Crystal Fraser, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Native Studies

Pronouns: she, her, hers

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Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - History, Classics, & Religion Dept

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Native Studies
Pembina Hall
8921 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H8



Crystal Gail Fraser is Gwichyà Gwich'in and originally from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gę̀hnjik, Northwest Territories. She also has connections to English and Scottish heritage. Crystal's PhD research focused on the history of student experiences at Indian Residential Schools in the Inuvik Region between 1959 and 1996. Her work makes a strong contribution to how scholars engage with Indigenous research methodologies and theoretical concepts, our understanding of Indigenous histories during the second half of the twentieth century, and how northern Canada was unique in relation to the rest of the settler nation. Crystal's doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2020 John Bullen Prize by the Canadian Historical Association for her thesis, titled T’aih k’ìighe’ tth’aih zhit dìidìch’ùh or By Strength We Are Still Here. The prize honours the outstanding PhD thesis on a historical topic submitted at a Canadian university. Crystal serves on national and international committees; she is on the Governing Circle of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a director at Gwich'in Council International, and a founding member of the National Advisory Committee on Residential School Missing Children and Unmarked Graves. In Fall 2022, Crystal was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Academic Early Career Award from the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations.


History of Indian Residential Schools in Canada; the North; Gender and Sexuality; Healthcare; Sport and Recreation; Indigenous Methodologies; Oral Histories.


HIST 261 - Post-Confederation Canada

NS 355 - Indigenous Knowledge and Oral Traditions

This course considers oral traditions as aspects of broader, culturally-defined systems of knowledge, in which stories are vehicles for encoding and transmitting knowledge about the people, their culture, and their history. It focuses on new academic and community-based approaches, as well as the complementarity of oral traditions/Indigenous knowledge and Western science. Students will explore the evolving roles of oral traditions for contemporary Indigenous peoples, including creative expression. Prerequisites: NS 110, 111 and 240 or 290 or consent of the Faculty.

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