Andrea is using indigenous and transformative methodologies to frame culturally relevant protocols and forest governance structure that address and embrace KHFN's relationship to the forests as a Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.

Research Description

This research examines an Indigenous People’s relationship with the forests including traditional and contemporary uses of the land and sea.

What does being a Public Scholar mean to you?

Being a public scholar means that while navigating university approvals, including peer review, this dissertation is also being co-developed with an Indigenous People. Most recently being a public scholar has meant sharing knowledge back to communities in the form of updates on research and public talks about traditional uses, forest ecology and forest policy.

In what ways do you think the PhD experience can be re-imagined with the Public Scholars Initiative?

It has built a network for PhD students that are doing research with communities, extension services in addition to their research, social justice, and/or those considering non-academic career paths.

How do you envision connecting your PhD work with broader career possibilities?

Early in my PhD, the PSI Initiative gave me the opportunity network with likeminded PhD students interested in similar research topic areas and collaborative research, but it was also exciting to learn from PhD students doing completely different things across faculties and around the globe. These opportunities to network and attend talks about career possibilities are a useful part of the UBC Public Scholar Initiative.

How does your research engage with the larger community and social partners?

This research builds upon my work as a professional forester where my job is often to bridge worldviews between Indigenous Peoples and the forest sector in order to make a path toward shared decision-making. In part, the research hopes to express the voices of an Indigenous People in order to gain environmental sustainability at the homeland-level and sometimes finding instances for wider applicability.

How do you hope your work can make a contribution to the “public good”?

While I agree it should be researchers’ ethical standard to aspire to work towards the 'public good' (as it is mine), I think it is problematic to proclaim that research results is for the 'public good' or ‘to help’. This will be for the public to decide, after the fact.

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I chose to pursue forestry and to become a professional forester because I loved the experience of tree planting in my traditional territory, Kingcome Inlet, BC in the early 1990s. However, when I flew over the area in a small floatplane, the size and number clear-cuts surrounding the community my mother grew up in impacted my view of environmental issues. I wanted to learn more in order to make a difference.

Why did you choose to come to British Columbia and study at UBC?

My interest to continue studies with the UBC Faculty of Forestry is due to its reputation for offering a top ranking forestry program in Canada. UBC is closely located to where I want to continue to build my professional and academic network. 

 

This study will have KHFN and its members to engage in a participatory research that would use their indigenous knowledge systems to develop a definition of sustainable forest management that respects the land and improves economic development for KHFN.