Omeasoo Wahpasiw is Nehiyaw from the Treaty 6 territory located in Kisiskâciwan (Saskatchewan) with the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. She is an Assistant Professor in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism and cross-appointed with the School of Indgienous and Canadian Studies at Carlton University. Wahpasiw’s work highlights Indigenous culture and values in the twentieth century the legacy of residential schools.
Wahpasiw’s doctoral dissertation, “Tla’amin housing architecture and home territories in the twentieth century: Invisible spaces shaping historical indigenous education,” critically examines colonial housing and housing programs and the ways Indigenous people maintained cultural and spatial heritage in the context of pressures on domestic social arrangements. Once longhouse people, the Tla’amin came to live in single-family former military base houses with segregated interior spaces, which, alongside the disruption of family relationships that came with mandatory residential school attendance, profoundly challenged intergenerational sharing. In spite of these challenges, Wahpasiw explains that Tla’amin people maintained cultural continuity and Indigenous knowledge in ceremony through the reinforcement of intergenerational relationships and youth education and encouragement.
Wahpasiw co-wrote the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Commission submission to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. She has also generously engaged in recent important discussions of justice, colonial history, national memory, commemoration and public monuments, and you can listen to her here: “Memorial Reckoning: Monuments, Memorials and Calls for Justice,” https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/crics/special-events/memorial-reckoning.html; “Commemoration matters: History, Human Rights and the Politics of Commemoration,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t6Mbdgrz-s and “History, Human Rights and the Politics of Commemoration” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAo1jzIPcs4.
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Select Recent Work:
Centre for Research in Cultural Studies, University of Winnipeg, “Memorial Reckoning: A conversation on Monuments, Memorials and Calls for Justice,” 21 January, 2021, https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/crics/special-events/memorial-reckoning.html
Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Manitoba, “History, Human Rights and the Politics of Commemoration,” 4 December, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t6Mbdgrz-s
Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, “Contesting National Memory in Canada: The Role of the Right,” 22 July, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAo1jzIPcs4
Wahpasiw, Omeasoo. “Cree and Dene Experiences of Death in the Early Nineteenth Century: Using HBC Records for Ethonographic Insight.” Canadian Journal of Native Studies 37 no. 1 (2017): 137-51.