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Core Team Members

Jennifer Pettit
Research Co-director for Heaven and Hell on Earth: The Massacre of the “Black” Donnellys


Jennifer Pettit

Jennifer is both a History professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta and Chair/Head of the Department of Humanities. Jennifer hails from St. Thomas, Ontario which is just outside of London, where her interest in the Donnelly massacre began during trips to the nearby town of Lucan, site of the infamous murders which took place in 1880. Jennifer received both her B.A. (Hon) and Master’s degrees from the University of Western Ontario in 1992 and 1993 respectively. She then made the move west to the University of Calgary where she completed her PhD in 1997. Shortly afterward, she began teaching at MRU.

Jennifer teaches primarily early Canadian and American history and as a proponent of experiential learning, she creates opportunities for her students to study history outside of the classroom whenever possible. Her favourite teaching moments have taken place on the various field trips she has led including a cross-Canada bus tour and a Treaty 7 field course in southern Alberta. Jennifer is the recipient of a number of teaching awards including a Distinguished Faculty Award, three Students' Association Teaching Excellence Awards, and an Award for Teaching Innovation from the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculty Association. Jennifer’s research interests are concerned primarily with Aboriginal peoples, with an emphasis on education and government policy for First Nations. Specifically, industrial schools, which were the foundation of the residential school system in Canada, have been the focus of much of her scholarly work.