10  Resilience of Social Ecological Systems

Resilience theory deals with system dynamics and envisions ecosystems as constantly changing, sometimes abruptly and unpredictably. It focuses on renewal cycles and disturbance events such as fire, that are essential to renew the system before another cycle of growth and development can proceed. In its broader context, resilience is about ecosystems and people together as integrated social-ecological systems in which social systems and ecosystems are recognized as coupled, interdependent and co-evolving.   Much scholarly work has focused on social-ecological resilience.



7   Citizen Science and Community-Based Monitoring in the Stewardship of Water Resources and Fishing Livelihoods  

Renato A. M. Silvano, Department of Ecology, UFRGS Brazil 

Many communities in western Canada are building knowledge about ecological change through community-based research processes.  What is the role of the academic?  What kinds of local knowledge and science are being gathered. Learn more about citizen science and strategies for community-based monitoring of water resources and fishing livelihoods that are contributing to efforts to protect marine and fresh water resources in Latin America and globally   

Renato A. M. Silvano is an applied ecologist with experience and experience in ethno-ecology and fisheries management. ​​Dr. Silvano was the head of the Department of Ecology of UFRGS from 2008 to 2010. He has been also participating in the Non-governmental organization (NGO) Fisheries and Food (FIFO) (based in Campinas, Brazil) since 2005, where he now has the position of research director. He got his Doctor degree in Ecology in 2001, at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas, Brazil and He concluded a post-doc in the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia in 2008..

David Natcher

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

5    Collaborative and Community-Based Research: Lessons Learned Across Cultures and Natural Resources

Peggy Smith, Gabriela Lichtenstein

Collaborative community-based research is very important in many kinds of social and environmental research around the globe.  Many people mean different things when they use these terms and the principles for effective and successful research vary.  Engaging in a collaborative process of knowledge production and sharing challenges scholars and communities alike to think about what concepts such  PAR, collaboration and capacity building, mean on the ground. Critical discussion of concepts, methods and tools for collaborative collaborative community-based research will be shared from Argentina, Asia and Canada.  Join in the discussion with scholars and practitioners who have decades of experience in research that is academically rigorous, builds capacity and results in critical practical outcomes.  What are appropriate cultural ethics, protocols and protections?  What is collaboration?  Who benefits and who doesn't?  Share your ideas about what matters and what works in projects focused on governance and livelihood of forest resources, marine and terrestrial biodiversity conservation, resilience to hazards and natural disasters. 

Peggy Smith is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Natural Resources Management at Lakehead University. She teaches Forest Policy and Legislation in Natural Resources, Environmental Assessment, and Aboriginal Peoples and Natural Resources. Her research interests focus on the social impacts of natural resource management, including Aboriginal peoples’ involvement in natural resource management, development and conservation, community forestry, public participation, northern development, and forest certification.  She has a longstanding affiliation as Senior Advisor with the National Aboriginal Forestry Association, a non-profit, Aboriginal-controlled organization with the goal of increasing Aboriginal participation in the forest sector.Gabriela Lichtenstein  holds a research position at the National Research Council (CONICET) in Argentina, lectures at University of Buenos Aires and is also affiliated to National Institute for Anthropology and Latin American Thought (INAPL). She is the Chair of the South American Camelid Specialist Group (GECS).  

Eriel Deranger

ACFN Tar Sands Campaign and Communication Coordinator

Richard Price

Professor Emeritus

Faculty of Native Studies

(Author of Spirit of the Treaties) 

Dorothy Thunder

Cree Instructor

Faculty of Native Studies 

1  Nehiyawe tân - Introductory Cree Language Workshop

Dorothy Thunder

Indigenous languages are an important part of social and environmental sustainability.  Many kinds of community-based research projects  recognize and value Indigenous languages as a backbone of community well-being.   As previous research has shown, Indigenous language concepts and terminology are also the core of traditional ecological knowledge and can tell us a lot about the changing environment and local experiences of issues such as climate change, resource development and food security.  Cree is an Indigenous (Algonquin) language spoken by over 120,000 people in Canada. The Plains Cree dialect, spoken in Alberta, is known as nēhiyawēwin.  Learn more about Cree culture from well-known Cree language instructor, Dorothy Thunder, and learn some key phrases and concepts that will give you insight about local Indigenous experiences of environmental and social sustainability. Those attending the workshop from local communities and from far away will have the change to understand more about the significance of Indigenous languages here in Alberta and globally.  The workshop will include a cultural introduction by Cree elders who will also share oral traditions that reflect on their history and connection to the local landscape and natural resources including water, forests and wildlife. Those attending the workshop will also learn to speak and write some key Cree concepts and phrases related to social and environmental sustainability as well as learn about their origin and meaning.   Cree teachings will be shared by Dorothy Thunder who is a celebrated Cree Instructor in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and MA Candidate in the Faculty of Arts.




