Janice Esther Tulk is the senior research associate for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies in the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University. Her research focusses on the Membertou business model, the Unama’ki economic development model, and wise practices in Aboriginal economic development. She is also collaborating with researchers from the community of Membertou and the Native Nations Institute at University of Arizona on a land management project that will assist Membertou in developing and implementing its own land code. She is actively engaged in dialogues with Aboriginal business students across the country about the challenges and barriers they face in pursuing higher education, serves as a mentor to Aboriginal MBA students at Cape Breton University, and provides support to the Business Network for Aboriginal Youth mentorship program.

Tulk remains active as a researcher in the fields of ethnomusicology and folklore, and is currently authoring a book focussed on Mi’kmaw musical expressions and their relationship to the soundscape of Mi’kma’ki. This manuscript is based on research conducted during her tenure as a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in Unama'ki College (formerly the Mi’kmaq College Institute) at Cape Breton University. Her manuscript, tentatively titled Sounds of Contact: Colonial Encounter, Senses of Place, and Musical Expression in Mi'kmaw Communities, was selected for inclusion in the 2011 Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World Author Workshop.

Tulk's doctoral dissertation, titled “Our Strength is Ourselves”: Status, Identity, and Cultural Revitalization Among the Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland (Memorial University, 2008) explores the way in which contemporary music-making practices such as powwow are localized to express both Mi’kmaw identity and First Nations identity more broadly. Her other research interests include Indigenous cultural tourism, cultural constructions of vocal health, local character anecdotes about Mi’kmaw Matthew “Mattie” Mitchell, Indigenous popular musics, the representation of Indigenous culture in media, and Newfoundland soundscapes. As a classically-trained mezzo-soprano, she has performed in productions of The Coronation of Poppea (Monteverdi) as Arnalta and Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) as the Sorceress, and given concerts of such works as Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben. In her free time, she sings with the newly formed Cape Breton University ensemble the Endnotes.

Tulk has published her research in MUSICultures, the Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, Newfoundland & Labrador Studies, the Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, and Culture & Tradition, as well as the anthologies Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada (edited by Hoefnagels and Diamond), Drawn to Sound: Animation Film Music and Sonicity (edited by Coyle), and Folk Music, Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology: Canadian Perspectives, Past and Present (edited by Hoefnagels and Smith). She is also the producer and author of a documentary sound recording titled Welta’q – “It Sounds Good”: Historic Recordings of the Mi’kmaq (CD/book).


Conference Papers and Presentations