Francois Paulette

As long as the rivers flow...

(Shaw Conference Centre Hall A - May 27th 8:30)

François Paulette is Denesuline (First Nations) from northern Alberta.  He survived Canada's colonial residential school system before going on to become the youngest Chief in the Northwest Territories (1971). Over the next decade, he served as Chief in his own community and as Vice-Chief of the Dene Nation. Owing to legal cases such as Paulette v. the Crown, Francois is a well known political figure in western and northern Canada and is celebrated by Indigenous communities across Canada and globally for his efforts to ensure recognition of Indigenous rights.  He has worked closely with First Nations communities and NGOs to better understand and help address the effects of oil sands mining, joining other celebrities and moral figures such as Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, singer Neil Young and actor Leonardo Di Caprio in their support.   He is Co-Chair of the Dene Nations Water Strategy.

David Schindler

The Oil Sands and the State of Science in Canada

(Shaw Conference Centre Hall A - May 27th 8:30)

David Schindler is a world renowned ecologist based in Alberta Canada.   He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta and the author of many influential publications and research initiatives including those on the effects of the oil sands on the Athabasca River.  In 2006 Schindler received the Tyler Award for Environmental Achievement for his large scale research program on acid rain effects joining such ecological icons as Jane Goodall.  He has also been honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence (2008)  as professor and mentor - being hailed as "an internationally celebrated scientist who has led efforts to protect fresh water resources in Canada and around the world".  David's research on the impacts of the oil sands mining on the health of downstream water resources has been influential in helping governments, communities and NGOs rethink the significance of these effects - key to the reshaping of environmental governance in Alberta.  

Heather Menzies

Righting Relations with the Land and the Global Economy: Lessons from our Ancestors on the Commons (Shaw Conference Centre Hall A - 9:00)

Heather Menzies is an award-winning magazine and book writer and adjunct professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She has just completed her 10th book, Reclaiming the Commons for the Common Good. Her last two books were on the Globe and Mail's "Best 100" book list. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of Canada for her 'contributions to public discourse.'  

Menzies will discuss the historical loss of commons in western cultures and societies and its significance to many current problems of social and environmental sustainability. She offers insights into the opportunities and challenges of reclaiming the commons, using examples of contemporary movements on food security and political advocacy.

Video Recordings of the Keynote Presentations


Rob Huebert

Arctic Sovereignty and Climate Change - Canada's Future in a Changing North

(Shaw Conference Centre Hall A - May 29th 8:30)

Rob Huebert is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary and a research fellow of the Canadian International Council and a Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He is a well known policy expert on Canadian arctic sovereignty and global circumpolar relations. His work has appeared in International Journal; Canadian Foreign Policy; Isuma- Canadian Journal of Policy Research and Canadian Military Journal.. He was co-editor of Commercial Satellite Imagery and United Nations Peacekeeping and Breaking Ice: Canadian Integrated Ocean Management in the Canadian North. He also comments on Canadian security and Arctic issues in both the Canadian and international media.  He will discuss his most recent book, written with Whitney Lackenbauer and Franklyn Griffiths, is Canada and the Changing Arctic: Sovereignty, Security, and Stewardship

Nancy Turner

Working Together for a Common Goal: Food Security Traditions for Western Canadian First Peoples  (Shaw Conference Centre Hall A, May 26 - 17:00)

Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology, Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research integrates the fields of botany and ecology with anthropology, geography and linguistics, among others. She is interested in the traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in western Canada.  Nancy has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 40 years, collaborating with Indigenous communities to help document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines, as well as language and vocabulary relating to plants and environments. Her interests also include the roles of plants and animals in narratives, ceremonies, language and belief systems. 

15th Biennial Global Conference

International Association for the Study of the Commons 

Password: IASC2015

Itoah Scott-Enns

Sustainability in Northern Canada - A Future for Indigenous Youth

(Shaw Conference Centre Hall A - May 29th 8:30)

Itoah Scott-Enns is a member of the Tłįchǫ Nation (First Nation) of Canada who was born and raised in the beautiful Denendeh (land of the Dene) in the Northwest Territories.  She graduated from the University of Toronto in June 2014 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in aboriginal studies and ethics, society and law. She also holds a background in communication studies, which has helped her to advance her career working for indigenous organizations including the Tłįchǫ Government and the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.  She has worked for and represented northern youth in many forums and capacities - visiting Belize in 2013 to learn from Mayan and Garifuna Indigenous communities.  As a Jane Glassco Northern Fellow of the Walter and Gordon Duncan Foundation (2013-2015), she completed research that connects traditional Tłįchǫ stories of life of the land as lessons for strengthening support for Tłįchǫ women socially impacts by the diamond mines. Itoah is able to offer a welcome youth and Indigenous perspective on questions of environmental sustainability in Canada and globally.