Instructor Profiles: Heather George and Dr. Laura Phillips

Heather George and Dr. Laura Phillips are currently teaching Beyond GLAM Land Acknowledgments: Activating Decolonization and Indigenization in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Micro-Credential at the School of Continuing Studies. This micro-credential critically examines the work of the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) with a view to make space for new ways of being through practical and theoretical discussions of how to apply decolonizing and Indigenizing actions to these spaces.

Heather, Max (Heather's daughter), and Laura

Heather George

Heather has a B.A. Hons (Indigenous Studies; History, Trent University), an M.A. (Public History, Western University), and an OCGC (Museum Management and Curatorship). Heather is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Waterloo. Her current role is a guest curator at Woodland Cultural Centre in Six Nations of the Grand River territory.

As a curator, Heather focuses on the social, political, and cultural history of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, as well as material culture and its interpretation. As a scholar of Euro-Canadian Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) descent much of Heather’s personal and professional work has been directed at gaining a better understanding of her culture and history. Her research examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of contemporary museum practice specifically grounded in Haudenosaunee (Six Nations / Iroquois) philosophies of Edge of the Woods and Condolence. She seeks to challenge the colonial basis of cultural preservation methods and museology and better understand how we engage with material culture to heal trauma and engage in cross-cultural dialogues.

Recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Heather’s research on Haudenosaunee beadwork and Glengarry Caps was most recently published in the Otsego Alumni Review (2019).

Dr. Laura Phillips

Dr. Laura Phillips has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University. She is a settler with ancestry from Ireland, England, and Wales. She grew up in what is now known as South Western Ontario, Canada. Laura has worked in museums internationally for 20 years and her current research interests focus on discussions with settlers on the implications of our ongoing presence on lands stolen from Indigenous Nations. Her Ph.D. research looked at on decolonising and Indigenizing museums. Laura tries to de-centre colonial narratives in museum spaces and in her everyday life.

Prior to her Ph.D., Laura’s educational profile included an undergraduate degree in Classical Studies from Western University, a post-graduate diploma at the University of Oxford, and an MPhil at the University of Bristol. Laura lived in England for 10 years, working at museums and other cultural organizations. In 2010 she relocated to Doha, Qatar, where she was the founding Head of Museums Documentation for Qatar Museums until 2013. In 2014 she was appointed Collections Manager at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, Florida and then returned to Canada to take up a position as Collections & Exhibitions Coordinator at Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute in Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation, Eeyou Istchee (Quebec).