Susan Roy’s research examines the history of Indigenous-non-Indigenous relationships with attention to land rights activism, cultural performance, and resource and urban development disputes in Canada. She was guest curator for the award winning, collaborative museum exhibition, c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city, that highlights xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqeam First Nation) history and ongoing connection to the urban landscapes of Vancouver. Her book, These Mysterious People: Shaping History and Archaeology in a Northwest Coast Community, details how Musqueam’s legal and cultural expressions challenged public and museum-based accounts of Indigenous history throughout the 20th century.
Her current research includes a collaborative book project that examines the intersections of shíshalh (Sechelt First Nation) genealogies, land rights, and colonial encounters on the Northwest Coast; Songs in the Key of Cree, an arts-based Cree language revitalization project led by acclaimed Cree playwright Tomson Highway, and, with Phil Monture of Six Nations, Six Miles Deep: Mapping Environmental Transformation in the Haldimand Tract Territories of the Six Nations of the Grand River. Susan has worked with many First Nations across Canada in relation to legal assertions of Indigenous rights. She also incorporates digital technologies and other forms of multi-media presentation to bring historical research to wider publics.