Caitlin Hartnett grew up in Vermont and immigrated to Canada in the early years of her adulthood to study English Literature at Concordia University in Montreal, where she completed her BA and MA, with a focus on “post-colonial literature.*”
In 2009, Caitlin was fortunate to begin working on Kwakwaka’wakw territory on Vancouver Island, teaching English for NIC from the Mixalakwila Campus. During this time she experienced teachings from local students, community, and Elders, not only in the traditional academic setting, but also on the land and in community. Given the education she has experienced outside of the traditional academic setting, she is committed to searching for ways in which students may find the same and also incorporate their own stories and knowledge into the work we do in class.
Caitlin also has an interest in food and all sorts of gardens, both cultivated and wild, especially in community settings. Over the years she has been involved in several community food-based projects, including the NIC International and Indigenous Foods Project, which she co-designed and co-facilitated (https://www.nic.bc.ca/international/about-oge/global-engagement/global-engagement-fund-projects/). Recently, she supported and assisted local Kwakiutl teacher-scholar Sara Child in the SSHRC-funded study The O’man’s ‘Nam’a (We Are One) Project: Unearthing Indigenous Leadership Principles Through Language by helping with the writing of the proposal and working in dialogue with Elders during the research process.
Caitlin is currently a doctoral candidate in Simon Fraser University’s Culturally-Inclusive Place-Based Education program. Her research work focuses on what Kwakiutl peoples envision for land-based adult education.
Some of Caitlin’s favorite books are: Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, Disgrace by JM Coetzee, The Truth About Stories by Thomas King, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Bone People by Keri Hulme, Heart Songs by Annie Proulx and Patrick Stewart’s dissertation Indigenous architecture through indigenous knowledge : dim sagalts’apkw nisiḿ.
*Caitlin does not believe we truly live or have ever lived in a “post-colonial” world