Associate Professor; Coordinator, Ts’‘kel Program

Research Interests


I am an Indigenous scholar working in Coast Salish regional studies and with Coast Salish peoples. Broadly, my research and teaching takes an ethnohistorical perspective on educational conditions for Indigenous people in Canada and the US, linking place with history. My analyses of how the past is located in the present offers insights and observations on present policy concerns. More specifically, my work has examined the histories of residential schooling across the Canada-US border for Coast Salish people, as well as the conditions of “culture clash” in higher education contexts. Much of my research is directed by both personal and professional experience as an educator in tribal contexts. I was a high school teacher for Quinault youth on the Olympic Peninsula, for Tlingit Haida youth in Juneau, Alaska, and was head teacher for the Lummi high school when it was first developed at Northwest Indian College in Washington State. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation about the experience of the Lummi community during a time of racist backlash as a result of fishing rights victories in the US. I have turned much of that research into curriculum development for a teacher education program that I directed at the tribal college. My work in both history and research methodology has advanced the connection between scholarship and program development for community transformation.


University of British Columbia, PhD
Western Washington University, MEd
Eastern Washington University, BA

Research Projects

My most recent work has focused on two new areas—leadership and methodology—informed by critical Indigenous perspectives and an anthropological lens on the academy. I have drawn on story, relationships and theory to illuminate concepts of leadership from an Indigenous perspective that are relevant to educational settings. I have done research on the nature of Indigenous experiences with history, presenting methods to decolonize historiographies of Indigenous education.

My research is evolving to emphasize the central meaning of place in all understanding of Indigenous education. I have examined historical documents, audio recordings of oral histories, and have interviewed individuals to see the patterns of place consciousness (including spirituality and sensuality) that Elders tend to emphasize in their teachings. The work has been centrally focused on the borders and borderless nature of the Coast Salish region and how this border is a heuristic for understanding forms of colonization and the enduring nature of Indigenous mindscapes. This research is connecting traditional ecological knowledge to both academic and community contexts for revitalization of Indigenous centered education. I am presently at work on a monograph that shows the ways place informs Indigenous research methodologies in the Coast Salish region. This work is both historical and cross cultural in considering histories of research encounters and discourses regarding educational goals and purposes. I am also researching and writing about the conditions for place based understandings in the digital era and what forms educational development might take to present Indigenous values in on-line graduate courses.

Selected Publications


Marker, M. (2015). Geographies of Indigenous leaders: Landscapes and mindscapes in the Pacific Northwest. Harvard Educational Review, 85(2), 229-253.

Marker, M. (2015). Borders and the borderless Coast Salish: Decolonising historiographies of Indigenous schooling. History of Education, 44(4), 480-502.

Marker, M. (2009). Indigenous resistance and racist schooling on the borders of empires: Coast Salish cultural survival. Paedagogica Historica, 45(6), 757-772.

Marker, M. (2006). After the Makah whale hunt: Indigenous knowledge and limits to multicultural discourse. Urban Education, 41(5), 1-24.

Marker, M. (2005). ‘It was two different times of the day, but in the same place’: Coast Salish high school experience in the 1970s. BC Studies, 144, 89-111.

Marker, M. (2004). Theories and disciplines as sites of struggle: The reproduction of colonial dominance through the controlling of knowledge in the academy. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 28(1-2), 102- 110.

Marker, M. (2003). Indigenous voice, community, and epistemic violence: The ethnographer’s ‘interests’ and what ‘interests’ the ethnographer. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16(3), 361-375. Reprinted in Jackson, A. & Mazzei, L. (Eds.). (2009). Voice in qualitative inquiry: Challenging conventional, interpretive, and critical conceptions in qualitative research (27-44). London: Routledge.

Marker, M. (2001). Economics and local self-determination: Describing the clash zone in First Nations education. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 24(1), 30- 44.

Marker, M. (2000). Lummi identity and white racism: When location is a real place. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 3(13), 401- 414.

Marker, M. (2000). Ethnohistory and Indigenous education: A moment of uncertainty. History of Education, 29(1), 79-85.

Marker, M. (1999). That History is more a part of the present than it ever was in the past: Toward an ethnohistory of Native education. History of Education Review, 28(1), 17-29.

Marker, M. (1998). Going Native in the academy: Choosing the exotic over the critical. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29(4), 473-480.

Marker, M. (1997). Indian education in the Pacific Northwest: The missing research. Tribal College Journal, 4(2), 16-21.

Marker, M. (1992). The Education of Little Tree: What it really reveals about the public schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 74(3), 226-227.

Book Chapters

Marker, M. (2013). Coast Salish: Transnational identities in the land of the transformer. In Morrison, R. B. & Wilson, C. R. (Eds.), Native Peoples: The Canadian Experience, (pp. 479-502), Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

Marker, M. (2011). Sacred mountains and ivory towers: Indigenous pedagogies of place and invasions from modernity. In Dei, G. (Ed.), Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education: A Reader, (pp. 197-210). New York: Peter Lang.

Marker, M. (2011). Teaching history from an Indigenous perspective:
Four winding paths up the mountain. In Clark, P. (Ed.), New Possibilities for the Past: Shaping History Education in Canada, (pp. 97-114). Vancouver: UBC Press.

Marker, M. (2004). The four R’s revisited: Some reflections on First Nations and higher education. in Andres, L. & Finlay, F. (Eds.), Student Affairs: Experiencing Higher Education, (pp. 171-188). Vancouver: UBC Press.

Courses Taught

ETEC 521 Indigeneity, Technology, and Education
EDST 314: Analysis of Education
EDST 425: Anthropology of Education
EADM 508a: (Ts”kel) First Nations Methodology
EADM 508b: (Ts”kel) Indigenous Research and Epistemology
EDUC 442: First Nations Pedagogy
EDST 505: First Nations and Educational Change
EDST 426: History of Education