COSEWIC Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee: members

Last updated September 14, 2022

Dr. Jeannette Armstrong

Jeannette Armstrong, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, is Syilx Okanagan. As an award-winning writer and activist, novelist and poet she has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions related to Indigenous people. She is the recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her research in Indigenous philosophies and Okanagan Syilx thought and environmental ethics coded into Syilx oral literatures has been recognized locally and globally. She collaborates with Salish speaking groups to re-establish Indigenous languages, historical relationships, food resource ceremonies through gatherings, trading and protections of water and land practices. She is a recipient of the Eco Trust USA Buffett Award in Indigenous Leadership and serves on Canada’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee of Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

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

Dan Benoit is a Manitoba Métis from the Red River Settlement area 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, at the family farm near Seven Sisters Falls, MB, and most recently in the small Metis Village of St. Laurent, 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 formerly operated his family's traditional, turn of the century Métis farm, with most of the buildings and equipment dating to pre-1900s. 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 agricultural 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-electric generation issues, and has owned and operated an eco- and Aboriginal -tourism guiding business in Eastern and Northern Manitoba, and Northwestern Ontario.

Dan is a leader in the Metis Nation, both at a former political level (Vice Chair of the MMF Anola Metis Local), as well as formerly at the MMF, and was part of the Environment Committee of the MNC. Dan was 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, including helping create the MMF Metis Law of the Harvest. 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, as well as Aquatic Habitat Canada.

Mr. Benoit lives with his wife Beth, their son Fred and daughter Katie, between Winnipeg and the small Metis fishing village of St. Laurent, Manitoba on the south-east shore of Lake Manitoba.

Bradley Carpenter

Brad Carpenter is an Inuvialuk from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Brad is a proud beneficiary of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, a land claim dating back to 1984, between the Government of Canada and the Inuvialuit people of the western arctic. The Inuvialuit are known to be leaders in wildlife management, having successfully implemented a co-management approach. Brad spent the first half of his life in his home community of Sachs Harbour, which is the northernmost community in the ISR. As is custom, being the oldest grandchild, Brad was adopted and raised by his grandparents.

From a very young age, Brad’s parents ensured he was immersed in his culture and privy to the traditional knowledge of the Inuvialuit people. Over the years, Brad has served as the Mayor of his community, Chair of the local Hunters and Trappers Committee, board member- Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, board member- Inuvialuit Development Corporation, member of the Wildlife Management Advisory Council-NWT and most recently the COSEWIC –ATK Subcommittee . Brad also served a total of 8 years in the RCMP as a Mountie. In 2011, he requested and was granted a release from the force to pursue his interests in business. Brad has a wife and four children, and now splits his time between Albert and the NWT, where he owns and operates a number of businesses.

In his free time, Brad enjoys spending time out on the land, scuba diving and flying airplanes.

Dr. Sue Chiblow

Sue is Crane Clan born and raised in Garden River First Nation. She has worked extensively with First Nation communities for the last 30 years in environmental related fields. Sue has her Bachelor of Science degree, a Masters in Environment and Management and her PhD from York University with her research focusing on Understanding Anishinaabek G’giikendaaswinmin (knowledge) on N’bi (water), Naaknigeiwn (law) and Nokomis Giizis (Grandmother Moon) in the Great Lakes Territory for Water Governance. Sue is the recipient of the Vanier Graduate Scholarship. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph (School of Environmental Studies) in the Bachelors of Indigenous Environmental Science and Practice.

Sue has participated in Water Walks, water ceremonies and water gatherings learning responsibilities to the waters. She has worked extensively with First Nation Peoples on different environmental issues and is a volunteer for the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Elders of the Robinson Huron Treaty territory.

Sue is a co-chair to the Indigenous Advisory Committee to the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency.

Barrie Ford

Barrie Ford grew up in Kuujjuaq Nunavik, an Inuit community in northern Quebec. During high school Barrie was employed with the local biological station. It was here that he was exposed to the work of the Nunavik Research Centre. From an early age he participated in several programs such as: water sampling, ageing Salmon, and surveying geese. Barrie completed a diploma in Natural Science from John Abbott College and a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from McGill's Macdonald Campus. Barrie is currently employed at Makivik Corporation, an Inuit birthright organization, as the Resource Management Coordinator. Over the last 14 years with Makivik he has worked on several files ranging from biology, mining policy, community engagement and the use of Inuit Traditional Knowledge in science and research facilitation.

Roger Gallant

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

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.

About us

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is an independent advisory panel to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada that meets twice a year to assess the status of wildlife species at risk of extinction. Members are wildlife biology experts from academia, government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector responsible for designating wildlife species in danger of disappearing from Canada.

COSEWIC secretariat

Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd, 16th floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3