The FIP organizing committee is pleased to announce that this year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Frank Tough, a Professor of Native Studies and Associate Dean (Academic) from the University of Alberta.
Tough’s academic curiosity and expertise concern three odd empirical/disciplinary pairings: (1) history and law; for example, a legal history of the dispossession of Indigenous peoples; (2) history and geography, such as the historical geography of Aboriginal people’s participation in frontier resource capitalism; and (3) history and economics, as in the case of an economic history approach to the individualization of collective property rights. These subfields are unified by historical methodology with an emphasis on unpublished manuscript sources. His historical research experience spans four decades and includes a diversity of repositories (e.g., Library and Archives Canada, Archives of Manitoba/Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Saskatchewan Archives Board, Archives of Ontario, United Church of Canada Archives, Library of the Parliament of Canada; as well as, The National Archives (UK), The British Library, Cambridge University Library, and The British Library of Political and Economic Science.)
Along with academic research, Tough has served as an expert witness in several court cases concerning Aboriginal and treaty rights. In particular, expertise concerning the economic history and the historical geography of the Métis has been deployed to address claims to unextinguished Aboriginal rights. Several cases (R. v. Morin, R. v. Laviolette, R. v. Belhumuer, and R. v. Goodon) resulted in judicial recognition of Métis harvesting rights. Recent efforts focus on the digitization of historical documents, making archival records accessible online through database technology, and training undergraduate students in archival research.