Gabrielle Hughes holds Master degrees in both Art History and Archaeology from the University of Oxford, where she is presently a DPhil Candidate in Archaeology, specializing in Cultural Heritage Law.
She is a Wampanoag and Mi’kmaq drummer, artist and First Nations rights activist, and is passionate about critical heritage and museum studies. During her undergraduate as a Visual Arts student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, she co-founded and chaired the Grenfell Aboriginal Society, working with fellow Indigenous students to organize cultural events on campus. During this time, she also worked as Drum Leader and Youth Representative for the Corner Brook Aboriginal Women’s Association, and as a facilitator for the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network violence prevention workshops for Aboriginal communities and women’s groups in Newfoundland./p>
Since arriving at Oxford, she has founded the Oxford Indigenous Student Initiative, providing a network for Indigenous students and visiting scholars. In October of 2013, she was deeply honoured to be invited to drum for former National Chief Shawn Atleo and the First Nations delegation at the Canadian High Commission in London to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation. She is co-founder and director of the social enterprise TalkAbout, aimed at connecting communities with one another through heritage, with commissions and collaborations including the Ashmolen Museum,the Oxford Castle, and Waddeson Manor. She has recently joined Simon Frasier University’s Intellectual Property in Cultural Heritage project as an Associate Member./p>
Her doctoral research focuses on Indigenous internet communities, digital culture and intellectual property law. She is interested in using alternative bodies of law as legal protection for Indigenous forms of cultural expression when standard IP law fails, and in the legal challenges and opportunities for digital forms of Indigenous cultural expressions.