Meet me at the lake

Life moves on quickly. After my stint in Winnipeg, I now live in Fort Frances, Northwestern Ontario to conduct my dissertation fieldwork. I specify Northwestern, because this country here is nothing like Toronto which most people tend to think about when hearing Ontario. In fact, Toronto and Lake Ontario are about an 18h drive away. The next bigger town is 2.5h away. It has about 15000 inhabitants. Considering the vast areas of bogs, rocks, and lakes that cover this country, the sparse population does not surprise. Although the villages and towns around here have a distinct frontier feel to them—think logging trucks and gold mines—this country is steeped in old and rich Indigenous culture. Just this weekend I visited the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation powwow. There are sweat lodge ceremonies happening almost daily, and the manoomin (a.k.a. wild rice) harvest is around the corner.

Speaking of manoomin, my dissertation focuses on how a hydro-dam here in Fort Frances impacts manoomin and the Ojibwe communities. It keeps me rather busy and so I hardly find time for blogging. When I started this blog, it was my main writing outlet. Now I am a PhD candidate and my writing opportunities have exploded. For example, Agriculture and Human Values has published the summary about my Master’s thesis on Pockets of Peasantness in Upstate New York. Another piece that I have co-authored with Sarah Eisler and Brian Thiede has appeared in Global Environmental Change and there is more work in the pipe.

I’ll probably stay busy for a while. It’s time for my to apply for faculty jobs and post-docs for next year. These applications are their own side-project. When I do manage to take some down time, I make sure to enjoy this beautiful country and go out on Rainy Lake or camping. Isn’t it beautiful here?