COSEWIC Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee: members
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 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 more than 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.
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 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 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.