University of Guelph, B.Sc. Environmental Science, Major in Environmental Biology (2015)
I am an AnishinaabeKwe from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) and grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. As an Indigenous woman who studies science, I like to think of myself as a traveler between scientific and Indigenous ways of knowing. As such, I aim to utilize a Two-Eyed Seeing approach to research. Whilst working for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, I further developed my technical knowledge of natural resource management and conservation while developing and maintaining partnerships with several First Nation communities regarding Community Based Land Use Planning in northwestern Ontario. These positions have reinvigorated my motivation for environmental sustainability and reinforced my passion in serving Indigenous communities throughout my career.
The Alaska Native Village of Nanwalek, located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, relies on local commercial and subsistence Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) fishing supported by the English Bay Lakes system. The community has witnessed a large-scale decline in their salmon run over the past 20 years and are concerned about future outcomes related to shifting abundances of the fishery. To provide a platform for community discussion, learning, and the development of action items, we are establishing a partnership through ongoing collaboration with Nanwalek. We are forming a Fishery Working Group to demonstrate data collection, that includes salmon genetic analysis, small unmanned aerial system surveys, environmental DNA techniques, and water temperature and quality monitoring, that respects community interests and perspectives about the impact of sockeye decline, and to capture culturally specific perspectives and dynamics, including demarcating the current state of the fishery. We will establish partnership benchmarks, performance measures and conduct quantitative assessments to examine the complexities, connections and internal dynamics among the working group. This project will result in data products that support both tribal entities and agency officials in managing the English Bay Lakes Sockeye Salmon fishery, provide recommendations on processes for building and sustaining collaborative partnerships with Alaska Native communities, and demonstrate the importance to meaningfully include Indigenous knowledge through tribal representation and engagement in fishery management.
Advisers: Dr. Brad Harris, Dr. Nathan Wolf, Dr. Robert Murphy, Dr. Courtney Carothers
Partners & Collaborators: Alaska Native Village of Nanwalek, Chugach Regional Resources Commission, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Funding for this work is provided by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative via the Alaska Education Tax Credit Program.