Natasha Simon

Nihkanatpat, Director

Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre

Marshall d'Avray Hall

1 506 458 7112

Natasha Simon is an l’nu from the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog and Nihkanatpat (Director) of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at UNB. Her current research centres on the special significance of migatju’aq (grandmothers) in Mi’kmaq culture and on the life and work of her own great grandmother, Isabelle Simon, who was a healer, midwife, and basket maker from Elsipogtog. Natasha’s other research and supervisory interests include justice for Indigenous peoples, Aboriginal title, the Peace and Friendship Treaties, the history of systemic racism and police violence against Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous research methodologies.

As an historian and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, Natasha currently teaches courses on Indigenous pedagogies and the history of Indigenous education. Natasha has spent her career helping to create safe, nurturing spaces for Indigenous peoples while also attending to the specific historical and legal contexts that help Indigenous peoples thrive in and among systems that were not built for them. She taught for five years in the Department of Native Studies at St. Thomas University while coordinating the Aotitj (First-Year-At-Home) Program, supporting the transition of new students from Elsipogtog into postsecondary programs of their choosing. During the same period, she managed a project on Mi’kmaq pride and heritage for Elsipogtog School and secured a community grant to help ensure that children and youth in Elsipogtog would have access to a robust school library.

While her own postsecondary journey began here at UNB, Natasha has also studied at the University of Victoria and at Carleton University. Today, she is a member of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq Digital Portal Research Group and Curatorial Consultation Group, the New Brunswick Treaty Education Curriculum Committee, and the New Brunswick Cross-Cultural Course Development Committee. She recently hosted a three-day research symposium at UNB on systemic racism in the criminal justice system and on re-centering the Peace and Friendship Treaties in Wabanaki relations with settler society. Her current research on Chignecto as a historically significant gathering place for Mi’kmaq people informs a Parks Canada travelling exhibition, titled Revealing Chignecto: The Stories Within, which can be viewed at Université de Moncton in 2022.