Council

Dr. Deborah McGregor

Dr. Deborah McGregor

Co-Lead Professor, Osgoode Hall, York University

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Aimée Craft

Aimée Craft

Co-Lead Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

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Dr. John Borrows

Dr. John Borrows

Professor, University of Victoria

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Joshua Nichols

Joshua Nichols

Assistant Professor, University of Alberta

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Advisory Board

Grandmother Sherry Copenace

Grandmother Sherry Copenace

Niizhoosake, Saagimaakwe, Atik n’dodem (Elk Clan), Midewewin

Grandmother Sherry Copenace – Niizhoosake, Saagimaakwe, Atik n’dodem (Elk Clan), Midewewin. Born and raised on the community of Ojibways of Onigaming, which is located in Northwestern Ontario and on the east side of Lake of the Woods. Sherry is firm in her ways of knowing and being Anishinaabe. Sherry speaks her original Language-Ojibway and has a great love for the Land and Waters. Since 2011, Sherry has led a renewal of Makoosekawin- Anishinaabe young women coming of age teachings and ceremonies. She is part of a Knowledge Keepers Circle at Nanadawegamig (FNHSSM). Sherry helps at Anishinaabe Teaching and Sacred Lodges. Sherry has her MSW degree and is associated with several institutions and organizations who continually engage her for her knowledge and lived experience.

Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot

Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Dr. Leroy Little Bear

University of Lethbridge

Leroy Little Bear was born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve (Kainai First Nation), approximately 70 km west of Lethbridge, Alberta. One of the first Native students to complete a program of study at the University of Lethbridge, Little Bear graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971. He continued his education at the College of Law, University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, completing a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975. Following his graduation, Little Bear returned to his alma mater as a founding member of Canada’s first Native American Studies Department. He remained at the University of Lethbridge as a researcher, faculty member and department chair until his official retirement in 1997. In recent years Little Bear has continued his influential work as an advocate for First Nations education. From January 1998 to June 1999 he served as Director of the Harvard University Native American Program. Upon his return to Canada, he was instrumental in the creation of a Bachelor of Management in First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge- the only program of its kind in the country. In the spring of 2003, Little Bear was awarded the prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education, the highest honour bestowed by Canada’s First Nations community. Little Bear is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Lethbridge and the University of Northern British Columbia. Along with his wife, Amethyst First Rider, Little Bear brought about the historic Buffalo Treaty between First Nations on both sides of the USA-Canada border in 2014. Little Bear was inducted into the Alberta Order Excellence and the Order of Canada in 2016 and 2019 respectively. After a lifetime of educational service, Little Bear remains a dedicated and dynamic teacher and mentor to students and faculty at the University of Lethbridge. He continues to pursue new research interests including North American Indian science and Western physics, and the exploration of Blackfoot knowledge through songs, stories and landscape.

Justen Peters

Justen Peters

BC Assembly of First Nations Male Youth Representative

Justen Peters is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band (Syilx Nation) and currently the BC Assembly of First Nations Male Youth Representative. His academic and career goals are focused around economic development, psychology, politics and governance, and sustainability for Indigenous communities. Justen believes in preserving water quality for future generations; gaining greater control for First Nations over their water resources; and increasing our capacity for water management with educating Youth by utilizing both modern technology and Indigenous knowledge.

Team Members

Dr. Karen Bakker

Dr. Karen Bakker

Co-Investigator Professor, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Rutgerd Boelens

Dr. Rutgerd Boelens

Wageningen University and CEDLA/University of Amsterdam

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Dr. Gordon Christie

Dr. Gordon Christie

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Alice Cohen

Dr. Alice Cohen

Assistant Professor, Acadia University

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Dr. Glen Coulthard

Dr. Glen Coulthard

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Michelle Daigle

Dr. Michelle Daigle

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

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Leila Harris

Leila Harris

Professor, University of British Columbia

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Dr. Sarah Hunt

Dr. Sarah Hunt

Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

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Dr. Mark Johnson

Dr. Mark Johnson

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Amanda Karst

Amanda Karst

Boreal Program Director, Nature United

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Dr. Linc Kesler

Dr. Linc Kesler

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

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Lucas King

Lucas King

Director, Territorial Planning Unit, Grad Council Treaty 3

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Maxine Matilpi

Maxine Matilpi

West Coast Environmental Law

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Dr. Kate Neville

Dr. Kate Neville

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

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Dr. Emma Norman

Dr. Emma Norman

Assistant Professor, Northwest Indian College

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Dr. Heidi Stark

Dr. Heidi Stark

Professor, University of Victoria

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Dr. Nicole Wilson

Dr. Nicole Wilson

Canada Research Chair (TII) in Arctic Environmental Change and Governance

Dr. Wilson is a scholar of settler origin (born in Treaty 7 Territory) whose research focuses on Indigenous peoples, environmental governance, and environmental change. Her research examines the many ways that Indigenous peoples are asserting their self-determination and revitalizing their governance systems to respond to various stressors including climate change and resource development. She is passionate about water governance, politics, and security. Indigenous water rights, responsibilities and authorities are a major component of her research program. She has worked in partnership with Yukon First Nations to examine the implications of the water rights acknowledged in their modern land claim agreements for water governance and decision-making in the territory. Examining the linkages between Indigenous-led community-based water monitoring and water governance are also central to her work. Much or her research program focuses on the Arctic. However, she is also working to build research collaborations and projects in Manitoba. Strong partnerships with Indigenous governments and organizations are central to her community-based research approach. She currently holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (PI) in which she is conducting a pan-Arctic survey to examine the connections between Indigenous-led Community-Based Monitoring and environmental governance and decision-making. She is also co-PI of a large scale interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project called “GENICE II: Reimagining Monitored Natural Attenuation as an Oil Spill Response Strategy in the Arctic” (Funder: Genome Canada), conducted in partnership with Chesterfield Inlet and other Inuit communities in Kivalliq, Nunavut.

Dr. Rita Wong

Dr. Rita Wong

Associate Professor, Emily Carr

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Partners

Jessica Chapman

Jessica Chapman

Research Associate

Jessica Chapman has joined the Decolonizing Water team as a Research Associate at the University of Ottawa. Jessica is of settler origin, living and working in Ottawa. She is a doctoral student at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication and much of her research explores the intersections of communication, media, and law. Jessica has been the recipient of both the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She is excited to be involved in the Decolonizing Water project.

Jonathan Ventura

Jonathan Ventura

Media Coordinator

Jonathan Ventura is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker currently living on Treaty 1 territory. He is a 2nd generation Canadian whose family came as refugees from El Salvador, which is traditionally known as Cuzcatlan. Jonathan's work has focused mainly on issues of Indigenous justice and sovereignty. His media work has been published with NBC news, PBS news, Globe and Mail, and CBC Indigenous. He is honoured to be part of the Decolonizing Water team and continue his responsibility to the water, land, and people.

Jayna Green

Jayna Green

Research Associate

Jayna is a second-year law student at the University of Ottawa’s Common Law JD Program. Jayna graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration. Jayna grew up in Torbay, NL and spends a great deal of time on the west coast of the province with family, on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq. Jayna is currently working as a research assistant focusing on Indigenous laws and legal orders and is thankful to be a part of the Decolonizing Water project.

Max Mcquaig

Max Mcquaig

RA

Max is a second year law student at the University of Ottawa. Having grown up in Toronto and spent time canoeing in Treaty 9 territory, he developed a keen interest in Indigenous history, worldviews, and legal issues. Max is currently working on a global research project about the return of land and water governance to Indigenous communities.

Funders

We are grateful for funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.