Tatiana Degai

Years active





Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


About Artist

I am Itelmen from Kamchatka, Russia. My scholarly and creative work is led by Indigenous epistemologies and ways of being and is informed by the beautiful land of Kamchatka, the waters of the Pacific Ocean, the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk, and salmon.

Through applying Indigenous storywork (Archibaldt 2008) approach I center Indigenous knowledge in research to strengthen the well-being of my own Itelmen community and to advocate for broader recognition of Indigenous sciences in the academy. This includes initiatives on language revitalization, development of community-friendly educational materials, diverse projects on reclaiming cultural heritage of Itelmens, and art-science projects. In my work I rely on collaboration with the Elders, youth and wider Itelmen and Indigenous community for co-creation of knowledge and co-understanding of the ways to move forward in addressing the current socio-environmental challenges.

In this route I follow the steps and guidance of my grandmother and my mother – Itelmen matriarchs who have been my primary teachers, advisors, and co-researchers. It is because of their wise leadership I am now in the rich world of Arctic Indigenous arts and science.

I am currently an assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vitoria

Material used

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