Jessica M. Dolan

Published on 19 June 2010 Hits: 5494
PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, McGill University; MSc (University of Kent, Canterbury, 2004); BA (New School for Social Research, 1999)
Contact: Anthropology, McGill University
Stephen Leacock Building
855 Sherbrooke St West
Montreal, Quebec Canada H3A 2T7
Tel: 514.398.1064

Current research

My research explores diverse cultural ways of knowing and interacting with the natural world, and the socio-political organization of human-environment relationships. How do human-environment relationships influence identity, territory and livelihood, and how do those, in turn, shape environmental management decisions, and the biotic landscape? I am intrigued by on-going Indigenous global projects that draw connections between place, cultural tradition, and well being in order to establish sovereignty, land rights, and the rights of non-human species.

I am interested in the production and transmission of knowledge; history and philosophy of science; historiography of North America; politics of representation; traditional food, medicine and technology; young cultures; the anthropology of resistance; film, photography, storytelling, and all kinds of music.

My doctoral work combines environmental anthropology, political ecology, ethnoecology, Indigenous studies, and Iroquois studies to explore Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) environmental consciousness, and it's application in the joint stewardship of the Red Hill Valley in Hamilton, Ontario. I did most of my research in the community of Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, though during fieldwork I also spent time in and interviewed people from nine other Iroquois communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. I have also done fieldwork in the Cree Nation of Wemindji, Ireland, and Ghana.

I have carried out research as part of The Wemindji-Paakumshumwaau Project: Environment, Development and Sustainability in a James Bay Cree Community, and assisted Excavations @ Parc Safari. I am also a member of the Centre for Society, Technology and Development, the Society of Economic Botany, and the International Society of Ethnobiology.


Journal articles, chapters and reports

Scott, Katherine, Dolan, Jessica M., and Stewart, Dorothy. In preparation. “Every time I go on the Land I learn: Cree Traditional Knowledge and Community Education.” Chapter in the forthcoming volume: Scott, Colin, Brown, Peter, and Labrecque, Jessica, eds. Dialoguing Knowledges: Finding Our Way to Respect and Relationship.

Dolan, Jessica M., and Costopoulos, A. In preparation. A Morphological and Botanical Analysis of Harvard University’s South American Blowgun Collection.

Dolan, Jessica M. 2011. Principles and Practices of Haudenosaunee Environmental Knowledge. International Society of Ethnobiology Newsletter. Volume 3, Special Issue, August 2011. Found at:

Dolan, Jessica M. 2009. Book review of Nukak: Ethnoarchaeology of an Amazonian People, by Gustavo Politis. In Economic Botany. 63(2): 217.

Bussières, Véronique, Scott, Katherine, Dolan, Jessica M., Stewart, Henry, Mulrennan, Monica and Scott, Colin. 2008. Wemindji Marine and Island surveys 2008. Plant ecology and ethnobotany report based on field work carried out summer 2008, and presented to representatives from the Canadian and Cree governments, November 20.

Dolan, Jessica M.  2007. “Ochtrinil's Legacy: Irish Women's Knowledge of Medicinal Plants”. In Harvard Papers in Botany, 12(2):369.   

Conference papers and posters

Dolan, Jessica. 2011. Haudenosaunee Philosophy, Governance, and the Natural World: Planting and Joint Stewardship As Enactment of Peace, Power and Health. (Paper). To be presented at the American Anthropological Association conference, 16 November, Montréal, Québec.

Wenzel, George, Dolan, Jessica and Brown, Chloe. 2010. A (Raw) Diachronic Look At Food Security In The Qikiqtaaluk Region Of Nunavut. (Paper) Presented at the 17th Inuit Studies Conference, 28-30 October, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Val-d’Or, Québec.

Dolan, Jessica and Scott, Katherine. 2010. Cree Ethnoecological Heritage in a Proposed Marine Conservation Area in Eastern James Bay, Canada. (Poster) Presented at the International Society of Ethnobiology Congress, Tofino, BC, May 9-14.

Dolan, Jessica. 2010. From the Earth to the Sky and Back Again: Environmental Philosophy, Land Ethics, and Stewardship Projects in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. (Poster) Presented at the International Society of Ethnobiology Congress, Tofino, BC, May 9-14.

Dolan, Jessica M. 2010. Frontiers Have Never Been Uninhabited: Haudenosaunee Cultural Relations with Environment and Place (Paper). McGill University Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, Montréal, QC February 3.

Johnson, Noorjehan, Dolan, Jessica M. and Costopoulos, Andre. 2009. Interrogating Adaptation (Panel). McGill University Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, Montréal, QC March 6.

Dolan, Jessica M. 2007. Harvard University’s Economic Botany Collections (paper). 48th Annual Meeting of the Society of Economic Botany, Chicago, Illinois, June 4 – 7.

Dolan, Jessica M. 2005. Irish Women’s Knowledge of Medicinal Plants (poster). Fourth International Congress of Ethnobotany, Istanbul, Turkey, August 19 – 26.

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