Dr. Myrle Ballard
Dr. Ballard is an Assistant Professor / Indigenous Scholar, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba. She has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management.
She is an Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin First Nation. Dr. Ballard has researched and documented the flooding and emergency responses of her traditional homelands at Lake St. Martin First Nation and neighboring communities.
She has experience working with UN organizations on biological diversity, climate change and Indigenous Peoples. She is currently a member of the COSEWIC Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee.
She has served as an advisor with the Ecological Reserves Advisory Committee (Manitoba), and as Commissioner, Clean Environment Commission; and past board member with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
Dr. Ramona Neckoway
Dr. Ramona Neckoway is an Assistant Professor at University College of the North and currently serves as the Chair of its Aboriginal Northern Studies Program. As a member of a Hydro-affected community in northern Manitoba (Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation), her research has been shaped by the experiences and encounters of her family and her community.
For more than a decade, Ramona has listened to local perspectives as they relate to the many implications of hydropower. Drawing upon these perspectives and experiences, together with reflecting on broader implications of energy production on Cree homelands in northern Manitoba, she endeavours to create critical spaces that include Indigenous voices, histories, and perspectives thus aiming to open up possibilities for alternative narratives where hydropower and energy production in the north is concerned.
Dr. Neckoway is also the co-lead on a NSERC-funded project designed to offer opportunities for Indigenous youth to learn about science in a culturally relevant and meaningful manner. Shaped by both Indigenous customs and practices and Western scientific traditions, this cross-cultural initiative locates science education through land-based camps that are grounded in and draw from culturally rich Indigenous worldviews led by Indigenous Elders and other local knowledge keepers.
Dr. Stéphane McLachlan
Stéphane is a Full Professor and coordinator of the Environmental Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba. He joined the Department of Environment and Geography in 2003, and has been working at the University of Manitoba since 1999. Before that he completed a PhD at York University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Stéphane’s overall goal as an academic is to engage in research that at once makes contributions to the academic literature and benefits the livelihoods and environments of Aboriginal and rural communities and other stakeholders; to be an engaging, progressive, and responsible teacher; and to be of meaningful service to the university and society as a whole.
Currently his research interests include: risk and adaptation, alternative food systems, food justice, environmental justice, environmental health, participatory video, participatory research, conservation and restoration, and traditional knowledge.
Gail grew up in South Indian Lake, Manitoba and is a member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (Nelson House). She is Cree and speaks the language fluently.
Gail is in her 24th year as a nurse. The majority of her career has been spent working in Manitoba, on reserve or with Indigenous communities, promoting health and wellness and advocating for better health services, water access and proper housing. She has long been an advocate of putting health and wellness education in the schools.
In Gail’s experience, health services and treatment have been reactive in nature, and with growing populations and living conditions remaining unchanged, this reactive method of providing services may only get more entrenched in the future. Her hope would be someday to see a more proactive approach to health and wellbeing, including a nurse in every school and health and wellness supported throughout the life span of individuals.
Dave Scott is an Ojibwa Traditional and Environmental Knowledge expert and a researcher of Treaty and Aboriginal Rights. In his 40 years of experience in these areas Dave has facilitated community-led research and Traditional Knowledge camps; taught widely about land claims, the Indian Act, and governmental policies of assimilation; and undertaken field studies on the impacts of Manitoba Hydro’s infrastructural developments in Manitoba.
As committee member with many Manitoban First Nations, Dave has worked in community engagement and consultation, particularly in relation to section 35 of the Constitution Act.
In addition to the Knowledge he holds, Dave is fluent in Ojibwa and has a working understanding of Cree. He brings this knowledge to bear in his critique of the Canadian education system and his expertise on the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and governmental politics.
Phyllis Hart is a Cree language speaker and educator. Presently she works with youth from grades 4-8 using her personal views and understandings of the 7 teachings, as well as her knowledge for the environment to teach the Cree language.
Phyllis is passionate about teaching the meanings and origins of language, and finds its ability to enrich ones life to be powerful, especially with youth.
Teaching language has been a wonderful journey for Phyllis, and and has helped her get in touch with her roots and where the teachings came from, and she hopes that by teaching the language to others, they too can share these experiences and better connect with themselves and their teachings.
Donald Hart has been a Cree language educator for ten years, working with people of all ages to share the power of language.
Donald is also a land-based educator, and has been sharing his lifelong environmental and land-based knowledge with others for the past two years.
From hunting, trapping and fishing, Donald shows others the value of connecting to the land through teaching various land-based skills, combined with the Cree language and teachings.
Donna Martin is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing.
She received an Award of Excellence – Nursing Research from the Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba in 2018. She is passionate about promoting health equity and social justice.
In her program of research, she develops partnerships with Indigenous peoples to conduct studies that explore ways to promote health equity by disrupting structural and/or jurisdictional disadvantages. She views the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to learn from the past to inform best practices and policies for emergency planning to meet the needs of Indigenous communities.