15th Biennial Global Conference

International Association for the Study of the Commons 

Crystal Lameman

Idle No More Movement

3    Making Change: Building Successful Environmental Movements  

 Part 1 - Indigenous Environmental Movements 

Eriel Deranger, Crystal Lameman

The intent of the workshop is to provide a forum for discussion on how research and knowledge can lead to positive social and environmental change.   Many of those involved in the IASC 2015 conference are committed to seeing research used to better the livelihoods, well-being and environments of communities facing different social, economic and ecological changes whether resource development, climate change or poverty.What are the ingredients for successful social and environmental action? What are the key challenges?How can you network with other organizations to effect social change?   What role do governments, industry, NGOs and others play in social and environmental movements? What role does social media play in building knowledge and catalyzing political, economic or social action. Learn from case study examples from Alberta and Canada’s north.  Be part of a conversation with activists, lawyers, and scholars with insights about how to use social media in environmental movements. ​

​Crystal Lameman is a member of Beaver Lake Cree First Nation, and the Tar Sands Program Coordinator for Sierra Club Canada.  She is a graduate of the University of Alberta involved in numerous initiatives to protect lands and resources in her traditional territory in Alberta, including working closely with her nation, RAVEN Trust and the Indigenous Environmental Network. She has been highlighted as a woman of peace and courage by the Nobel Women’s Initiative which supports women involved in working for peace, justice and equality globally and has won the Global Exchange Human Rights Grassroots Award alongside fellow award recipient Noam Chomsky. Eriel TchekwieDeranger is a Dene Indigenous activist and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) of Northern Alberta, Canada. Eriel is currently employed as the Tar Sands Campaign and Communication Coordinator for Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.  Her work focuses on creating greater awareness about the impacts of the Alberta Tar Sands and demanding that all levels of government and the private sector fully implement the unique Indigenous rights her people hold as described by Treaty 8, and the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

​Part 2 - Supporting Communities and NGOS in Making Change:

Northern and Southern Perspectives

 Francisco Chapela, Christensen Foundation

  Francisco Chapela is the Program Officer for Northwest Mexico at The Christensen Fund, supporting innovative Indigenous and local communities of farmers and pastoralists, ranchers and fishers from the Sonoran desert to the Sierra Tarahumara (Rarámuri).  Francisco  has worked throughout Mexico and Latin America at the intersection of biological and cultural diversity with a particular focus on leveraging traditional knowledge in collaboration with communities for forest conservation. He has collaborated with a variety of local and multilateral institutions including regional indigenous organizations, the Rainforest Alliance and the World Bank, and played a lead role in implementing the Communities and Indigenous Biodiversity Conservation Project for the states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Oaxaca. He has worked closely with indigenous communities to recover their rights to access their forests and to employ their biological and cultural heritage to create both economic and ecological resilience. Throughout his career Francisco has focused on increasing local capacities in hand with communities and his work with Christensen builds on this foundation. 


2   Indigenous Rights and Issues of Economic Sustainability in Canada

Richard Price

Indigenous rights to lands and resources lay the foundation for sustainable economic development.  However, there are often conflicting views between Indigenous ways of development and those of Industry and government. What are these Indigenous rights?  What are the respective roles of Indigenous communities, industry and government to ensure these rights are recognized and honoured?  What are the negotiation strategies that Indigenous communities and their allies can implement to build relationships with other major players yet preserve the fundamental Indigenous interests? In situations of a negotiation impasse, where do litigation and blockades fit into this strategy?   What can be learned from other research and practice?   Join in discussions about Indigenous rights and successful economic development ventures for Indigenous communities in your part of Canada and the globe.  Be part of a conversation that can contribute to practical solutions for communities to ensure benefits and limit the negative effects of large-scale resource development activities such as mining and petroleum resource development.  Richard Price will discuss approaches to understanding Indigenous rights as a basis for sustainable economic development and will actively encourage participants to join in the discussion. Professor Price will draw on his research in New Zealand, British Columbia and Alberta and his work with First Nations communities in northern Alberta.

Brief Overview of: 
Pre-Conference Workshops - Monday, May 25, 2015

Kate Ashbrook 

Open Spaces Campaign, UK

Ruth Meinzen-Dick

International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC

8  Rethinking our Economy: The Social Economy and the

Economics of Happiness

Mark Anielski, Edmonton Alberta

How does the economic contribute to the well-being of communities and nations?   Join in on a discussion about the various ways we value and measure economic progress; learn more about the economics of happiness from activists and experts of the social-economy   

Mark Anielski is a rare economist who specializes in the new economics of well-being and happiness. He is recognized as an international expert in well-being measurement and indicators as well as a pioneer of natural capital accounting and sustainability measurement.
He is the author of the best-selling book The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, published in May of 2007. His book was published in China in 2010 and has received the highest accolades from senior Chinese officials. In the forward to his book, Mark’s professional mentor ecological economist Herman Daly referred to Mark as ‘God’s auditor.’

