Nain Winter 2011

Originally from Burlington, Ontario, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2008. After gaining a strong theoretical understanding of government, state, and politics through my undergraduate degree I was fortunate enough to observe and apply what I had learned in the practical world as a part of the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme. Working for a former Aboriginal Affairs Cabinet Minister, I became increasingly interested in how Indigenous people not only engage in environmental policy processes, but how their unique knowledge of the land and environment is reflected in policy decisions and the governance structures that create them.

I recently completed my Masters research that examined the development of an Inuit Knowledge based environmental protection and assessment legislation by the Nunatsiavut Government, an Inuit self-government region located in Labrador.  Using interviews with Inuit Elders, hunters, and policy makers, participant observation of policy meetings in the region, and document review of the piece of legislation, my research findings focus on identifying barriers and facilitators of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) incorporation into policy as well as lessons learned about how to support/promote decision-making processes that the meet cultural goals of Canada’s Indigenous populations across all levels of government and policy sectors.

Currently I am working as a Research Assistant with the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group at Trent University on an ArcticNet funded project exploring the science-policy interface in the Canadian Arctic. I have been involved in three sub-projects: 1) the development of a survey for policy-makers and scientists working in the Arctic in order to understand the impact of science on policies in the Arctic; 2) a case study exploring ArcticNet’s Integrated Regional Impact Study (IRIS) as an example of a science-policy mechanism in the Arctic; and 3) understanding and developing approaches, indicators and metrics to evaluate and assess the impacts of Canadian Arctic science.

When I’m not at work you can usually find me doing a combination of the following: playing soccer, camping, canoeing, perfecting the art of gluten-free cooking, bargain hunting in antique stores, and drinking coffee.