Catherine Jenkins, Ph.D. – Project Lead, Researcher & Writer
Catherine Jenkins has been an instructor at the School of Professional Communication (ProCom) and at the Chang School since 2012. The first course she taught for ProCom was at the First Nations Technical Institute. She completed her Ph.D. in Communication and Culture, a joint TMU-York program, with a dissertation in health communication. She holds an MA in Cultural Studies, as well as an Honours BA in Cultural Studies and Philosophy from Trent University in Peterborough. She also writes poetry and fiction.
Although not Indigenous, Catherine has Indigenous family, and has been visiting her Ojibwa cousins at Curve Lake First Nation regularly all her life. The first visit she remembers was when she was about five years old. It was a shock, as the level of poverty was palpable and unfamiliar. Although she did not yet have the education or vocabulary to put words to her emotional response, in retrospect, it was the first time she was confronted by her white privilege. Over the decades, this reservation has grown in population and prosperity, becoming home to numerous artists (including Norman Knott and David Beaucage Johnson) and successful businesses, bringing stronger employment opportunities, and ongoing improvements to housing and infrastructure.
Catherine would like to thank The Creative School’s Equity, Community and Inclusion grant committee for funding that allowed her to provide a research assistantship to an Indigenous ProCom student, Dorian Charette. Dorian’s insights, sensitivity to language, technical and creative skills, as well as his dedication to this project, allowed for the completion of the Indigenous Toronto Research Resource to a high standard. Maarsii, Dorian!
Dorian Charette – Research Assistant & Digital Design
Dorian is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Communications from Toronto Metropolitan University and has already gained a reputation for his exceptional communication skills and attention to detail. Dorian’s passion for research and his desire to learn new things led him to join our project as a Research Assistant, and he has been an invaluable asset ever since.
Dorian is a Métis Nation of Ontario citizen from the Historic Georgian Bay Region 7 community, which made this project especially important to him as he was able to use his skills in communication to make this incredible research resource accessible to the TMU community. Bringing to light some of the challenges Indigenous people of Toronto have historically faced and are often still facing today, we must acknowledge the past and present in order to create a better future!
Dorian played a pivotal role in ensuring that all aspects of our research project were visually appealing and well-organized. He brought a creative touch to our project through the cover art and various design elements scattered throughout the resource. Dorian’s design approach helped us communicate complex information in an accessible and engaging way.
Overall, Dorian’s dedication, hard work, and attention to detail have been instrumental in the success of our research project. His passion for communications and his desire to create positive change within the Indigenous community of Toronto motivated the success of our project!