The following speakers will be presenting on the third day of the conference and will speak about environmental health and climate change, and its connection to the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples.
Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill
Dawn Martin Hill, Mohawk, has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is the founder of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. She resides at Six Nations and is a CIHR College of Reviewers Chair, member of CIHR Elders advisory board to CIHR-IIPH, UNESCO Hydrology Committee to name a few. She has been publishing Indigenous knowledge research since 1994. She has numerous peer reviewed publications in the Journal of Aboriginal Health on culture and Indigenous ways of knowing and healing. Her current research includes access to clean water, traditional ecological knowledge, and creating bilingual tools to increase capacity in her community. Her work as a PI for Global Water Futures: Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools, an Indigenous knowledge led scientific team, and Ohneganos: Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Training & Co-Creation of Mixed Method Tools, an all female-led team, is lauded by UN Water Committee and UNESCO as a model for Indigenous research globally. She has worked diligently to conserve and protect Indigenous knowledge and language as founder of the Indigenous Elders and Youth Council in partnership with the Amazon Conservation Team, UN University, Carlton Cartography, Mohawk College, and numerous other research partners. She is the only Indigenous female to lead a team with GWF and NSERC.
Dr. Priscilla Settee
Priscilla Settee is a member of Cumberland House Swampy Cree First Nations and a Professor of Indigenous Studies where she teaches an Indigenous Food Sovereignty course as well as other courses. Settee is Adjunct Professor for the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba and serves graduate students on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. She has won recognition nationally and internationally as an award-winning professor and as a global educator/activist. She is the author of two books: Pimatisiwin, Global Indigenous Knowledge Systems (2013) that looks at global Indigenous knowledge systems and The Strength of Women, Ahkameyimohk (2011) that examines the role of Indigenous women’s stories in establishing truth, reconciliation and social change. She is a co-editor of an early Indigenous textbook called Expressions in Canadian Native Studies (2001). Dr. Settee’s new co-edited book on Indigenous Food Sovereignty will be published in 2020. She also researches gang-exiting Indigenous youth and Indigenous social economies. She is a kohkum (grandmother) to Nya Lily and Lola Rose and is a founding member of the City Park community garden.Settee is on the Seed Save Canada board and a David Suzuki Fellow (2019-2020) where she is currently researching the impact of climate change on trapper’s livelihoods.
Jennifer is a Métis Dënesųłiné from the Northwest Territories now living in the Yukon. She holds a Masters in Environmental Design, a Bachelor of Science and various counselling certifications. She is an outdoor enthusiast, traditional hide tanner, researcher, and has worked in a many roles supporting environmental health, as well as helping both youth and young adults reconnect with the land and themselves. Her professional work has continued to employ Indigenous land-based learnings and teachings from her by her Elders.
She is interested in how the fields of ecology, mental health, and education are intimately interrelated, and aims to integrate across disciplines for practical application in northern communities.
Her latest research has looked at the health benefits and positive community outcomes from
land-based programming and practices, especially in supporting Indigenous resilience,
environmental health, and mental wellness in Northern Canada.
Sonia Hill is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) non-binary femme from Six Nations of the Grand River territory, born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. They are a community organizer primarily working within the urban Indigenous community of Hamilton, a poet, and a student. Sonia is currently completing a master’s degree in sociology at McMaster University. They hold an honours BA in Sociology and Indigenous Studies. Sonia is the Hamilton regional coordinator for the Indigenous Sustenance Reclamation Network, a youth-adult grassroots organization offering sustenance skills and sustenance justice programming to Indigenous people in Ontario. They are a research assistant with the National Centre for Communication on Indigenous Education, co-coordinator for the McMaster Indigenous Graduate Student group, and chair of the CUPE 3906 Indigenous Solidarity Working Group.
Terrylynn “Será:sera” Brant (B.A., B.Ed., M.Sc., Mohawk Turtle Clan) is a traditional Seedkeeper from Six Nations, a retired teacher and university instructor of Indigenous Science. She authored “Culturally Relevant Aboriginal Education” and the column “In My Longhouse Basket”. She speaks internationally and at the UN on Indigenous Agricultural practices and Food Security. Living 25 years off grid, lead to building an Earthship Agricultural School at “Mohawk Seedkeeper Gardens” specializing in Haudenonsaunee foods, seeds and sustainable farming. She frequently visits indigenous farms throughout Turtle Island.
Kelsey Leonard is a citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Long Island, New York. She is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University focusing on climate change impacts on Indigenous water justice in Canada. She received her PhD in Political Science from McMaster University where her dissertation examined Indigenous water governance for Great Lakes protection including its climatic, territorial, and security underpinnings. She holds an A.B. in Sociology and Anthropology with honors from Harvard University, MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, and JD from Duquesne University. Her recent scholarship explores Indigenous Water Justice and the defining international legal principle of self-determination under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was published in the Lewis and Clark Law Review and available for download here.
