February 11, 2021: IRES Student Seminar with Joanne Nelson and Kyoko Adachi

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Via Zoom

View video.


Visualizing Urban Indigenous Water Knowledge

Water is of central importance to Indigenous peoples the world over, therefore water governance is of particular interest for our communities and Nations. Current Indigenous water governance debates call for a shift in water governance that meaningfully includes Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) or Indigenous Knowledge (IK), Indigenous laws and ontologies to address water challenges. Despite the fact that over half of Indigenous peoples in Canada live in an urban area, the voice of urban Indigenous people has been largely absent from the growing literature on Indigenous water governance, water stewardship, and TEK, which has an on-reserve or rural focus. This presentation will describe my proposed doctoral research which will use arts-based methods to investigate urban Indigenous relationships to water, and related implications for water stewardship and governance, in the traditional, unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples  (Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh) occupied by Metro Vancouver.

Joanne Nelson

IRES PhD Program


Joanne Nelson is a Tsm’syen woman who grew up in the northwestern BC communities of Port Edward and Prince Rupert where she gained a tremendous appreciation for nature, in particular the ocean environment.  She is from Lax Kw’alaams on her mother’s side and Kitsumkalum on her father’s side.  Her passions include traditional Tsm’syen art forms as well as paddle sports such as dragon boat and outrigger canoe.  She is a PhD student at UBC’s Resource, Environment and Sustainability program.  Her research will focus on using arts-based methods to engage with urban Indigenous peoples regarding traditional knowledge, water governance and water stewardship that centre Indigenous Ways of Knowing.  Joanne had lived on the unceded land of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh people on and off for over 30 years before returning to Ts’msyen territory, Prince Rupert.