Dawn Martin-hill
Professor, Anthropology

Academic Co-Chair of Indigenous Education Council, Full Professor, Indigenous Studies Department McMaster University

Dawn is Mohawk and resides at Six Nations of the Grand River with her family. She was the first Indigenous cultural anthropologist in Canada and founder of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. She founded the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University as a graduate student 1992 and helped build the Presidents Committee recruiting SN Community leaders. She received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology while building Indigenous Students Services and working with a ‘consortium of 5 universities’ to fund Six Nations Polytechnic Native University Access Program. She assumed Director of Indigenous Studies in 1998. As Director she led a committee to create an Aboriginal Stream in medical school and secured funding for Aboriginal Health Science student support office with the President’s Committee. She assisted in designing the curriculum with knowledge holders input.

She was the inaugural Indigenous Canada U.S Fulbright Scholar Award and inaugural Chair of CIHR-IPH Secretariat advancing traditional medicine in health research. As co-investigator of a CIHR-IPH ARHNets Center, over 80 FN, Metis and Inuit graduate students were awarded funding for research, improving health research capacity in Ontario. She developed an Indigenous knowledge committee with SN Polytechnic that led to McMaster’s supporting SNP Indigenous Knowledge Center and facilitated the development of the Ogwehoweh language diploma, now a stand-alone degree. More recently, she worked as a member of CIHR – Indigenous advisory committee to change reviewing policy for Indigenous applicants improving a .04 average of awards to 64% Indigenous applicants funded through an iterative reviewing process.

She has been awarded Outstanding teaching by the Aboriginal Consortium. She was recently a recipient of the Oklahoma Universities Water Technologies Award. She led the development of the McPherson chair for Indigenous Studies, securing major donation with the development office and secured several Indigenous Student bursaries and scholarships.

Her current research includes traditional ecological knowledge and western science multi-disciplinary teams led by community to find solutions in improving FN water quality through attention to technology, governance, capacity building and knowledge mobilization. She is the PI of several large interdisciplinary teams involving several universities and international organizations: Co-creation of Indigenous Water Quality tools, Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Training & Co-Creation of Mixed Method Tools and rebranded as Ohneganos. Her 4 research grants funded by Global Water Futures have supported over 30 graduate students research and 9 Indigenous Studies undergraduates, 45 secondary FN students have received McMaster certificates of completion for working on water research. Ohneganos creates bilingual tools (apps, virtual reality, water sensors, Indigenous mapping, learning platforms, film, art) to increase FN capacity in water monitoring and management in her community of SN. She has produced over 30 podcasts led by youth, “Ohneganos” Let’s Talk Water, awarded by the David Suzuki Foundation and has launched a YouTube channel with digital stories and podcasts. She is creating a virtual reality to disseminate Haudenosaunee water knowledge and scientific findings in partnership with Mohawk College tech team. She is a new member for Canada of the UNESCO Hydrology Committee, board member of CIHR Indigenous of Indigenous People’s Health, CIHR Anti-Racism Committee and was a Chair in the CIHR College of Reviewers. She just received the One Drop foundation grant to gamify the VR and is currently partnering with Canadian Geographic Biinaagami project. She presented at the IPPF-UN and UN Water Conference 2023 with Haudenosaunee leaders and women to address water rights Currently, she is co-applicant on a successful Canadian Science Foundation, Global Climate Change Centre.

She has numerous peer reviewed publications, community publications and films. Her book, Dawn Martin-Hill Indigenous Knowledge and Power and The Lubicon Lake Nation, University of Toronto Press, 2007 addresses the human impact of the fossil fuel industry on a small Cree Community in northern Alberta. Recently all Ohneganos publications have been chosen to be included in the Royal Society of England’s library as a compendium. She recently received a Princton book award to support publishing on Ohneganos Haudenosaunee ecological knowledge.
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