Scholarship

SSHRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow &
Adjunct Faculty member, First Peoples Studies Program
School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University
Concordia image.jpeg

I have been a part-time faculty member in the First Peoples Studies Program since 2017 and also a SSHRC post-doctoral research fellow in the SCPA since August 2019, working with Professor Daniel Salée.

http://explore.concordia.ca/cecil-chabot

 
 

Current Projects

​Research Projects

Book Projects

  • Contesting the Cannibal Wihtiko: Common Ground on the Edge of Humanity. This book project, under advance contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press, is in process, with a full draft manuscript near completion. More details.

  • Hannah Bay “Massacre” of 1832: Decolonizing and Depolarizing the History of a Subarctic Conflict. Partially finished draft manuscript awaiting expansion and revision. 

Articles in Process

  • [in draft] “Finding (Un)Common Ground on the Edge of Humanity: Reflections on Power, Authenticity, Polarization and Entanglement based on the Philosophical Anthropology of the James Bay Cree.” 

  • [in draft] “Envisioning Reconciliation amidst Secular and Religious Calls to Conversion and Action.” 

  • [in draft] “L’exécution du Wendigo de Chi-Sekehikan en 1818. Un incident qui a résonnée à travers un siècle, un océan, et des générations d’un famille crie.” 

  • [in draft] “Decolonizing Aboriginal Rights: Insights from Cree Emphasis on Reciprocity between Persons-in-Relation.” 

Report in Process

  • Study and Report on Indigenous Religious Freedom in Canada, undertaken for the Cardus Freedom of Religion Institute (anticipated for release in March 2021).

 

Publications

Book Chapters

  • "Windigo Killings and the Clash of Cultures." Chapter 4 in Cultural Clash and Religion. Edited by William Sweet, 63-78. Cultural heritage and Contemporary Change Series I: Culture and Values, Volume 46. Washington, DC: The Council for Research in Values and Cultures, 2015.

  • “Witiko Possession and Starvation Cannibalism Among the Cree of James Bay: Monstrosity or Madness?” Chapter in Creating Humanity, Discovering Monstrosity: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil. Edited by Elizabeth Nelson, Jillian Burcar and Hannah Priest, 3-15. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010.

Articles

  • “Reconciling Amerindian and Euroamerican (Mis)Understandings of a Shared Past: Lessons for Conflict Historiography from the 1832 Hannah Bay ‘Massacre.’” The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 30, no. 2 (2010): 229-265.

  • “Windigo Killings and the Clash of Cultures: Quests for Unity versus Uniformity of Understanding.” Philosophy Culture and Traditions 6 (2010): 65-79.

  • “Coping with starvation and deprivation in Moose Factory, 1882-1902: Cree-HBC interdependence as revealed in the Moose Factory HBC records,” in Papers of the 39th Algonquian Conference, ed. Karl S. Hele & Regna Darnell. London (Ontario): University of Western Ontario, 2008. Pp. 94-122.

Professional Historical Publications

  • Principal (ghost) author. Historical sections of Indian Claims Commission (ICC) reports:

    • Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation 1903 Surrender Inquiry. Ottawa: ICC, 2007. Pp. 95-144.

    • Sakimay First Nation: Treaty Land Entitlement Inquiry. Ottawa: ICC, 2007. Pp. 5-23.

    • Cowessess First Nation: 1907 Surrender - Phase II Inquiry. Ottawa, ICC, 2006. Pp. 145-196.

    • Peepeekisis First Nation Inquiry: File Hills Colony Claim. Ottawa, ICC, 2004. Pp. 11-82.

 

Public Lectures & Conferences 

  • “Our Common Ground on the Edge of Humanity: Reflections on Power, Authenticity, Polarization and Entanglement,” invited lecture (via zoom) for the McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values Fall 2020 Wednesday Colloquy Series on “The Meaning of Democracy: Practicing Citizenship and Understanding Pluralism in America,” The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., October 28, 2020. 

  • “How are we getting Reconciliation and Decolonization right and how might we be getting them wrong?” talk at Ernscliff College, Toronto, February 21, 2020.

  • “Envisioning Reconciliation amidst Secular and Religious Calls to Conversion and Action: Lessons from a James Bay Cree Leadership Program,” public lecture, Newman Centre of McGill University, February 14, 2020.

  • “Indigenous Peoples, the Church, Secular Society and Calls to Conversion,” Invited paper, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Convention, Montreal, September 27-29, 2019.

  • Panelist, “Restoration, revitalization, maintenance and transmission of indigenous languages and traditional forms of knowledge and culture, and the integration of knowledge systems,” North American Dialogue on Biocultural Diversity, co-sponsored by The Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives (CICADA), the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS), the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Consortium, Parks Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation of the American Museum of Natural History, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, May 5-8, 2019.

