Our Team

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.

Gretchen Albers, PhD

Owner/Principal – Cochrane, AB

Dakota Historical Resources is owned and operated by Gretchen Albers. Raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, Gretchen is the granddaughter of German and Czech farmers whose ancestors immigrated to western North Dakota between 1890 and 1910.

An early fascination with both the Indigenous and “settler” histories that surrounded her eventually led Gretchen to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2003 to 2005. There, she studied the Prairie Provinces of Canada and the Northern Great Plains in the US as a single ecological region, and explored the impacts that drawing national boundaries had on the processes of settler colonization in both countries.

Gretchen eventually moved to Calgary, Alberta, to pursue a PhD in history (University of Calgary, 2012). Her master’s thesis and later doctoral dissertation focused on missionary and Indigenous encounters and residential schooling in Canada and the United States. As well, she holds a certificate in professional editing from Mount Royal University (2014).  Gretchen has taught US and Canadian history to university students, and also worked in academic publishing (acquisitions).

From 2009 to 2014, Gretchen was employed by an Aboriginal-owned law firm as a research associate and eventually as the research director. In this role, she researched and wrote background historical narratives and summaries of fact for land and treaty rights claims for First Nations across Canada, facilitated the procurement of expert witness reports and testimony, and managed the evidence production and exchange of historical documents between clients and the Government of Canada. 

In 2014, Gretchen founded Dakota Historical Resources, which largely provides expert witness reports and historical narratives for First Nations clients. By 2018, she had expanded to include subcontractors and qualified research associates to assist with research, transcription, and document production.

Her interests include gardening, cross-country skiing, and walking on primarily flat surfaces. She is a prairie person, currently based in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Contact Gretchen at gretchen@dakotahistoricalresources.ca

Sarah Nason, MA

Research Associate – Victoria, BC

Sarah joined the research team as a Research Associate for Dakota Historical Resources in May 2019. Her interest in historical research began at Mount Royal University, where she completed her BA (Honours), and continued at the University of Calgary, where she earned a master’s degree while focusing on Canadian colonial history and Indigenous history. 

Sarah’s master’s thesis centred on Indigenous domestic workers and the Canadian outing system, a program that compelled students of industrial and boarding schools to work in settler homes during the late nineteenth century. 

Sarah has substantial knowledge with archival records at Library and Archives Canada, the provincial archives of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the Glenbow Museum. Sarah also has familiarity conducting oral history research, which she gained through her experiences with the Xwelalámsthóxes Ethonohistory Field School for graduate students offered through the Universities of Victoria and Saskatchewan.

Sarah’s responsibilities for DHR include writing, archival research, document indexing, and transcribing historical documents, all of which compliments her passion for Canadian history. Sarah is based on Vancouver Island, where she grew up.   

Contact Sarah at sarah@dakotahistoricalresources.ca

Willow Springs Strategic Solutions

Our Friend & Partner – Cochrane and Fort McMurray, Alberta

Willow Springs Strategic Solutions Inc. (WSSS), operating since 2011, is a social science, environmental, and management consulting company based in Cochrane and Fort McMurray, Alberta. They specialize in community-based research, the assessment of impacts to Indigenous and other communities from industrial projects and natural disasters, and Indigenous community capacity-building and disaster preparedness and management.  They have worked in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

WSSS is available for collaboration with Dakota Historical Resources in the areas of traditional knowledge and use studies; in-depth oral history projects with community-led components; mapping; cultural impact and community needs assessments; and the facilitation of community consultation. 

WSSS’s website is at http://www.willowspringsss.com.


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