Joanne Nelson

Portrait photo of Joanne Nelson

Joanne Nelson

PhD Student

Research Interests

Community-based research, Cultural ecosystem services, Environment


Joanne Nelson is a Ts’msyen 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 Ts’msyen art forms as well as paddle sports such as dragon boat and outrigger canoe.  She is a PhD student with IRES and is looking forward to conducting meaningful research with First Nations communities that favour Indigenous Ways of Knowing and traditional knowledge.  Joanne has lived on the unceded land of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh people on and off for over 30 years.  Her research will focus on the knowledges and stories of urban Indigenous peoples in Metro Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territory, that can contribute to water governance. Methodologies will be those that centre Indigenous ways of knowing to meaningfully communicate Indigenous knowledges and stories.

Joanne’s academic background includes a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. Her career has been dedicated to Indigenous issues including public health in First Nations communities and support of Indigenous post-secondary students, experience that she hopes strengthen her community-based research.

Joanne’s research interests focus on urban Indigenous knowledges that focus on water knowledge and practices.