Feb. 19, 2021

UCalgary Political Science Congratulates: Ryan Crosschild!

On winning a 2020–21 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canadian Graduate Scholarships–Doctoral (CGS-D) fellowship and the Ii’taa’poh’to’p Graduate Scholarship.
Crosschild Banner

The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships (CGS-Doctoral) support high-caliber students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. This support allows scholars to fully focus on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields, and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.

The Ii’taa’poh’to’p Graduate Scholarship. Ii’taa’poh’to’p is the Blackfoot name of the University of Calgary’s 2017 Indigenous Strategy. This scholarship is established to help fulfill commitments in that strategy by providing funding for outstanding Indigenous graduate students.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Oki nikso'kowaiksi. Nitaniko Sikapiohkiitopi. Greetings, my name is Ryan, and I am Nitsitapii from Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe). I belong to the Fish Eaters Clan and serve as an active member of the Grey Horse Society. I was born and raised in Lethbridge and educated on the unceded territories of the Musqueam people at UBC where I completed my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Indigenous Studies. I use he/him or they/them pronouns but also identify as Aakiinaa—a queer Blackfoot masculine gender variant. I’m also a first-year Ph.D. student in the Political Science department at the University of Calgary.

Your own research interests include Prairie Indigenous Political Philosophy and Indigiqueer resurgence and governance formations. How did you come to focus on these areas?

Indigiqueer resurgence and governance are about storying the voices and experiences of Indigenous people who have long been silenced and pushed to the sidelines in community, where those in positions of power continue to shape the narratives around who belongs and who gets to speak. To me, these focus areas are about creating alterNative pathways for thinking about Indigenous politics and ways of being that are generative rather than exclusive. This is about rejecting the politics of authenticity and recognizing the multiple and diverse expressions of Indigenous life and politics.


Can you tell us a bit about your proposed doctoral research?

My proposed research looks at Prairie Indigenous conceptualizations of treaty politics and more-than-human relations in the context of the Buffalo Treaty. I am really interested in understanding how the Buffalo Treaty activates treaty-based modes of relating as an expression of inter-Indigenous (the coming together of various Indigenous nations) and inter-being resurgence. What I find so fascinating about the treaty is that it affords an opportunity to re-evaluate the terms of “Indigenous prosperity” that transcends settler-colonial notions of economic development. It presents an entirely different conceptual language to engage with, one that pushes back against toxic nationalism and anthropocentrism, and one that intends to be accountable to buffalo futures. This project is also motivated by a desire to learn about the agency of more-than-humans, which we are all collectively feeling in this global pandemic, and how we turn to this experiential knowledge as a way to imagine decolonial futures.

It’s still early days for your research, but what are your next steps in your program?

Right now I am diligently working on completing my course work, and plan to spend the next year learning more from the architects of the Buffalo Treaty. I am also hoping to attend some of the events coming out of the Buffalo Treaty when it is safe to do so. All of this will be happening simultaneously as I prepare for my Field of Study exams and thesis proposal.

Congratulations to Ryan Crosschild on your 2020–21 CGS Doctoral and Ii’taa’poh’to’p Graduate Scholarships!


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