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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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HUNAP Welcomes Wiradjuri Scholar, Jessa Rogers
Jessa Rogers (Photo courtesy of ANU)

Wiradjuri woman Jessa Rogers is a 2017 Fulbright scholar based at Harvard as a fellow from her role as Assistant Professor in Education at the University of Canberra. Jessa is a Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, working with the Peabody Museum and based at HUNAP for the length of her fellowship. Within her Aboriginal research, Jessa is furthering the development of Photoyarn, an arts-based Indigenous research method she is has been developing with Aboriginal and Maori girls attending boarding schools in Australia and New Zealand. Jessa will spend time researching with Kanaka Maoli girls attending Kamehameha Schools in Hawai'i, looking at their boarding experiences during her Harvard Fellowship.

Jessa is working with the Peabody Museum's archival photographic collection of Native, Indigenous and Pacific photographs, focused on historical photographs of Native children in boarding schools. She is developing a visual methodology underpinned by Indigenous worldview, drawing on aspects of relatedness theory and visual sovereignty toward re-visioning colonial depictions of Native peoples in colonial residential education.

Over the past decade Jessa has held roles as program director, head teacher and classroom teacher in both primary, middle and secondary schools teaching Indigenous studies, creative arts and social science, before moving to university lecturing 5 years ago. In 2015 Jessa became Australia's youngest Aboriginal school principal, when she opened Australia’s only boarding school for Indigenous teenage mothers, Cape York Girl Academy, which is one of only two Indigenous girls boarding schools in Australia. These experiences led her to her current research with Indigenous students in boarding schools internationally.

Jessa will be based at HUNAP until mid-January 2018, when she returns to Australia to have her PhD conferred at the Australian National University.

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