Jessica Hall

Master's Student, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø (UiT) & University of Saskatchewan

I have previously studied a bachelors and masters in Comparative Literature. I wrote my master´s thesis on Indigenous ecopoetry as a form of protest against colonial legacies. I wrote about Marshallese and Alaskan communities and was struck by the parallels of suffering at the hands of colonial policies. Early in the research, I realized that my interest was not focused on the literature anymore. I wanted to understand what could be done to empower and reassign environmental sovereignty to Indigenous communities worldwide. I knew that I needed further education in this area and in September of this year, I began studying a second master’s in Government and Entrepreneurship in Northern Indigenous Areas at the University of Saskatchewan and the Arctic University of Norway.


At the beginning of my degree, I travelled to Northern Saskatchewan and lived with the Metis Cree Nation on Treaty 6 Territory to learn which environmental issues were causing the most concern. Here I had the honour of speaking to the elders of the community and understanding firsthand the ecological and political devastation caused by colonial legacies. I am working alongside leaders in the community to research the impact of phragmites on deltas in Northern Saskatchewan.

I moved to Norway as I wanted to live in a country which was actively working on policy to assign land back to the Indigenous nations of the country. I spend two weekends a month during the summer living in a mountain cabin on the mountain of Blefjell, a protected reindeer area. Here I volunteer for a local farmer who owns the land and observe the environmental changes and habitat of the reindeer. Alongside this, I have been in conversations with a journalist at Schibsted who is interested in my writing a column focusing on Indigenous environmental issues throughout Norway.

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