Bios

Storying Climate Change Participants

Carleigh Baker
Carleigh is a Cree-Métis/Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. As an “urban” person of mixed ancestry, she has a complicated relationship to identity and to the land, and often deals with both in her writing. Baker’s work addresses issues of climate change, particularly as it relates to the destruction of plant and animal species. She’s also working on an MFA thesis about the othering of “wilderness,” and how conservationism is used as a tool of colonialism. Learn more and contact.

Sara Barron
Sara Barron is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Future Forests Fellowship, the world’s largest scholarship for forestry research. Sara’s research focuses on how suburban landscapes can be re-imagined to balance healthy suburban forests with higher density housing. She holds a Landscape Architecture degree from UBC.  Her master’s research focused on restoring Garry Oak woodland ecology on the rural road right-of- ways of Pender Island, BC. Sara has worked with a diverse range of communities to improve sustainability, climate resilience and energy performance in residential neighbourhoods.

Christopher Campbell-Duruflé
Christopher is a researcher and an attorney specialised in international environmental and human rights law. He is doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor Jutta Brunnée. His research assesses the new rules of international law that result from United Nations climate change negotiations and analyses how they promote the legal accountability of states and other actors. c.campbell.durufle[at]mail.utoronto[dot]com

Chiara Camponeschi
Chiara Camponeschi is a PhD Candidate at the University of Guelph, where she researchers urban climate resilience from a healing justice perspective. In 2010, Chiara founded Enabling City, an international organization that promotes active citizenship by harnessing civic creativity as a tool of social transformation. She is the author of two widely-read books – available in five languages – and a frequent facilitator and speaker on issues ranging from community engagement to sustainability and beyond. enablingcity[at]gmail[dot]com        

Stephen Collis
Stephen is the author of many collections of poetry, including the Dorothy Livesay winning collection On the Material (Talonbooks 2010), and Once in Blockadia (Talonbooks 2016), nominated for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. While organizing in opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion , Collis was sued for $5.6 million. He lives near the Salish Sea, and regularly visits poet Phyllis Webb, the subject of his forthcoming memoir, on Salt Spring Island. scollis[at]sfu[dot]ca

Alison Colwell
My name is Alison Colwell, I’ve lived on Galiano thirty years now, and this island is home. I’m the manager of the Galiano Food Program, the mission of which is “Building Community (through the medium of food!)”. We hold almost weekly events, three huge community potlucks each year, and a multitude of smaller classes. I write blog posts for the Food Program, YA fantasy and memoir, and I am also the author of five cookbooks. colwell4[at]telus[dot]net

Ashlee Cunsolo
Ashlee is a passionate researcher and environmental advocate. Broadly, her work is situated at the intersection of people, place, culture, health, and the environment, and how land can be sources of wellness and sources of upheaval and grief. For the past 10 years, she has primarily been working in partnership with Inuit in Labrador around the relationships among climate-induced environmental changes and impacts to all aspects of Inuit lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing. She has been increasingly focusing on ecological grief, ecological anxiety, and extending the work of mourning to the more-than-human world, including in her co-edited anthology Mourning Nature: Hope at the Heart of Ecological Loss and Grief (2017). Learn more and contact.

Colleen Doty
Colleen is a Galiano writer with twenty years’ experience working in aboriginal claims research. Colonialism and gender relations have been of particular interest to Colleen, with her MA thesis examining the Regulation of Marriage Relations in Aboriginal Communities in British Columbia, 1870-1940. Chair of the Seed Library of Galiano, Colleen is also a food producer and apiculturist. A past winner of the Surrey Libraries YA contest, and the Richard Morgan Memorial Prize in History, Colleen writes short stories, articles, and is working on a novel.

