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Native Drums

Decolonizing & Indigenizing

Standing Committee


Edward Johnson

Knowledge Keeper

Edward Johnson, who’s traditional name is ƛicitatḥ, is Nuu-chah-nulth-aht from Huu-ay-aht First Nations - a modern treaty nation located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Edward’s father is Master Carver Ed Johnson Sr., son of Ralph and Ethel Johnson. His mother is Donna (Shaw) Knighton of Ditidaht First Nations, daughter of Joe and Sophia (Dennis) Shaw. He is the proud father of four! Edward and Heather (Co-Chair) have known each other for nearly 15 years through a research relationship with his Nation. They have worked together in research, and he has brought his cultural knowledge to their community engagement sessions over many years, with his knowledge of the language, songs, drum, rattle, and teachings as well as his beautiful art. Edward is in his second term as an elected member of the Executive Council for Huu-ay-aht First Nations. Edward generously agreed to support the CAG’s D&I Committee in working towards decolonizing and Indigenizing our professional organization.


Adele ᒪᐢᑿᓱᐤᐃᐢᑵᐤ Arseneau

Knowledge Keeper

Adele ᒪᐢᑿᓱᐤᐏᐢᑵᐤ Arseneau is a disabled Nehiyaw/Michif multi-disciplinary artist who creates bespoke works for galleries, private collections and public art commissions. She grounds her artwork in story, engaging audiences by weaving connection to cultural, social and environmental issues. It was the way her family taught her to learn and share knowledge.[...]

“My work is about stories and sharing awe through detail. We are the stories we hear and tell each other, this is our world. Through story we find connection, and relation to one another’s experiences.” This is my language, these are my stories. “

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Jaimy Fischer


Jaimy Fischer (Ph.D.) has training in GIScience, healthy cities, urban transportation and mobility, and community-engaged research. Within all these areas, she works to centre principles of equity and inclusion. As a Michif (Red River Métis) person and researcher, Jaimy has a strong passion for social justice and equitable mobility, and for decolonizing and Indigenizing practices within institutions and disciplines such as planning, education, and GIScience. Jaimy has extensive experience conducting and teaching GIS & sociospatial equity analyses, particularly in the context of urban planning and intervention research. Their PhD research investigated equity in spatial data and interventions aimed at supporting bicycling for transport, and current research focuses on transport reconciliation, equity in spatial accessibility to daily needs, and urban trails as pathways for Indigenous health and inclusion.

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Heather Castleden


Dr Heather Castleden (she/her) is a Professor and the President’s Impact Chair in Transformative Governance for Planetary Health at the University of Victoria. She is a white settler scholar, trained as a human geographer, and has been doing community-based participatory research in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples for over two decades. She is a former Canada Research Chair, Fulbright Scholar, and is now an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. Heather is the Co-Director of the ‘A SHARED Future’ research program and is the Scientific Director of the HEC Lab.


Nathalie Gravel

Ex-Officio Member

Nathalie Gravel graduated from the doctoral program in Geography at Laval University in Quebec City in 2003 and has completed a post-doctorate fellowship at Yale University (2003-2004) with the Agrarian studies program and the Latin American and Caribbean Council. She is associate professor at the Department of Geography at Laval University since 2005 and presides over the Canadian Association of Geographers since 2022. She co-presides the Governance Axis at the Quebec water research centre, CentrEau, and she has taken part in various association boards such as the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean studies (CALACS) (as president in 2013-2014), the Quebec Geographical Society (as president from 2006 to 2016) and of the CAG Quebec regional division (Vice-President in 2018-2020). She teaches Latin American Geography, Geography of Globalization, the Geography of the Agri-Food System, and Rural and Food Geography at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Léa Denieul Pinksy

Léa joined the Ph.D. program at Concordia University’s Geography, Planning, and Environment Department in September 2019. After completing a master’s in Cultural Geography at Wageningen Research Institute in the Netherlands, she became fascinated by the power of maps as storytelling devices. She is dedicating her Ph.D. research to strengthening alliances that engage settler and Indigenous communities around the land-based issues that unite and divide them. For this, she assesses the potential and limits of repatriating state-sanctioned historical materials and repurposing them as “counter-archives” . With this information in hand, she produces maps and other creative repurposings to augment the ways Indigenous-led campaigns reach their target audiences.


Dr. Emmanuel Kofi Ackom

Dr. Emmanuel Ackom’s work intersects energy transitions, bioenergy, climate action and urbanism with a special interest in marginalized societies.  He integrates academic scholarship with 11 years of international practitioner experience from the United Nations (UN) - where he was a Senior Scientist - to promote sustainable communities.  He critically examines sustainability challenges and develops solutions that are distributive and fair.  He believes in a concerted decolonization and indigenization effort that listens to and is guided by our Indigenous relatives.  The CAG D&I Committee seems to hold great promise in this direction.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia.

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Dr. Hosea Patrick

Dr. Hosea Patrick is a transdisciplinary researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Geography, Geomatics, and Environment, University of Toronto, Mississauga. Hosea has a Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in environmental politics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His research focuses centrally on the United Nations' sustainable development goals application and implications in the areas of climate change (SDG 13), human security-water and food (SDG 2 and 6), as well as social and environmental justice (SDG 16). He also works on public policy, decolonization, and academic exclusion research areas. 


Ryan Planche

Ryan is a queer, settler scholar who seeks to build collective capacity to safeguard and vision forward new modes of cultural production and economic participation. He holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University (MES, 2020) and a Master of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI, 2021) from the University of Waterloo. In both programs his research focused on decolonizing and Indigenizing development work in Canada, specifically on assessments of conservation-based economies. He is currently a PhD candidate in human geography at Wilfrid Laurier University where his research explores the relationships between Indigenous and Western approaches to economy through the lenses of racial-capitalism and cultural resurgence. This work is being conducted with Indigenous government partners in the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories. This community-based engagement work asks how Indigenous Knowledge Systems impact grounded approaches to conservation development in the sub-Arctic.

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Dr. Carolyn Prouse

Dr. Carolyn Prouse (she/her) is an Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University in Katarokwi/Kingston. Carolyn is a white settler of English and Dutch ancestry who received her PhD on unceded Musqueam Territory at the University of British Columbia. In her research, Carolyn uses an anti-colonial lens to understand the racialized, classed, and gendered dimensions of urban infrastructure and bioeconomic projects. She is committed to building solidarities across different decolonial praxes throughout the world. Carolyn is co-PI of the Global Economies and Everyday Lives lab and of the Urban Biosecurities Collective.  


Dr. Sarah Rotz

Dr. Sarah Rotz is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University. She is a white settler scholar learning how to live and work in right relations with others and the land. Her research focuses on land and food systems and situates political economic processes, such as agri-food industrialization and financialization, within a lens of settler colonial patriarchy and racial capitalism. Through her scholarship and community organizing, she also examines the consequences of land and capital accumulation for sovereignty, justice and resistance movements. She is a community engaged scholar whose interdisciplinary and collaborative work is seeking to build care and justice-oriented research methodologies, processes, and pedagogies. 

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Dr. Deondre Smiles

Dr. Niiyokamigaabaw Deondre Smiles is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria. They are a citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Their research interests are multifaceted, centring around critical Indigenous geographies, human-environment interactions, political ecology, Indigenous cultural resource preservation, and science/technology studies. Their current work investigates the political ecologies and economies of Indigenous sacred spaces  in an era of climate crisis. Smiles is the Principal Investigator of the Geographic Indigenous Futures Collaboratory, one of Western Canada’s first academic labs dedicated to Indigenous geographies.

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