Indigenous Governance speaker series

All are welcome to attend our Indigenous Governance Speaker Series.

Presented online, via Zoom: Zoom meeting ID: 838 3138 4772
Tuesdays from 12:05pm to 12:50pm. 

Dr. Amy HudsonInuit Governance in NunatuKavut, Canada

Indigenous peoples who live in what is now known as Canada have always had their own forms of governance, and their knowledge systems have supported family and group survival since time immemorial. Inuit have continued to adapt to diverse changes brought about by colonization, and in ways that ensure the sustainability of culture and community, and often in challenging, remote, geographic regions. While colonial governance systems almost always reflect the values and perspectives of Western European society, Inuit in the NunatuKavut region of Labrador in the province of NL, have been resisting colonial pressures and adapting to changes on their lands for centuries. Today, Inuit continue to assert their collective and inherent rights to make decisions that impact them, their families, and communities for generations to come. “Inuit Governance in NunatuKavut” illustrates the resilience of Inuit on their ancestral lands as they engage in self-determined efforts to ensure the sustainability of their communities by reclaiming Inuit practices rooted in community-based decision making.


Amy Hudson is originally from Black Tickle on the Island of Ponds, a remote community off the southeast coast of Labrador in NL. Amy comes from Inuit and European ancestry on both maternal and paternal sides of her family, and she was born and raised on the lands, waters, and ice of her Inuit ancestors in the traditional area known as Kikkertet. Amy currently works with NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), the Inuit government that represents her people as Chief Governance Officer and negotiator. Amy is also assistant professor in the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Labrador Campus of Memorial University. Amy’s approach to Indigenous research highly regards the knowledge of Indigenous communities and cultures with a view towards resurgence, reclamation, and self-determination. Her current research is in Inuit governance, legal traditions, and history. Most recently, she has collaboratively led (through evidenced based research) the transition of NCC’s governance structure through to a new governance model that reflects the ways of knowing and being of Inuit communities in NunatuKavut. She is now working with Inuit to revitalize legal traditions that are of priority to community members across NunatuKavut.

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Indigenous Planetary Health

While early applications of planetary health and sustainable health care have largely been focused through a Western anthropocentric lens, the emerging Indigenous planetary health presence is contextual to place, ecocentric, and has a deep understanding of the fundamental interconnection between Indigenous Peoples’ health and the health of the planet. This presentation will seek to re-establish and reconnect our health and wellness systems to align with the planet’s health through the lens of Indigenous traditional knowledges.


Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, MPH, is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation (Northwest Territories) and has worked with Indigenous patients, scholars, and communities around the globe her entire career. She is an Associate Professor, Western Research Chair, and Director of Indigenous Planetary Health at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. She has been actively involved at regional, national, and international levels promoting the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in both human and planetary health research and practice. Dr. Redvers is the author of the trade paperback book titled, ‘The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles’.

Jamie Snook, PhD

Inuit land claim-based co-management governance in Nunatsiavut

Dr. Jamie Snook (he/him) will present on some of the key highlights and milestones of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement co-management system. In this presentation Jamie will cover some governance examples from both marine and land animals, and the human qualities of fish and wildlife co-management.


Jamie Snook, PhD, has spent his life as a leader, politician, researcher, and community development advocate in Labrador. His work revolves around fish and wildlife conservation and management, governance, health, and Indigenous well-being. He is a proud Labradorian with Inuit and British ancestries and is a member of the NunatuKavut Community Council. The majority of his professional career has been dedicated to furthering Inuit self-determination and reclamation along Labrador’s coast.

He is currently the Executive Director of the Torngat Wildlife, Plants and Fisheries Secretariat, where he is responsible for implementing sections of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that focus on wildlife and commercial fisheries co-management. In this capacity, Jamie has participated in many interdisciplinary, intergovernmental, and international forums and, under his leadership, the Secretariat has grown its research capacity to better serve the needs of Inuit in Nunatsiavut. Jamie completed a PhD Public Health at the University of Guelph, working with the Secretariat to understand and examine the ways in which fish and wildlife co-management impacts Inuit health and well-being.

