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Subcommittees

COSEWIC Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee (ATKSC) Member Biographies

Dr.  Jeannette Armstrong

Jeannette Armstrong is Syilx Okanagan, a fluent speaker of nsyilxcen and a traditional knowledge keeper of the Okanagan Nation. She was awarded Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy at UBC Okanagan in 2013. She is Research Director at En'owkin Centre, the Post-Secondary Institute of the Okanagan Nation as a part of her Research Chair program. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Ethics and Syilx Indigenous Literatures. She was awarded British Columbia's Community Achievement Award in 2012. She is the recipient of the EcoTrust Buffett Award for Indigenous Leadership. She currently serves on Environment Canada's Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee on the Status of Endangered Species and Wildlife in Canada.

Dr. Myrle Ballard

Myrle Ballard is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin First Nation. Myrle currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Manitoba. She is passionate about the environment and has raised awareness about the impacts of flooding in her home community. She has a doctoral degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Manitoba. She was awarded various fellowships such as the Loewen Foundation Fellowship for Responsible Wood Utilization, Manitoba Round Table on Sustainable Development Scholarship, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Initiative Fellow, and James Gordon Fletcher Ph.D. Fellowship.

Myrle grew up on the reserve and was indoctrinated to the traditional way of life from a very early age. She harvested wild rice as a child, prepared nets for the fishers, plucked ducks and geese, prepared wild meat and fish, to name but a few. Myrle is honoured that she is able to understand and speak her native mother tongue Anishinaabe-mowin, and finds her language invaluable when she compares and contrasts traditional and western science. She taught graduate studies at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba and undergraduate studies at University College of the North. She has held various positions with various Aboriginal organizations in Manitoba and Ottawa. She is also involved at the international level working with other Indigenous groups and UN conventions, and providing expertise on international working groups in areas such as Indigenous issues, forestry, climate change and biodiversity. Nominated by the Native Women's Association of Canada, Myrle is now a member of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee for COSEWIC.

Dan Benoit

Dan Benoit is a Manitoba Métis and a member of the Métis Nation. He has spent most of his life living near his ancestor's Red River Lot in St. Norbert Parish or at the family farm near Seven Sisters Falls, MB. Like many Métis, Dan has been raised in the traditions and culture of his People including their special relationship and stewardship with the land and water. Dan is a farmer, hunter, trapper and fisherman, and continues to exercise these traditions and pass them along to others. He believes it is essential to preserve traditional Métis culture and lifestyle while being in harmony with the land.

Dan operates his family's traditional, turn of the century Métis farm, with most of the buildings and equipment dating to pre-1930s. The animals and vegetable crops found on the farm are those that were found in the early Red River Settlement circa 1820s. He was also a member of the Métis Horticultural Heritage Society, and is keenly interested in preserving heritage species and biodiversity.

Dan has in-excess of 10 years post-secondary education and has various degrees, diplomas and certificates in Natural Resources Management, Ecology and water and wastewater management from University College of the North, Red River College, University of Ottawa, and the University of Manitoba. He has worked for both industry and all three levels of government in the natural resources and environment field. Dan has worked for Tolko Forest Industries, the Canadian Forest Service, Manitoba Conservation, and the Whitemouth River Conservation District, amongst others. Dan has also worked for the RCMP and the Canadian Forces as an Officer. In addition to his farm operation, he has 10 years of experience as a consultant to First Nations Bands and Northern Affairs Communities in Manitoba regarding community development, environment and hydro generation issues, and has owned and operated an eco- and Aboriginal -tourism guiding business in Eastern and Northern Manitoba, and Northwestern Ontario.

Dan was also a manager for five years, in charge of the Agriculture, Environment, Hydro, and Natural Resources Portfolios at the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) supervising a multi-disciplinary province-wide team of fourteen staff. For the last 8 years, he has worked as an environmental scientist with the government.

Dan is intimately knowledgeable in many other facets of Métis cultural heritage and traditional knowledge relating to water and land issues. In fact, his community recognizes this, and the Métis National Council and the MMF have appointed him to various provincial, national and international forums to represent the Métis Nation's interests on environmental and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge issues. Dan was formerly a member of the Manitoba East- Side Planning Initiative's Round Table, Co-Chair of the Manitoba Floodway Authority Community Outreach Panel, Environment Canada's Mining Sector Sustainability Table, Co-Chair of COSEWIC's ATK subcommittee, MNC National Research Strategy, MNC Environment Committee, MNC's CBD Canadian Delegate, MNC Post-Powley Multilateral Process and Mining Association of Canada's Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Community of Interest Panel.

