“Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples is its most important relationship. And yet, we don’t really have an understanding of how our large immigrant populations fit into the equation.” With his research, Stefan hopes to foster the relationship between immigrant communities in Toronto, and local Indigenous groups like the the Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee.
“I fell in love with Anthropology after taking a class in grade 11. From a young age, I always wondered why people from around the world looked so differently from one another, and this was a time when I got to explore that question.” Stefan attended UWaterloo for his undergraduate degree in Anthropology, where he delved into both biological and archaeological anthropology.
After graduating, he worked in Ontario’s private archaeological industry for 3 years where he participated in excavating the ancestral sites of Indigenous groups in southern Ontario. While there, Stefan met members of many Indigenous groups who were involved with the excavations, and began to familiarize himself with their history. “It was at this point that I realized how little I had known all along as an immigrant in Canada, and decided to pursue a graduate project in cultural anthropology.”
“Anthropology has historically had a reputation for being an ‘ivory tower discipline,’ focusing more on the pursuit of knowledge than on addressing social problems. The public issues aspect of my program allows me to lead a more active role by engaging with my participants directly concerning the public issue I am studying.”