Ellen Goddard

University of Alberta

​Edmonton, Alberta

4    Teaching the Commons: Communicating Key Concepts and Theories in the the Classroom 

Evelyn Pinkerton 

Many universities around the world feature sociology, ecology, economics and political science courses that relay some aspect of commons theory – most prominently the tragedy of the commons.  The thirty-year history of interdisciplinary research on common pool resource management, including Ostrom’s design principles for avoiding the tragedy of the commons, are less prevalent in curricula.  What concepts, principles are important to convey?  What scholarly work is most important to share at undergraduate and graduate levels?. Those attending this workshop will learn from instructors and each other about how to structure and deliver course content related to the commons. Evelyn Pinkerton will lead this workshop and share her many years of experience teaching about the common pool resources.  Evelyn Pinkerton is a maritime anthropologist who has integrated common property theory and cultural/political ecology in considering the role communities play in the management of adjacent renewable natural resources. She has played a key role in developing the theory and practice of power-sharing and stewardship through co-management agreements. Beginning with the introduction to her 1989 edited volume Cooperative Management of Local Fisheries (UBC Press), she has been generating middle-range theoretical propositions about the conditions under which co-management is likely to arise and to endure. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles on fisheries and forestry co-management arrangements, and in Fisheries that Work (1995, co-authored with Martin Weinstein), began to develop a more comprehensive framework for analyzing and comparing co-management arrangements. This work has since evolved into analysis of the developmental sequence of types of co-management rights and activities.


6.    Food Security and Food Policy

Part 1 - Food Security Policy Locally and Globally - The Role of Coops and Cooperation
Ellen Goddard, University of Alberta

 The workshop will discuss trends and issues in food policy in Alberta, Canada and around the work and the discuss various kinds of instruments and innovations that prove useful for improving the effective production, distribution and access to healthy food options.  Concepts such as the "food deserts" and food safety and health will be discussed.   A particular focus will be on discussing lessons learned from agricultural and market food coops in Canada, India and west Africa.

Ellen Goddard is Cooperative Chair in Agricultural Marketing and Business, University of Alberta. She came to Alberta from a position as National Australia Bank Professor of Agribusiness and Associate Dean, Coursework, at the Institute of Land and Food Resources, the University of Melbourne. Prior to that Australian appointment Ellen Goddard worked in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Guelph. Over the past 20 years Professor Goddard’s research has been focused on economic modeling of domestic and international markets for food products (particularly meat) for policy analysis purposes. Current research includes various aspects of food marketing including consumer response to food safety incidents, consumer interest in labels, demand for credence attributes, traceability and certification. She also currently leads a national policy research network for Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in Consumer and Market Demand for Food

​Part 2 - Subsistence Economies and Food Sharing

David Natcher, University of Saskatchewan


Food sharing is  key to ensuring access to healthy foods in many subsistence economies and communities. Diverse food resources are informally shared through kinship networks, community groups and regional organizations.  The significance of such sharing systems to food security and the well-being of communities is little recognized by governments.  Join into this interactive workshop to discuss methods for research on food sharing that matter in small communities and urban centres and explore their potential role in food policy.  

David Natcher - Trained as a cultural anthropologist, my research interests rest largely in environmental and economic anthropology. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (M.A. 1996) and the University of Alberta (1999) and have held faculty appointments at the University of Alaska Anchorage (Anthropology) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Anthropology). While at Memorial University, I also held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies. I am currently a Professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan where I also serve as a Senior Research Chair with the Global Institute for Food Security.



Gabriela Lichtenstein

CONICET Buenos Aires, Argentina

Peggy Smith

Lakehead University,

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Franciso Chapela

The Christensen Foundation,

Mexico City

9  An Introduction to the Commons - Commons 101

Leticia Merino, Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Kate Ashbrook

This preconference workshop will help participants with no specialized background on commons to become familiar with the basic commons and core theoretical principles, as well as able to apply this to their own work. It is recommended that those who have little background on the commons participate in both parts of the workshop, but participants can opt to attend just the morning or just the afternoon. Because we will play a Commons Game (e.g., participate in a game theoretic experiment), the number of participants needs to be capped at 50. The workshop will answer questions regarding what commons actually are, their importance, and examples of traditional and contemporary commons. An overview of the different kinds of common and how they different from private and public resources in Canada, Mexico, India and Europe will be discussed.

Leticia Merino has a background in Social Psychology, Sociology, Population and Development, Social Anthropology and Environmental and Forest Studies and is based in Mexico City.  She is former president of IASC and hsa worked in the field of rural studies, with forest communities and communities´ federations. Her research has focused on: communities´ governance of forests, forest sustainability, tenure and property rights, forest and conservation policies.  

Ruth Meinzen-Dick joined IFPRI in 1989. She is Coordinator of the CGIAR program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi). Her research deals with water resource management, land, forests, property rights, collective action, and the impact of agricultural research on poverty. She leads IFPRI’s Gender Task Force and co-leads work on strengthening women’s assets. Much of her research has been in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Kate Ashbrook ​is thee general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865 (its founders went on to create the National Trust in 1895). 

Letiica Merino

IASC Executive

​Mexico City