The focus of my work as a community scholar is on developing supportive, respectful indigenous achievement and community engagement initiatives at the University of Manitoba. My research is guided by indigenous and community-based research principles and I seek to create practical, fun and innovative research tools that help build the research capacity of community participants, particularly youth. My work is infused with indigenous and anti-oppression theory and practices with a special focus on the role of non-formal learning in community sport and engagement initiatives that increase access to post-secondary education for indigenous and inner-Winnipeg residents. My previous research focused on fostering culturally-relevant program planning and leadership practices for urban Aboriginal youth in community sport.


  • PhD, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
  • M.A., Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Winnipeg

Select publications

Halas, J., McRae, H., & Carpenter, A. (2012). The quality and cultural relevance of physical education for Aboriginal youth: Challenges and opportunities. (pp. 182-205).  In J. Forsyth, & A. R. Giles (Eds.), Aboriginal peoples and sport in Canada. Historical Foundations and contemporary issues. (pp. 182-205). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Halas, J., McRae, H., & Petherick, L. (2012). Advice for physical education teachers from Aboriginal youth: Become an ally. Physical and Health Education Journal, 78(3), 6-11.