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Jon Johnson

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream

Jon Johnson

Dr. Jon Johnson's research is focused on urban land-based Indigenous Knowledge in Toronto, as it is expressed through oral and digital forms of storytelling. He works actively within Toronto’s Indigenous community as a lead organizer for First Story Toronto, an Indigenous-led community-based organization that researches and shares Toronto’s Indigenous presence through public education initiatives such as storytelling tours of the city and digital storytelling projects. Beyond academia, Dr. Johnson also actively contributes to public engagement in this work, striving to promote Indigenous voices and leadership through documentaries, news pieces, and public education projects. His community-based research, teaching, and service focuses on fostering respectful and mutually beneficial projects and engagements between the University of Toronto and Indigenous communities. As an educator, Dr. Johnson emphasizes experiential learning and community opportunities, in the hopes of creating meaningful educational experiences for his students. He currently teaches courses in Academic Bridging, Digital Humanities, and First Year Foundations, and is the co-ordinator of the Woodsworth One program. 



PhD, Communication and Culture, York University 

MA, Socio-cultural Anthropology, Western University 

BA (Honours), Anthropology, Western University 


Selected Publications:

•              Sandberg, L. A., J. Johnson, R. Gualtieri, and L. Lesage (joint author). (2021). Re-Connecting with a Historical Site: On Narrative and the Huron-Wendat Ancestral Village at York University, Toronto, Canada. Ontario History, 113(1), 80-105. 

•              Johnson, J. and K. Recollet (joint author). (2019). ‘Why Do You Need to Know That?’ Slipstream Movements and Mapping ‘Otherwise’ in Tkaronto. Journal of Public Pedagogies, 4, 177–190.  

•              Johnson, J. (2017). Pathways: On Indigenous Landscapes in Toronto. Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly, 36, 18-21. Available at: (4 pages)  

•              Johnson, J. (2013). The Indigenous Environmental History of Toronto, “The Meeting Place”. In L. A. Sandberg, S. Bocking, & K. Cruikshank (Eds.), Urban Explorations: Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region (pp. 59–71). Ontario: Wilson Institute for Canadian History.  

•              Johnson, J. (2013). The “Great Indian Bus Tour”: Mapping Toronto’s Urban First Nations Oral Tradition. In K. S. Hele (Ed.), The Nature of Empires and the Empires of Nature: Indigenous Peoples and the Great Lakes Environment (pp. 279–297). Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier Press. 



•              Valcin, N. (2023, April 30). What’s in a Name (Season 3 Episode 4) [Televised Documentary]. In VeraCity Documentaries. CityTV. 

•              Goldberg, D. (2023, January 17th). Relations on the Land Project to Strengthen Ties with Indigenous Partners. U of T News. 

•              Clark, T. (2022, August 28th). Friendship Centre Looking to Implement Parry Sound Version of First Story Toronto. 

•              McNeely, S. (2020, September 1st). Sharing knowledge and experiences, U of T students to lead campus tours of Indigenous history. U of T News. 

•              McNeely, S. (2020, August 27th). First Nations students lead Indigenous history virtual campus tours. A&S News– University of Toronto. 

•              Sasaki, C. (2020, August 4th). Tired of taking the same old walks during the pandemic? Try taking a walk through Indigenous history. A&S News– University of Toronto. 

•              Sasaki, C. (2019, January 30th). Seeing Toronto Through a Lens of Indigenous Stories: Jon Johnson Brings 13,000 Years of History to Life. U of T News. 

•              Fox, S. (2017, December 15th). Mapping Toronto's Hidden Indigenous History. DailyVice. 

•              Borkwood, P. (2017, June 21st). 3 places where you can discover Toronto's Indigenous history: First Story Toronto runs guided walking tours across the city. CBC News. 

•              Robinson, K. (2017, June 9th). Toronto tour takes a walk through the city’s Indigenous history. The Globe and Mail. 

•              Shimo, A., and S. Barmak (2017, Spring). Truth, then Reconciliation: In the wake of a historic report about the abusive treatment of Indigenous people in residential schools, universities confront a dark piece of Canadian history. UTSC Commons. 

•              Campbell, D. (2017, March 14th). Indigenous Stories shines light on treaty involving land where U of T Scarborough now stands. University of Toronto Scarborough.