Mr. Benoit lives with his wife Beth, their son Fred and daughter Katie, between Winnipeg and the family farm in South-eastern Manitoba.

Sue Chiblow
Environment Coordinator
Chiefs of Ontario

Sue was born and raised in Garden River First Nation with a family of 4 brothers and 4 sisters. Her father was the only parent in the family and frequently took the entire family into to the bush for hunting, trapping and fishing excursions. He instilled at a very young age the laws of the land and always promoted respect for everything. As a teenager, Sue lived with her Nokomis (grandmother figure) where she was taught traditional women skills.

Sue has worked extensively with First Nation communities for the last twenty years in environmental related fields and has made numerous First Nation contacts. Sue has her Bachelors of Science degree with her major focusing on biology and a minor in chemistry and her Masters degree in Environment and Management.

Sue worked with the Chiefs of Ontario as the Environmental Coordinator planning, coordinating, implementing and facilitating the activities of the Environment Unit. Her work included providing environmental information to the First Nation leaders in Ontario and their communities on environmental initiatives such the waters, forestry, contaminants, energy and species at risk. She was involved in negotiating with governments and regularly provided policy analysis on government bills. She now has her own Advisory firm still working with First Nation communities in both the environment and education sectors and has recently taken a leadership role in her community as an elected councillor. Sue is a strong advocate for co-existence of all life forms.

Roger Gallant

Roger Gallant is a Mi'kmaq from western Newfoundland and is currently working as an environmental consultant. He has a M.Sc. in Environment and Management, a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Biology, a Masters Certificate in Project Management, and a Bachelor of Education (Post-Secondary). During the past several years, Roger has conducted various research studies and traditional knowledge initiatives. He has been active in the conservation and recovery of species at risk in insular Newfoundland. Recent activities have focused on the monitoring of piping plover (Charadrius melodus melodus) and several other avian species at risk in western NL; determining banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) dispersal and habitat requirements in NL; monitoring American eel (Anguilla rostrata) migrations; documenting traditional eel harvest practices; and, preserving Mi'kmaq traditional knowledge on culturally important species.

Gloria Goulet

Gloria Goulet is Metis from the Red River region of Manitoba. She was nominated by the Metis National Council. Gloria was the COSEWIC Secretariat coordinator of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge prior to retiring in 2009. Gloria was the Manitoba lead for Woodland Boreal Caribou recovery consultations. She participated in the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach Eastern wolverine recovery workshop. While working with the Secretariat, Gloria provided supervision and facilitated support for a pilot project by an Aboriginal student- Wolverine ATK review. Gloria has produced a number of ATK Source and ATK Assessment reports. She has a M.Sc. in Zoology. She taught university level courses to Aboriginal students on university campuses and on a number of Manitoba reserves. She developed Aboriginal science teaching kits for early years students. Gloria researched and submitted reports to Parks Canada on the status of gray wolves in southwestern Manitoba. She co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and authored reports, conference presentations and popular articles related to that research. Gloria currently lives on the East shore of Lake Winnipeg. She has two adult children who are proud of their Metis heritage and contribute to Indigenous communities.

Jason Harquail

Jason Harquail is an off-reserve Mi’kmaq from New Brunswick and has been employed with the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council since 1999. Throughout this time, Jason has dealt mainly with the fisheries aspect of the Council, first as an Aboriginal Conservation Officer dealing with Food, Social, and Ceremonial aspects of the fishery. Upon his promotion to Commercial Fisheries Manager in 2005, Jason’s duties have expanded to include daily communication with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Industry and Aboriginal Fishermen, as well as other Aboriginal organizations. Additionally, Jason regularly attends various Science and Industry meetings to deal with present and upcoming Conservation and Protection Regulations dealing with Marine Wildlife. In 2003, Jason was nominated to participate in UNESCO meetings in Ottawa to discuss Sustainable Development of fresh water, in addition to topics dealing with HIV, AIDS, and Youth Participation.

