Nov. 7, 2022

Meet our Newest Graduate: Ariane Wilson!

Convocating November 2022 with a Master’s degree from UCalgary Department of Political Science
Wilson Banner

Meet Our Newest Graduate! 

Ariane Wilson’s MA thesis was entitled “Re-Membering Our Nations: Indigenous Custom Adoption and Determining Belonging Beyond the Indian Act”. It was written under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Voth 


Tell us a bit about your thesis!  What was it about and what were its main arguments? 

My thesis was deeply inspired by my family and our lived experiences as an Indigenous (Heiltsuk) and multi-racial family. I really wanted to explore questions of identity and belonging in Indigenous contexts, and explore how these questions are shaped and constrained by colonialism and colonial legislation (namely the Indian Act). 

I draw on the concepts of Indigenous nationhood and peoplehood, as well as on principles of relationality and kinship to explore my research questions. My primary argument is that revitalizing practices that shed light on questions of membership and belongingsuch as Indigenous custom adoption practicesis one way of bringing forth other ways of doing things beyond or outside of colonially imposed systems and legislation that work to dismantle our (Indigenous) governance and citizenship systems.  

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Any favourite memories from your research or at UCalgary Political Science you’d like to share? 

My favourite memories from my research and time in the political science department are all the fruitful conversations I had with my supervisor and fellow students. Simply having conversations about complex questions and issues helped expand my thinking and helped me grow as a scholar, writer, and person. 

Where has your degree taken you now? 

My degree has taken me to a job at a local consulting company that works directly with Indigenous communities in Alberta and the western provinces. It’s been very interesting to take a lot of the theoretical knowledge I’ve gained in academia and apply it in very practical, “real world” ways. I’m grateful to have found work that is right in my niche and field and to be able to keep expanding my knowledge and experience in Indigenous politics and governance. 

Any final words of advice? 

Find a balance in your life and make space for other passions and interests. I think a lot of the time as graduate students we feel pressure to be “just students” and feel guilt for pursuing other things or taking time for ourselves. As soon as I let go of that pressure, I was much happier and my work actually improved

Make an effort to prioritize your well-being… sleep well, hydrate well, eat nourishing foods, and move your bodyyou will be a better student!  


Congratulations Ariane Wilson on your degree! 


To find out more about our current and past graduate students, please visit the UCalgary Political Science website.