Ann Eriksson
From my second story writing loft on Thetis Island, not far from Galiano, and overlooking the mudflats of Canoe Pass and Penelakut Island, I try to act locally and think (and act) globally. In my fiction I create characters living their lives while struggling with contemporary environmental and social issues including deforestation, ocean contamination, discrimination, mental illness, inequality and climate change . My most current project is a non-fiction book for 8-12 yr olds (Orca Press, 2018) about ocean conservation and how children can make a difference. With other members of the Thetis Island Nature Conservancy, I help protect land for nature and run environmental education programs for the public. You can find out more about me and my work hereauthor[at]anneriksson[dot]ca

Suzanne Fournier
Suzanne is an award-winning journalist and author, based on Galiano Island and in Vancouver, as well as a director of The Galiano Conservancy Association. Her work has appeared in Canadian and international print and broadcast media for over 40 years, including a 35-year stint as a reporter for a Vancouver daily newspaper, covering Indigenous issues, the environment, education, and courts at all levels. She is the author of two books, Stolen From Our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities (1997) and Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts’uts’umult Luke Marston (2014) which relates the history– through a monumental bronze sculpture installed in Stanley Park–of the Gulf Islands’ founding families of Coast Salish and Portuguese descent. suzanne.fournier[at]yahoo[dot]com            

Elysia French (project assistant)
Elysia recently received her PhD from Queen’s University (Art History) and is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. French’s research focuses on the relationship between art, visual culture, climate change, and policy. In her doctoral dissertation, “A Crude Case: Landscapes of Extraction in Canadian Contemporary Visual Culture,” French identifies key visual tropes, such as wilderness landscapes in Canadian visual culture, in order to counter the tendency to render oil invisible. frenche[at]yorku[dot]ca learn more.

Rosemary Georgeson
Rosemary is a Coast Salish /Sahtu Dene woman, born and raised on Galiano Island in a commercial fishing family. Rosemary grew up commercial fishing with her father and her brothers, learning about life on the water from her father and grandparents who were also commercial fishermen. Rosemary now makes her living sharing stories of a time when the weather and life on the water was much different than it is today. Learn more and contact.

Hiromi Goto
I’m Hiromi Goto, an emigrant from Japan who gratefully resides on the Unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil Waututh Territories. My writing/working life has been guided by ideas of social justice, framed around resisting systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia. The identies-based narratives have begun to feel narrow—the need to return the earlier relationship I had (when I was a child) with non-human animal, plant and funghi kin grows, and I aspire to learn how to story in a decolonial land-based way. Learn more and contact.

Deblekha Guin
Deblekha founded the Access to Media Education Society (AMES) on Galiano, an organization dedicated to using digital media, artistic collaboration, and creative facilitation to engage marginalized youth in personally and socially transformative storytelling practices, in 1997. Since then she has had the privilege of collaborating with many talented artists and facilitators in the design and delivery of over 35 arts and community-based initiatives that have enabled thousands of young people to make and share meaningful media, demystify harmful stereotypes and narratives, and co-create generative spaces that foster critical dialogue, creative reflection, and imaginative visions for change.

Dylan Harris
Dylan is a PhD Candidate in The Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. He studies the stories we tell (and don’t tell) about climate change and comes up with his own from time to time. His dissertation, titled “Telling the Story of Climate Change: Cultural Politics and Climate Consciousness,” examines the contemporary practice of storytelling in Alaska and Appalachia and aims to find ways to better think about, imagine, and practice more just climate politics in these regions. dyharris[at]clarku[dot]edu learn more.    

Valeen Jules
Valeen Jules is a self-employed former foster kid, former homeless youth and 1st-year college dropout from the Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw nations. She is the founder of the collective Sacred Monsters which aims to empower and employ BIPOC youth through frontline support. Valeen is known as a spoken word artist but she is also a workshop facilitator, radio host, community agent, youth outreach worker, political organizer, emerging playwright, and most importantly an aunty and a friend. Learn more and contact.

Sonnet L’Abbé
Sonnet is a poet and professor whose creative work has explored living between and within racial and national identities, and whose academic work has explored the dimensions of human experience that are being foregrounded when Western lyric poets compare human minds and experiences to plant bodies and behaviour. Seeds and roots show up in my race writing, and I think plant metaphors in the Western Romantic tradition are about self-identified “civilized” subjects reclaiming indigeneity, but not abjection. My next book, Sonnet’s Shakespeare, “overwhelms” all of Shakespeare’s sonnets into lyric prose poems—its form is an analogy for assimilation. sonnet.l’abbe[at]viu[dot]ca

Timothy Leduc
Tim is in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University where he works on the relation of land and climate to colonial histories, justice, and social health. He is an author of the books Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North (University of Ottawa Press, short-listed for 2012 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences), and the more recent A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queens University Press, 2016). tleduc[at]wlu[dot]ca