  • “Reconciliation and Decolonization: How might we risk getting them wrong,” Public lecture for CAFEX (Current Affairs Exchange), a student-led group at the University of Ottawa, April 3, 2019.

  • “Catholic Social Teaching, Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation,” Public lecture for Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College, Barry’s Bay, ON, March 14, 2019. 

  • “Envisioning Decolonization: Towards a Research Ethics founded on Full Reciprocity,” Invited roundtable contribution, 4e séminaire éthique de la recherche avec les peuples autochtones, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, November 22-23, 2018.

  • “(Un)Common Ground? Explorations of the Philosophical Anthropology of the James Bay Cree,” X Annual Regina Herzfeld Lecture, for the Department of Anthropology, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, April 16, 2018.

  • “Rediscovering Our Shared Humanity: Insights from a Foreign Medical Doctor’s Mid-Twentieth-Century Encounter with Northern Algonquian People and Stories,” 49th Algonquian Conference, Université de Montréal, October 27-29, 2017.

  • Public address prepared for the unveiling of new plaque designating Moose Factory as National Historic Site, delivered by Geraldine Govender on both our parts as co-chairs of the Moose River Heritage Committee, Moose Factory ON, August 3, 2017.

  • “Native American and Western Cultures: Is Respectful and Mutually Transformative Dialogue Possible?” invited lecture, Department of Native American Studies, University of Lethbridge, June 15, 2017.

  • “Wihtiko Stories and Histories: Windows onto Fundamental Cree Ideas and Ideals” and “Integrating Story and History, Local and Global Perspectives: the Example of the 1832 Hannah Bay “Massacre,” invited workshops for the Great Moon Gathering (education conference organized by Mushkegowuk Cree Council), Timmins, ON, February 11-12, 2016.

  • Distinguished Speaker (on Aboriginal History) for the annual Phi Alpha Theta Dinner, History Department, State University of New York, Potsdam, April 25, 2014.

  • “Providence and Hell? Insights from the Cannibal Windigo in Cree Culture,” public lecture for the Fall Convocation Series, University of Mary, North Dakota, November 21, 2013. 

  • ​​“Warring with the Windigo: Just War, Common Good, and Right Intention in the Canadian Subarctic, 1815-1915,” paper presented at “Just War, Common Good and Right Intention,” Symposium, Faculty of Philosophy, Dominican University College, Ottawa, November 14-16, 2013.

  • “Politics of Difference at the Edge of Humanity: Lessons from the Wihtiko on Intercultural Conversion and Reconciliation,” public lecture, Dominican University College, Ottawa, April 12, 2012.

  • “From Heart of Ice to the Heart of Cree Ethics: Lessons from the Wihtiko for Reconciliation and Theological Education,” invited workshop prepared for the annual conference of The Churches’ Council on Theological Education in Canada, organized around the theme “Can You Hear the Drum? Aboriginal Spiritualities and Theological Education,” University of Winnipeg, May 16-18, 2011. 

  • “Beware the Windigo: Reflections on Truth and Reconciliation,” paper presented as part of a panel on Truth and Reconciliation, organized by the Aboriginal History Group for the Canadian Historical Association annual meeting, Concordia University, Montreal, June 1, 2010.

  • “Windigo Killings and the Clash of Cultures: Quests for Unity versus Uniformity of Understanding,” paper presented at a conference on “Religion, Philosophy, and the Question of a Clash of Cultures,” hosted by the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association, Concordia University, Montreal, May 31, 2010.

  • “'Cross-cultural conflict historiography: the depiction of the 1832 Hannah Bay ‘massacre’ in Orcadian and Cree oral traditions and other sources,” Centre for Cultural History Seminar, University of Aberdeen, November 10, 2009.

  • “Incompatible and Irreconcilable? Depolarizing Amerindian Oral History and Euro-Canadian Documentary History: The Cree Example,” invited paper delivered via video-conference for “Reconciliation and Co-existence: Orality and Literacy,” a conference at Saint Paul University, October 29-30, 2009.

  • “An Orcadian Tale of Cannibalism in Hudson Bay: a Tale more True than Tall,” public lecture co-hosted by Orkney College and the Orkney Heritage Society, Kirkwall, October 29, 2009.
     

  • “Intercultural or Interpersonal Conflict? Orcadian, Cree and other Accounts of the 1832 Hannah Bay ‘Massacre,’” research talk at the Centre of Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh, October 15, 2009.
     

  • “Polarizing Paradigms and the Limits of Cultural Relativism: Cultural Conflict, Cannibalism and Violence in the Canadian Subarctic,” Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict Seminar, Queen’s University, Belfast, October 1, 2009.
     

