About Tara

Photo Credit: Monica Dahl

I am an environmental anthropologist specializing in applied and community-based research with Indigenous peoples in northern Canada. Currently, I am working as a SSHRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UVic, carrying out a variety of practicing and applied research projects concerning extractive industries and Indigenous territorialities under the supervision of Dr. Brian Thom.

My research interests include Indigenous rights, extractive industries, disturbed landscapes, settler colonialism, human-animal and human-plant relations, history of science, and interdisciplinary studies. My work examines Métis and other Indigenous responses to Alberta oil sands development, with an emphasis on (wet)land reclamation and encounters between different ways of knowing and using the environment. I am particularly interested in documenting how Indigenous land in settler colonial states is remade as extractive territory or settler home, and my research examines and supports processes by which Indigenous peoples assert sovereignty and renew relationships to place.

As a consultant, I conduct applied research projects in Alberta, including community-based research, traditional land use impact assessments, technical reviews, environmental monitoring research, and oral history research.

Prior to joining UVic, from 2020-2022, I was an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). From 2018-2020, I was a Research Director with Willow Springs Strategic Solutions, Inc., a social science research consulting firm based in Cochrane, Alberta. In 2018, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan, working with Dr. Clinton Westman and associated with the School of Environment and Sustainability, under a SSHRC-funded project, Cultural Politics of Energy – with which I remain affiliated. I received my PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2017 (supervised by Drs. Rob Wishart and Nancy Wachowich, examined by Drs. David G. Anderson and Colin Samson).

You can also find me at:


I live, work, and play in:
– Unceded Lheidli T’enneh Territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation of British Columbia (Prince George, BC);
– Treaty 8 lands, the traditional territories of Nêhiyawok (Cree) and K’ai Tailé (Dene) peoples, and the Homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 1 (Fort McMurray, AB);
– Treaty 7 lands, the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 (Calgary, AB).

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