Indigenous Governance speaker series

All are welcome to attend our Indigenous Governance Speaker Series.

Presented online, via Zoom: Zoom meeting ID: 870 5379 5754
Tuesdays from 12:05pm to 12:50pm. 

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.