Jodie Lane

From Kindergarten to Post-Secondary:  Nunatsiavut Government’s Role in Education

From Kindergarten to Post-Secondary:  Nunatsiavut Government’s Role in Education will take a look at the history of education in the Inuit region.  Looking at the post-residential school area to present day, I will focus on the history of Inuktitut language and Inuit culture in our K-12 system, the advances in culturally relevant curriculum and resources, the almost 40 year history of supporting Inuit in their pursuit of post-secondary studies as well as the future of secondary education in Nunatsiavut.


Jodie Lane is the Director of Education for the Nunatsiavut Government Department of Education and Economic Development. She is a Beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and was born and raised in the Inuit community of Makkovik. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Guelph, and then returned to her home to work for the Labrador Inuit Association (now Nunatsiavut Government) as a Career Fair Coordinator. She later earned her Master’s in Education at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has since held the positions of Education Counsellor and Education Manager, and it was through these positions that she traveled regularly to each Nunatsiavut community speaking with students on the importance of staying in school, preparation for post-secondary studies, career and funding options, as well as life as a student and living away from home. 

Ms. Lane is passionate about infusing Inuit language and culture into curriculum and played a key role in developing the Labrador Inuit Society & Culture high school course in collaboration with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, as well as the Inuit Bachelor of Education program in collaboration with the Labrador Institute of Memorial University.  The former helps fill the void in Inuit-specific learning in Nunatsaivut schools (and beyond), while the latter prepares teachers to teach through an Inuit lens by using curriculum infused with Inuit cultural content.

Dr. Crystal Fraser

CANCELLED: Today's Indigenous Governance degree talk with Dr. Fraser is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We will reschedule at a later date. Thank you for your understanding.


Indigenous histories and activisms in the NWT during the twentieth century

Dr. Crystal Gail Fraser (she/her) will present on some of the key moments of Indigenous activism and political involvement during the twentieth century in the Northwest Territories that has led to contemporary movements of rethinking and resurgence. In this presentation, Crystal will discuss activism around Treaty 11, education, natural resources, and language. 


Crystal Gail Fraser is Gwichyà Gwich'in and originally from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gę̀hnjik, Northwest Territories. She also has connections to English and Scottish heritage. Crystal's PhD research focused on the history of student experiences at Indian Residential Schools in the Inuvik Region between 1959 and 1996. Her work makes a strong contribution to how scholars engage with Indigenous research methodologies and theoretical concepts, our understanding of Indigenous histories during the second half of the twentieth century, and how northern Canada was unique in relation to the rest of the settler nation. Crystal's doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2020 John Bullen Prize by the Canadian Historical Association for her thesis, titled T’aih k’ìighe’ tth’aih zhit dìidìch’ùh or By Strength We Are Still Here. The prize honours the outstanding PhD thesis on a historical topic submitted at a Canadian university. Crystal serves on national and international committees; she is a member of the Governing Circle of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a director at Gwich'in Council International, and was recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Residential School Missing Children and Unmarked Graves. In Fall 2022, Crystal was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Academic Early Career Award from the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations.

 IGD speaker series

"We have our footsteps everywhere" The Ross River Dena's fight to protect Dena Kēyeh/Kaska Country

Link to Briarpatch Article:

Link to "We have our Footsteps everywhere" (short film):

Amos Dick, Norman Sterriah, Dorothy Smith and Mary Maje from the Ross River Dena Elder's Council and Kaska Youth leader and land guardian, Robby Dick,  explain why they did not sign a land claim and why they won't sell the land, in the Dena way.

In the fall of 2021, the RRDC celebrated the 20th anniversary of refusing to participate in Canada’s comprehensive land claims process. The RRDC--part of the Kaska Nation whose territory spans the Yukon, BC, and NWT border--is located in Tu Łidlini (Ross River, Yukon) home to 352 people, 85% of whom are Kaska Dena. As “non-signers” of the Umbrella Final Agreement, the framework that guides modern treaty making in the Yukon, the RRDC are still governed under the Indian Act. Unlike 11 other First Nations in the Yukon, who have signed final and self-government agreements with the Yukon and Canada, the RRDC and other Kaska have not ceded, released or extinguished their Aboriginal title or rights to the Crown. Their territory, 23% of the Yukon and 10% of BC, is unceded.

