Alana Fletcher is a policy and project officer at the House of Commons of Canada. Alana has long been interested in Indigenous cultures and especially in Indigenous views of our relationship with the non-human world. She completed her PhD at Queen’s University in 2015, where her dissertation focused on the way the community of Déline used particular kinds of language, various media and genres of argumentation, and adapted federal government processes to address their concerns about mining on Great Bear Lake. The book manuscript based on this dissertation has been accepted for publication by McGill-Queen’s University Press. As part of this project Alana travelled to Déline twice, in the summers of 2014 and 2015, to meet community members and better understand their connection to the land and water around them. She is very grateful for the friendships and partnerships she has made through this research, and for the community orientation they have given her work.
Two community-based projects have grown out of Alana’s doctoral research. One is a collection of oral histories that Alana is co-editing with Morris Neyelle, titled The Man Who Lived with a Giant: Stories from Johnny Neyelle, Dene Elder. This collection marks the realization of many years of work on Morris’s part to share his father’s knowledge with a wider audience. The book is forthcoming in Spring 2019 from the University of Alberta Press. The other project is the Sahtu Libraries Project, which is an effort in partnership with the Sahtu Renewable Resource Board. This project entails creating a database of Sahtu-related research that will be accessible for community members and approved researchers. We hope this database will let Sahtu people know about historic and current work done around their region.
Candice Dimock is currently a graduate student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University and a diploma in Hospitality Management from Conestoga College.
In August 2019, Candice was part of the research team who participated in the Cross-Cultural Water Knowledge Camp at the junction of Sahtú Dǝ́ (Bear River) at Tek’áı́cho Dǝ́ (Marten River). In addition to authoring the camp report, her thesis project will follow from the Water Knowledge Camp. The goals of her research are to explore the impacts of climate change on land-based practices and human health for the Dene and Métis Peoples of the Sahtú and to better understand how traditional knowledge and cross-cultural camps contribute to capacity-building and stewardship for youth in the Sahtú.
Jean Erasmus is the co-founder of Dene Wellness Warriors, an Indigenous focused wellness business based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories that offers one-to-one counseling, wellness coaching and workshop facilitation. She is a member of the Canadian Professional Counselors Association, and she is the only Indigenous therapist recognized by Health Canada to work with Residential School Survivors and their families.
Jennie Vandermeer is Sahtúgot'ı̨nę (person from Great Bear Lake) and grew up in Délı̨nę, Northwest Territories (NWT). She currently resides in Tłegǫ́hłı̨ (Norman Wells) and is employed as a Biologist with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) for the Sahtú Region. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Royal Roads University. She has a lot of experience working with communities across the NWT on water quality, environmental assessment, forestry and protected areas. She has worked with the department of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Northwest Territories, in a variety of roles, including as Environmental Impact Advisor, Watershed Management Advisor and Coordinator of NWT Protected Area Strategy. Jennie is also employed as an entrepreneur, having started a successful wellness business and more recently a tourism business with her partner.
Joanne Erasmus is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and was born and raised in Yellowknife. She has a degree in Indian Social Work and specializes in Indigenous wellness and healing – everything to do with helping people. She has been in the counseling field for over 25 years.