Cliff's doctoral research focuses on the political economy of the Ahousaht on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in both historical and contemporary contexts. He is interested in how Indigenous communities navigate/adopt/resist mainstream capitalism while working to sustain their unique cultural identities, practices and worldviews. Cliff is particularly interested in how Indigenous communities and leaders continue to assert agency within the confines of settler colonial politics and economics. His postdoctoral research will look at Indigenous community development policy and the revival of traditional economic practices as well as the exploration of new practices rooted in traditional Indigenous principles and values.
Cliff is also a co-investigator for the Corporate Mapping Project, which focuses on “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We will also map the wider connections that link Western Canada’s fossil fuel sector to other sectors of the economy (both national and global) and to other parts of society (governments and other public institutions, think tanks and lobby groups, etc). Cliff's particular interest is looking at how Indigenous communities engage with and resist Western Canada's fossil fuel sector.