Guided by their inherent right to govern their territory, the Ross River Dena Council (RRDC) enforced a hunting permit system during the 2018, 2020, and 2021 hunting seasons that required non-Kaska hunters to obtain a permit from the RRDC. In doing so, their actions amplified a complex and contentious dispute between the Kaska and the state (Yukon/Canada) about the land. The Kaska abide by a complex relational system of ethics, laws and governance that guide the Kaska’s interactions with their country; the state, conversely, draws upon colonial logics of rights, property and resource management.

Winter 2022 speakers series

Dr. John B. Zoe

Gonaewo (Our Way of Life)

Gonaewo (Our Way of Life) is about keeping our Tlicho stories valid which was challenged by the colonization narrative over many generations. Gonaewo continues to sustain us as we continue our ways of implementing our core values to our Lands, Language, Culture and Way of Life, in the spirit of “Strong Like Two People".

Mitch White
Sharing Our Stories

Capture and share your story through traditional and social media. Mitch discusses the power stories hold to document, preserve, strengthen and share our traditional values and contemporary truths.

Dr. John B. Zoe biography

Dr. John B. Zoe was the Chief Land Claims Negotiator along with a Negotiations Team and Elder Advisors for the former Treaty 11 Council of the NWT from 1994 until its conclusion with the establishment of the Tłı̨chǫ Government in 2005. John is now a senior advisor to the Tłı̨chǫ Government, and a Co-lead to the Indigenous Relationship to Land theme for the Modern Treaties Implementation Research Project.

John was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta in recognition of his work in the development of the new government, as well as his contributions to projects that are built upon a foundation of Tłı̨chǫ language, culture and way of life. He is a recipient of the Order of the NWT and the Tlicho Government recognition Award.

Mitch White biography

Nunatsiavimmiuk Mitch (he/him) White’s journey has been one of a storyteller, as a journalist and within Indigenous policy and industry on a local, regional, national, and international level. He has served as Youth Representative on the Nunatsiavut Transitional Government, a Councillor on the Nain Inuit Community Government, and on the boards of APTN, Canadian Roots Exchange, and Arctic 360 (current).

Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama

Teaching, learning and being - Growing Indigenous in every way and every day

Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama is Yukon University's first Indigenous Knowledge Research Chair. Her work pushes the forefront of Indigenization by normalizing whole person approaches to education, governance, and daily life. She will story her work in academia, Land Planning, as co-lead of the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship and as a scholar of her culture. 

Erin Matariki Carr

Constitutional transformation movement: Lessons from Te Urewera rainforest, Aotearoa

Since the 1980s, Aotearoa New Zealand’s constitution and law has been in slow transformation as Māori law has resurged and intertwined within the colonial legal system. This has begun in siloes, for example with the ethic of ‘kaitiakitanga’ (stewardship) being introduced into the Resource Management Act. However, it is now gaining momentum as a constitutional movement with much more analysis of the systemic change required to ensure the honouring of partnership between Māori and the Crown NZ Government as required by Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 (NZ’s founding constitutional document).

The granting of legislative legal personality to the Te Urewera rainforest in 2014 is one powerful example of the innovative merging of two legal cultures. In this example we have Crown legislation vesting Te Urewera rainforest into her own ownership, recognising her intrinsic value, establishing a board with majority Tūhoe appointees to be the voice of the forest, and enshrining the first purpose of the Act as being to “strengthen and maintain the connection between Tūhoe and Te Urewera”.

While Te Urewera’s legal personality is an incredible constitutional shift of power, we will also touch on some of the challenges that lie ahead for Tūhoe and Te Urewera, and for Māori in Aotearoa as a whole, to move from a colonised reality to one of living our own tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty).

Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama biography

Jocelyn Joe-Strack, Daqualama (Da-kal-a-ma), is a member of the Wolf Clan of northwestern Canada’s Champagne and Aishihik First Nation. Jocelyn is an Indigenous scientist, artist and entrepreneur who strives to evolve tomorrow’s policies by blending yesterday’s ancestral lessons with today’s systematic knowledge. She uses her experience as a trained microbiologist, hydrologist and policy analyst along with her cultural foundations to explore resilient approaches to challenges such as climate change, societal wellbeing and prosperity. Her research focuses on Youth healing and leadership, revitalizing traditional storytelling and fulfilling the Spirit and Intent of the Yukon Land Claim Agreements.  Daqualama was born and currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory with her husband and two young children.

Erin Matariki Carr biography

Erin Matariki Carr (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Welsh, Croatian, English) is co-lead for RIVER, a circle of committed people striving to revitalise Indigenous virtues for Earth’s regeneration. Matariki’s professional background is in law, and she holds various roles focused on the re-indigenisation of constitutional and social structures to enable us to live in right relationship with Papatūānuku once more. Matariki lives in Tāneatua, a village south of Te Urewera rainforest, among family, friends and gardens.

Gillian Staveley
Reconnection – Grounding Kaska Values to Dene K’éh Kusān

There is a resurgence happening within Indigenous communities about connecting back to our lands, language, and laws to find the healing we need during this troubling time in our world. The Kaska Dena communities are working towards finding ways to use our strong land ethics to help manage our traditional territory according to our values that are rooted in our ways of knowing, doing, and being.

Today in a world where Indigenous-led conservation is recognized and being increasingly supported, the concept of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA's) is the answer to many of the important conservation and reconciliation initiatives in the North. There are challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities around being a leader in stewardship and it is a relationship that we can all be a part of.

Dr. Samantha Darling
The Capacity Behind the Decisions: The Role of Research Capacity in Impact Assessment

Capacity, or lack thereof, is an often-cited challenge in the day-to-day operations of northern governance mechanisms, such as impact assessment (IA). I examine capacity at multiple scales (individual, organizational and network) and from different perspectives to clarify what capacity constraints look like in practice. I consider IA processes as knowledge-based activities, which shifts focus towards meaningful knowledge exchange and mutual support, while still acknowledging logistical challenges that arise. I draw on the experiences of IA practitioners in the Yukon to identify facilitators and challenges to the adoption and distribution of new knowledge, including the respectful consideration of Traditional Knowledge alongside new science. Adjustments to our approach to capacity building for IA would support development decisions and the consideration of the wide variety of existing perspectives within those decisions.

Gillian Staveley biography

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)
Director of Land Stewardship and Culture with Dena Kayeh Institute

Gillian Staveley is a Kaska Dena member whose heritage lies in the Muncho Lake region of Dena Kēyeh in Northern British Columbia. Graduating from UBC in 2014 with a Masters in Anthropology, Gillian’s research explored the importance of multi-generational environmental knowledge. In addition, it focused on issues of colonialism and political ecology – all topics that are relevant to Indigenous communities across the globe.

Through Gillian's connection with her heritage and culture, she has actively promoted the conversation of what Indigeneity means in the 21st century. Gillian has worked predominantly in the resource development sector as a traditional land use practitioner, consultant, and archaeologist. In her past work as the Regional Coordinator for the Kaska Dena in British Columbia, her goal was to ensure that through the Government to Government relationship that exists between her Nation and the Province, that the respect for Kaska Laws – Dene K’éh Gū́s’ān and the commitment under the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples is upheld in all consultations and engagements with her Nation.

Gillian currently serves as a Director of the Dena Kēyeh Institute (DKI), a non-for-profit society created by the Kaska Nation to empower, preserve, and protect the Kaska Dena language, oral traditions, history, culture, and traditional knowledge. Gillian's primary work as the Director of Land Stewardship and Culture has been focused on her Nations Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas proposals within the Kaska Ancestral Territory.

