Jessie King, Hadiksm Gaax

Past HARC Collaborator and Assistant Professor in First Nations Studies
Gitxaala, BC
Tsimshian Nation, Ganhada (Raven Clan)

My research looks at issues surrounding the experience of possessing a First Nations identity in the context of the intersection of personal definitions, legal definitions, and social interactions. Some questions examined in my work include: “How do you define or disclose your First Nations identity? Is it influenced by situational factors? Does how you disclose your identity change based on your perceived level of safety?” and “Does having/not having Status through the Indian Act have an influence on your identity or how you define yourself?”

A continuation of my Masters research speaking with women who had lost or experienced a situation of not being eligible for status for various reasons, the PhD research aimed to examine the more granular experience of identity and the fluidity of definitions based on situational factors.

The main focus of my research looks at how the social, personal, and legal components of First Nations identity interact with one another and influence how someone thinks about their identity. It’s important to discuss and interrogate the intersection of where these parts of First Nations identity interact and create conflict, not only for First Nations People, but equally for those who are curious to know more about a deeply personal lived experience.

Other research interests include health research, methodologies, cultural safety and respect, and influencing transformative change in health care service provision.