Dr. Donna Hurlburt

Dr. Donna Hurlburt is a Mi'kmaw ecologist and conservation biologist from Lequille, Nova Scotia. She is a member of Acadia First Nation, but resides off-reserve. She is pleased to live and work in the traditional lands of her ancestors who were well known hunting and fishing guides in southwestern Nova Scotia. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology and Ecology from University of Alberta, which was followed by an NSERC Industrial post-doctoral fellowship with Bowater Mersey Paper Company. She also holds a B.Sc. (Agriculture) from Dalhousie University and a M.Sc. in Biology from Acadia University. She was previously a Visiting Professor in Biology at Acadia University and is currently employed there as an Aboriginal Student Advisor.

Donna owns and manages a small consulting firm that specializes in the integration of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) and scientific knowledge in environmental decision-making, in citizen engagement in policy development, and in strictly scientific pursuits in Species at Risk monitoring and recovery. Her clients include Aboriginal communities and organizations, government, industry and non-profit organizations across Canada. Donna is a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and a Co-chair of their ATK Subcommittee. She is also a member of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Roster of Experts for Canada on the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Jackie Price

Jackie Price is Inuk from Nunavut and considers Rankin Inlet (where she grew up) and Iqaluit (where she's lived been since high school and where she current resides) her home. Jackie currently works for the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, which is an organization representing the Hunters and Trappers Organizations of the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut. This is a dynamic organization that requires skill and knowledge related to policy and administration in wildlife management. She is also always thinking about developing training and educational strategies for community level engagement. This falls in line with her previous experience as an educator at the early college level. Jackie is working to complete her doctoral degree with the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge in the UK. With Arctic Governance debates develop in intensity, her research asks what Inuit governance means in a post land claims era.

Dr. Brian Tucker

Dr. Brian Tucker is an ecologist specializing in terrestrial ecology and spatial statistics, with additional background in ecological restoration. He is also a resident of Northwestern Ontario and has strong links to the Métis community, the traditional Métis way of life, as well as commercial fishing, logging and trapping industries. He is currently the Associate Director of Education and Way of Life for the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Brian was born and grew up in Northwestern Ontario (Fort Frances), where his traditional lifestyle fostered and maintained a close connection to the lands and waters of the north. He grew up hunting, fishing, trapping and harvesting plants as part of his Métis way of life. Before completing high school and moving away to attend post-secondary education, he worked at the family commercial fishing, trapping, and logging operations. He has also worked in the tourism industry, primarily as a fishing guide. Brian studied at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Ph.D. in Ecology) where he explored new methods of spatial data analysis and applied them to clonal plant ecology. During his M.Sc. research at Laurentian University (M.Sc. in Biology), Brian examined small scale (topographic) and large scale (historic smelting impact) vegetation community composition gradients using Hidden Markov Models. His B.Sc. research at Laurentian University (B.Sc. in Environmental Earth Science) comprised of examining the same gradients with the standard Markov Model. Prior to his university studies, Brian attended Confederation College in Thunder Bay (3-yr Environmental Engineering Technology). He has been an NSERC scholar throughout his undergraduate, M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies.

Driven by the need to return to his family roots in commercial fishing, trapping and harvesting, Brian and his family moved back to Fort Frances where he remotely completed his doctoral research at the University of Alberta. During this time he spent three years teaching a range of courses at Confederation College's Fort Frances campus. Many of these courses were distance education courses, and Brian was able to teach and learn from students from across the northern part of the province. Over the course of the past five years, Brian has worked within the Métis Nation of Ontario in the Lands, Resources and Consultations Branch and Education and Training Branch. He has served as the Manager of the LRC Branch and the Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use. This work has allowed Brian to travel across much of Ontario. It has allowed him to work closely with Métis communities, industry representatives in the resource and energy sectors, and Federal and Provincial officials from various ministries on a range of projects, issues and initiatives. Working in this fast-paced, multi-issue environment has allowed Brian to gain experience in government policy development and implementation, Aboriginal consultation, resource development in northern Ontario, infrastructure projects, natural resource management and northern education initiatives. Working within the MNO has also given Brian considerable exposure to Métis governance, rights, and culture. Whenever possible, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and son. He also enjoys canoeing, hunting, fishing, trapping, creative writing and literature.