Lauren Magner
Lauren has called Galiano Island home for four years, arriving as a traveller and never leaving — falling deeply for the natural beauty, wonder, and resilient community spirit of this Place. She is committed to nurturing a localised economy and food system in her work with a Worker’s Cooperative and The Galiano Club. She is active in the Community Food Program at skill building workshops and facilitates a book club focused on food and sustainability. Lauren also plays a supportive role in the Biodiversity Galiano Project. This same biodiversity inspires her creative projects and pressed botanical paper goods. magner.ld[at]gmail[dot]com

Emily McGiffin (project assistant)
Emily is a post-doctoral fellow in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies where she is engaged in transdisciplinary research on Indigenous poetics and climate justice in British Columbia. This work builds on her doctoral project that examined the environmental, anti-colonial, and anti-apartheid politics of isiXhosa poetry in performance and translation. She is the author of two poetry collections, Between Dusk and Night (Brick Books 2012) and Subduction Zone (Pedlar Press 2014), and is currently Poetry Editor of The Gooseemcgiffin[at]gmail[dot]com                

Deborah McGregor
Deborah joined York University’s Osgoode Hall law faculty in 2015 as a cross-appointee with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development. She remains actively involved in a variety of Indigenous communities, serving as an advisor and continuing to engage in community-based research and initiatives. Learn more and contact.

Martha McMahon
Martha is a sociologist and a farmer and the Director of the Human Dimensions of Climate change programs at the University of Victoria. She brings her life as a farmer and feminist perspectives to her research and teaching and the insights from her academic work to farming and understandably this keeps her awake at nights. She looks forward to working with others to help tell more livable and respectful stories about the world and those human and other than human in it. But these need to be special kind of stories that have the capacity to come true. There have always been such stories. mcmahon[at]uvic[dot]ca

Emily Menzies
Emily has been working as a sustainability educator in youth-driven projects since she was a teenager. She has spent the past 20 years co-creating workshops, trips, and classroom programs, and she helped establish the Millard Learning Centre on Galiano Island to equip the next generation of leaders to solve our climate crises. Now a mother and a secondary social studies teacher pursuing a Masters degree in special education, Emily is researching how best to mainstream a truly inclusive, ecology-based, empowering and restorative approach to our education system for Indigenous, settler, and newcomer young people alike.

Rebeccah Nelems
Rebeccah is a 2015 Trudeau Scholar in Sociology at the University of Victoria whose work strives to understand how young people in the Americas today are navigating two apparently incommensurate – yet coexistent – worldviews: an individualist worldview based in an ontology of disconnect that underpins Western institutions, and a relational worldview articulated through indigenous conceptions of “All My Relations” and various ecological movements.

Reed Osler
Reed Osler is the Galiano Conservancy Association’s Education Coordinator. She has been sharing her passion for parks and wild places with the public in a professional capacity for over 15 years. She studied herbalism at Pacific Rim College and is a certified Community Herbalist who is especially passionate about native plants, their edibility and their medicinal uses. She also loves music, theatre, and art and incorporates these creative pursuits into her programs with children, youth and adults alike.

Richard Pickard
Richard is a third- to-fourth-generation settler with roots in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Glamorgan, and other British places he has never visited. His childhood vacations were spent at BC Forest Service campsites on lakes that his parents considered disappointing if a single other person drove by, often near logging slashes that his father had either replanted or processed timber from. Since 2005, he has been teaching English at the University of Victoria, mostly in composition, eighteenth-century poetry, and the environmental humanities. rpickard[at]uvic[dot]ca

Cate Sandilands (project convenor)
Cate is a Professor of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, but her heart is always on the West Coast, and particularly on Galiano. She has published widely in the Environmental Humanities (focusing on contemporary Canadian literature and continental philosophy), and her research and writing are moving, as fast as she can muster in the midst of competing institutional demands, toward narrative nonfiction as a way of combining scholarly with literary writing, in order to move academia toward accessibility, in order to bring philosophical insights to wider audiences, and in order to foster spaces for creative inquiry in academic research. essandi[at]yorku[dot]ca learn more.