  • “Problems with Defining Aboriginal Rights as Special, Immutable and Collective: Lessons (for Northern Ireland?) from the Context of Moose Factory, Canada,” Centre of Canadian Studies Seminar, Queen’s University, Belfast, September 29, 2009.
     

  • “Witiko Possession and Starvation Cannibalism Among the Cree of James Bay: Monstrosity or Madness?” Paper presented at a joint session of 7th Global Conference on Monsters and the Monstrous and the 2nd Global Conference on Madness, Oxford University, September 14, 2009. 
     

  • “Incompatibilité apparente, compatibilité réelle des versions autochtones et des versions occidentales de l'histoire : l’exemple Cree,” Conference on “Les Autochtones et l’histoire” organized by the Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la question territoriale autochtone, Université du Québec à Montréal, April 30-May 1, 2009.
     

  • “Multicultural Canada as refuge for Moose Factory Cree and Métis: enshrining or undermining aboriginal rights and cultures?” presented at the Centre of Canadian Studies 31st International Conference, with the theme of “Canada as Refuge?” University of Edinburgh, May 1, 2008.
     

  • “‘Métis or halfbreed or whatever you want to call it’: Identity and Culture in the Fur Trade Community of Moose Factory,” European Social Science History Conference, University of Lisbon, February 28, 2008.
     

  • With Paul Rickard, “Sharing Authority: Reflections from some of the founding authors of the Moose Factory Historical Association,” presented at interdisciplinary conference on “Sharing Authority: Building Community-University Alliances through Oral History, Digital Storytelling and Collaboration,” Concordia University, Montreal, February 10, 2008.
     

  • “Community, Culture and Identity in Moose Factory,” public lecture for the Ottawa Historical Association, as part of a panel of speakers on “Old Waterways, New Currents: Métis and Voyageur Studies,” Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, January 24, 2008.
     

  • “Competence, Culture, Friendship and the Quest for Historical Understanding,” Inaugural Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture - “Friendship: Quests for Character, Community, and Truth,” Baylor University, Texas, October 26, 2007.
     

  • “Coping with Starvation and Deprivation in Moose Factory, 1882-1902: As Revealed in the Moose Factory HBC Records,” 39th Algonquian Conference, York University, Toronto, October 20, 2007.
     

  • “Coopération, compétition et conflit: les tentatives françaises d’établir des relations avec les peuples amérindiens de la baie d’Hudson, aux 17ème et 18ème siècles, dans un contexte de compétition et conflit avec les Anglais,” 60e Congrès de l’Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française, Royal Military College, Kingston, October 19, 2007.
     

  • “Resource Sharing and the Rights and Responsibilities of Persons-in-Relationship: Some Reflections and Lessons from the Context of Moose Factory, Ontario,” International Wanapitei Aboriginal History and Politics Colloquium, organized by Trent University, September 22, 2007.
     

  • “Whispers in the Willows of Witiko Wars: the 1832 Hannah Bay Massacre and Cree-HBC Relations,” invited workshop for the Great Moon Gathering (curriculum conference organized by Mushkegowuk Cree Council for James Bay educators), Moosonee, Ontario, February 2007.
     

  • “Syncretism, Conversion, Contention or Catastrophe? Some thoughts on Christian Catechesis among the James Bay Cree,” paper presented at the 37th Algonquian Conference, Gatineau, October 2005.
     

  • “Redemption from Fire by Fire: An Introduction to Noble Prize Winner T.S. Eliot’s ‘Little Gidding,’ public lecture, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Barry’s Bay, Ontario, October 2004.
     

  • “Unity vs. Uniformity of Understanding: Merging Euroamerican and Amerindian Understandings of the 1832 Hannah Bay ‘Massacre,’” paper presented at the 34th Algonquian Conference, Kingston, October 2002.
     

  • “The Importance of Local History in the Curriculum: the 1832 Hannah Bay “Massacre,’” invited workshop for the Great Moon Gathering (curriculum conference organized by Mushkegowuk Cree Council for James Bay educators), Moose Factory, Ontario, February 2000.

 

Courses Taught

  • Concordia University (First Peoples Studies):

    • First Peoples in Canada

    • The Indian Act

  • Crandall University (History & Indigenous Studies):

    • Indigenous Peoples & Issues in Canada

    • Indigenous Peoples & Issues the Americas

    • Pre-1867 Canada; Post-1867 Canada

    • Nature of History I

    • Nature of History II

    • Oral History & Oral Tradition

    • Global Intercultural Encounters in the Early Modern World

    • World History

  • University of Ottawa (Aboriginal Studies):

    • “From Hopping to Hoping? Rediscovering Kanata and the Importance of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples” (developed and taught for Discovery University partnership)

    • “Colonialism and Indigenous Peoples” (TA/lecturer).