Dr. Diana Lewis
Diana is a Mi’kmaq woman from Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, Canada. Over her career, Diana has worked for First Nations, Indigenous political organizations, and federal and provincial governments. Diana’s doctoral research focused on using quantitative, qualitative, and Indigenous methodologies to assess how the health of a First Nation community has been impacted by exposure to pulp mill effluent for over fifty years. She continues to work with the community as a follow up to her initial research. Diana’s long-term interests are to foster a wider understanding of the unique aspects of Indigenous health, specifically as it is impacted by resource or industrial development. She is Principal Investigator and Co-Director of A Shared Future: Achieving Strength, Health, and Autonomy through Renewable Energy Development for the Future, a large international research program which explores how Indigenous knowledge systems, as applied to renewable energy development, may have the potential to lead us towards ‘healthful environments’ through reconciling and healing our relations with each other as well as the land, air, and water around us. Diana is in the initial stages of developing a research agenda with a national Indigenous organization that will see her approach to environmental health research employed more widely with First Nations in Canada. Diana is a faculty member at Western University in London, Ontario, in the Department of Geography and the Indigenous Studies Program, where she offers courses in Indigenous history, contemporary Indigenous issues, and Indigenous research methods.
Kahentakeron Deer currently works as the Ecotourism Coordinator at Kayanase an Ecological Restoration company located in on the Six Nations Reserve. Kahentakeron studied at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Fish and Wildlife and graduated as an Environmental Technologist in 2014. His experiences include working with First Nations and non indigenous consultants in the environmental field, ecological restoration, habitat restoration, teaching, facilitating camps and occasionally public speaking. Raised in Six Nations of Grand River reserve Kahentakeron developed a strong passion for the outdoors as a child and youth through hunting, fishing, camping and testing survival skill in the woods and fields and waters in Six Nations. The ecology of Six Nations and the Grand River watershed continues to fascinate and excite Kahentakeron as he continues his career, education and lifestyle. In early 2017 Kahentakeron took on the role of Ecotourism Coordinator to help develop the emerging Eco and Cultural tourism initiatives at Kayanase with his background in ecology and his cultural upbringing making him a strong candidate.
Judy Da Silva
Judy Da Silva, a grassy narrows community member, is a mother to 5 children. They help her to have the positive energy to continue to look for justice and for the solution to the mercury poisoning of their river system in Grassy Narrows & Mother Earth. She recently was awarded the Michael Sattler Peace Prize in Germany and Human Rights Watch Award in Toronto, art Manuel environmental award & Wilfred Laurier honorary doctorate in recognition of her lifelong work to advocate for her community members for environmental protection using peaceful, nonviolent direct actions. Judy suffers from the effects of mercury poisoning.. She works in the band office of her community as environmental health coordinator.
Trenton Casillas-Bakeberg is a 23 year-old youth advocate, radio DJ, music artist and community activist. He lives in Eagle Butte, SD, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, and is Mnicoujou and Itazipco Lakota. He is a cofounder of the One Mind Youth Movement, a group developed in response to the youth suicide epidemic occurring on the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation. He works directly with the youth as a substitute teacher in the Cheyenne-Eagle Butte school system. His goal is to protect the natural environment, while ensuring the language and traditional teachings of the Lakota people are passed on for many more generations to come.
Makasa Looking Horse
Makasa Looking Horse was home birthed at Six Nations through ceremony. She was taken on the Unity Ride and Run at 6 months of age and began running with them by age 3 in British Columbia. She participated in the Run until they arrived at Six Nations when she was age 4. Ever since she was two years old, her entire life has been interwoven in Lakota Sundance. She attended Longhouse throughout her life and immersion school at Kawani;io. She was selected by the Clanmother Louise McDonald as youth leader for Six Nations’s Ohero:Kon. She has presented at World Peace and Prayer Day 2017 and led ceremony in Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah. She has attended numerous ‘roundtables’ and ‘think-tanks’ to improve health and well being in her community and McMaster, and also took a one-year course on Traditional Medicine. She has also modelled professionally in Toronto IndigaNative fashion shows, Woodland Cultural Centre’s fashion show and recently for the Native American Indigenous Games. Makasa finished one year at Six Nations Polytechnic and in Elva Jamieson’s apprenticeship program. She hopes to finish a Degree in Indigenous Studies. Her life goals are to improve the health and well-being of her Lakota and Haudenosaunnee communities through traditional healing practices. She recently travelled to New Zealand with Indigenous Students and Ohero: kon youth to share her culture with the Maori.