Holly Schofield
Holly is a short story writer of speculative fiction based in southwestern B.C., with not-so-hidden dual agendas of the promotion of science literacy and feminism. She has recently had stories published in Analog, Lightspeed, and Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change. Many of her works are listed on her blog here.  hollyschofieldwriter[at]gmail[dot]com         

Andrew Simon
Andrew is a naturalist whose heart has found its calling among the cultural and ecological communities of the Salish Sea. As the curator of the Biodiversity Galiano Project he has engaged over a hundred island residents in an initiative to document the island biodiversity: a living record with growing relevance in the context of global climate change. Andrew is currently pursuing a M.Sc. at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, where he continues to think about the role communities can play in ecological research, land stewardship and conservation. Learn more.

Jamie Snook
Jamie is an Inuk from the NunatuKavut region in Labrador. Professionally, Jamie is the Executive Director of an Inuit renewable resources co-management organization within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Between 2013 and 2017, Jamie also served as the 8th Mayor of his community in Happy Valley-Goose Bay; in 2016 he started a Public Health PhD at the University of Guelph, and in 2017 was named a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar. Along with his partner Ashlee Cunsolo, he is currently restoring a historic property in Mary’s Harbour and hopes to establish a creative commons and academic retreat in the small fishing village. Learn more and contact.

Lisa Szabo-Jones
My family emigrated to Canada from the UK in the late 60s and settled by the ocean, on the traditional territory of the Semiahmoo Nation. I came to photography during my early teens. Academia led me away from and back to photography, to co-founding and co-editing The Goose: a Journal of the Arts, Environment, and Culture, to writing and publishing creative and critical works about ecology and cultural responses to environmental issues. My photographic technique merges historic processes with digital ones. My current (and ongoing) coastal projects combine these visual practices with research storytelling. I teach literature at a CÉGEP near Montreal.  lisa.szabojones[at]johnabbott[dot]qc[dot]ca

Jesse Thistle
Jesse is a road allowance Michif from northern Saskatchewan. His Métis-Cree (Michif) Mom was raised on Erin Ferry Road Allowance just outside of Deben, SK; his father was a Métis-Scot with roots in Timiskaming, Ontario. Jesse’s journey from homeless addict and criminal to successful PhD student is unusual among graduates, but his path has shaped the way he approaches homeless studies, Indigenous history, criminology, social work, addiction studies, and storytelling. Jesse is a Trudeau and Vanier scholar in the Department of History at York University and is currently also the Resident Scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. jadrianthistle[at]gmail[dot]com

Betsy Warland (project writing consultant)
Betsy is the author of 12 books of poetry and creative nonfiction including her best-selling 2010 book of essays on writing, Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing. In March of 2016, Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was one of two books that launched Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions. Director of The Writer’s Studio at SFU from 2001-2012, she remains on TWS faculty. She founded and directs the distance program Vancouver Manuscript Intensive in which she is also a mentor. A professional manuscript consultant/editor for the past 25 years, Warland works with writers from across Canada. Learn more and contact.

Evelyn White
Publications by Evelyn C. White include Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone: A Photo Narrative of Black Heritage on Salt Spring Island (Dancing Crow Press, 2009) and Alice Walker: A Life (WW Norton, 2004). She is a 1985 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was honoured for her Master’s thesis on “The Racial Development of Blind Black Children.” She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she indulges her passion for okra and black sesame ice cream.

Levi Wilson
My name is Levi Wilson, and I am a student teacher from Simon Fraser University currently working on my long practicum in the Professional Development Program. I completed my Bachelor of Arts in 2016, with a Major in First Nations Studies and a Minor in History, also from S.F.U. which reflects my passion and desire to learn and teach Social Studies (not just History). I am a member of the Gitga’at (Hartley Bay) First Nation, with strong familial ties to the Hwlitsum (Lamalcha) First Nation. I have had the privilege of living within my southern traditional territory all of my life.

Rita Wong
Rita is currently serving as President of her union, the Faculty Association at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She would like to find creative ways to decolonize and to bring the Leap Manifesto into her workplace, as well as more widely. In her spare time, she aims to enact reciprocity with the Peace River by working with other water protectors to stop the Site C dam. A poet-scholar who has written several books of poetry, she has also co-edited, with Dorothy Christian, an anthology entitled Downstream: Reimagining Water (2017). rwong[at]ecuad[dot]ca