Author Archives: Nicole Kilburn

Learning and thinking about and from the MMIWG

If you are like me, you have been thinking a lot about the release of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report this week. I have been trying to learn more about the use of the word genocide, and the complex conversations that we are being asked to engage in as Canadians based on this report. It is important, and challenging, and painful. And deserving of reflection. I am still figuring out how I feel about the use of the term genocide in this context, but thought I would post links to some articles I have read that have been interesting and useful in my journey.


ANTH 104-002 sustainability notes

Hi all-

As promised, Here are the sustainability notes  from today, since I was moving faster than your pens.  Don’t worry about the last slide, we didn’t cover it.  There were 2 short videos I had planned to share if there was time, here they are if you are interested:

  1.  Fighting Carbon with Fire Aboriginal Australian TEK
  2. Purdy’s sustainable chocolate program

Also, here is the video of Murray Rankin introducing the Private Members Bill about Orange Shirt Day in Ottawa yesterday.

Food security vs. food sovereignty

As a follow up to today’s class discussion in ANTH 104-002 about the pit cook, here are the definitions that were on my Powerpoint:

Food security:  the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food

Food sovereignty: the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.


Anthropology in your inbox

It happens every Friday: an email arrives in my inbox from SAPIENS.  I never know what I am going to read about, but know it will have something to do with being human, and will be interesting.  Articles are short, and generally come from great original sources like The Atlantic, making them very accessible (ie. you don’t have to have a degree in anthropology to enjoy reading them!).  On offer at the moment: Ayahuasca tourism in the Amazon (cultural appropriation or revitalization of plant knowledge?), apes and language, more clues about humans and the early use of fire…  Maybe you are interested in signing up to see what arrives in YOUR inbox every week!

Welcome to a new school year

If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you have just started one of my classes, and are looking at the resources I have posted for you.  Each course that I teach has a separate page, accessed via links to the right.  Remember that I teach several sections of ANTH 104, so look for specific instructions for your section when it comes to assignments and linked readings.  If you find a broken link, please let me know and I can fix it.  Cant find something here that you would like to see?  Drop me an email and maybe I can post it.  Come across something on Facebook that relates to content in our class?  Feel free to pass it along so that I can share it.  This is meant to be a platform that is useful and interesting for students.  I look forward to meeting you, and working with you this term!

Study aid ANTH 104

Happy studying everyone, the term is done and now it’s just the final exam to go.  I built a Jeopardy quiz to use in class this afternoon with ANTH 104-002, and as promised, I am posting it here.  It is applicable for my other ANTH 104 sections, but be aware that it does not include any questions on gender or monster anthropology.  Good luck!

Refugees in the Mediterranean, a crisis in numbers and basic humanity

This past spring when I was working in southern Italy I set a young Nigerian refugee who we had hired to help with odd jobs at the farm where our culinary workshop participants were staying.  One evening Sunday told me his story of coming across the Mediterranean in a small boat with 150 other migrants, how the boat was taking on water when the Italian coast guard found them, how they were airlifted to safety.  At least one of his brothers had not been so fortunate on another boat the summer before; migrants board these boats knowing the risks, but get on anyway because they are desperate and the risk of drowning is better than the alternatives.  The first hand account made quite an impact on me; we can read about this crisis in the media but not grasp its scope and horror.  National Geographic has just posted a short video that provides visuals of this crisis-I suggest you watch it.  Then check out some of the statistics from the last year to get a more in depth understanding.  How can we get involved?!

It was just a matter of time….

I’m not the kind of person to say “I told you so”…..  but CHECK THIS OUT!!  Just this winter in ANTH 240 we were talking about the historic archaeology of the ill fated Franklin Expedition and I said : “Keep your ears open, there may be exciting finds this field season”, which is generally at the end of August and start of September.  On September 3 the research vessel the Martin Bergmann found a sunken wooden ship, sitting in 24m of frigid Arctic sea water.  It looks like it is in great shape, despite having sunk well over 150 years ago.  confirmation is still required, but it appears to be the HMS Terror, the second of Franklin’s ships (the other ship, the HMS Erebus, was found two years ago).  Check out the video footage from the ship, listen to the crew describe different parts of the vessel, and Inuit crew member Sammy Kogvik, whose sighting of a piece of wood sticking out of the ice in this location about 6 years ago led the boat to the find.  I find it interesting that Parks Canada, who has been very involved in this project for years, highlights the contributions of Inuit oral tradition in locating both boats, something that has been marginalized and minimized for decades and deserves much more recognition.  More information to follow in the coming weeks I’m sure!

Welcome to a new school year!

I have really enjoyed meeting you all this week, the positive energy at the start of the school year brings me back every September!!  I will post things here that I find interesting, starting with this:

This weekend the First Peoples Partnership hosts the One Wave Festival, 2 days of celebrating the diverse cultures of the Pacific through the arts.  On Saturday afternoon Centennial Square will host the Lekwungen Dancers, the Red Buff singers, the Pearls of the South Pacific (a special shout out to this group, my cousin dances with them!).  On Sunday you can catch the Pacific Voices Exchange, an event with indigenous environmentalists and artists from the South Pacific and British Columbia, who will share stories of activism and resilience.  You can catch it live in person, or online (which makes it available across the broad geography of the Pacific!).  For more information go to