As a mother of two strong and energetic Kaska boys, her livelihood is encompassed around watching them grow, live, and experience the world around them in Dena Kēyeh, ‘the people’s country.’

Dr. Samantha Darling biography

I am a born and raised Yukoner and grew up on the Traditional Territories of the Jilḵáat Ḵwáan. Originally a physical geographer with beginnings at Yukon College, I have ten years of research and field experience in the Yukon. After my Masters, I was recruited to work with the YC management team developing the bones of the current IGD program and coordinating the FNGPA certificate. My experiences working with these programs led me to pivot towards the intersection between science and governance mechanisms for my PhD. Most recently, my focus has been on capacity challenges seen in impact assessment processes, particularly around research and knowledge. Overall, my work approaches capacity building from a knowledge-based perspective, where adjustments to the current system could alleviate some shared capacity constraints and facilitate discussions around development decisions.

Dr. Rhiannon Klein

Reviewing and Redefining Relationships: Modern Treaty Implementation in Yukon

Modern treaties are among the most important legal and constitutional documents in Indigenous affairs in Canada. The treaties created transformative societal change across the North and significantly altered the concepts and understanding of governance. However, the approach taken to implement these foundational agreements over the past forty-five years has resulted in strained relations between Indigenous signatories and their government partners. The Yukon has been looked to as a success story for the historical achievement of negotiating the Umbrella Final Agreement and eleven individual First Nation Final and Self-Government Agreements. Drawing on the first-hand experiences of Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin Government, the purpose of this study was to examine how the partners in the negotiation of modern treaties have managed the transition from negotiation to implementation and what this transition may reveal about the modern treaty process in Canada.

Dazawray Landrie-Parker

Indigenous engagement and the nuclear energy sector

In a time where climate change is a hot topic, and countries all over the world are working to decrease C02emissions, many of Canada's Northern and remote Indigenous communities are still relying heavily on coal for energy.  The high cost of energy, infrastructure challenges, and the harsh climate indicates that Canada's North is facing an energy crisis.  Technology innovations in power generation may offer potential solutions to the energy crisis in Canada's North, but at what cost? SMRs are an emerging technology in the energy sector and recently Canada released its SMR action plan, aimed at SMR implementation. SMR’s appear to be a real contender in the energy industry as an alternative energy system to reduce carbon emissions. And while SMR’s may seem like an ideal solution to combat the rising emissions while providing energy solutions to the challenges identified by Northern communities, the question remains on to how to successfully incorporate SMR technology into the current energy mix.

Dr. Rhiannon Klein biography

Dr. Rhiannon Klein was born and raised in Edmonton, AB on Treaty 6 Territory and the homeland of the Métis. She has been living on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council in Whitehorse, YT since 2010. Rhiannon is currently the Chair of the Indigenous Governance Degree and a faculty member at Yukon University. This past March, Rhiannon completed her PhD in Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Her dissertation is titled, “Reviewing and Redefining Relationships: Intergovernmental Relations and Modern Treaty Implementation in Yukon, 1986-2016.” Her teaching and research interests include public policy; Northern, Indigenous and multilevel governance; modern treaty negotiations and implementation; Indigenous-government relations; intergovernmental relations; community-based research; and Canadian politics. 

Dazawray Landrie-Parker biography

Dazawray Landrie-Parker (Métis) is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and an instructor at Yukon University. She is also the former Director of Operations for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan.  In 2014, Dazawray was appointed as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commanding Officer’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee for “F” Division (RCMP COAAC), which builds on her extensive background working with Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MNS) where she held several senior positions - including Director of Operations, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Policy Analyst.

Dazawray’s Métis ancestry fueled her focus on Indigenous communities and inspired her undergraduate degree in Native Studies from the U of S. and her subsequent degree-Master of Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas offered jointly by University of Tromsø-The Arctic University of Norway and the U of S.  As the culmination of her program, Dazawray researched and built a community engagement framework for nuclear energy engagement in northern communities and the Policy for Public Engagement for the City of Saskatoon.