 1885 Northwest Resistance: Causes to the Conflict.” HPS History and Political Science Journal 3 (2014).