Student Researchers

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Erin Yaremko

Erin Yaremko is currently in her research year of the Joint Master’s program in History between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. Her previous research training was obtained through the University of Winnipeg’s Oral History Centre where she was trained in Oral History and the basics of Archiving. Erin views academia as a tool that allows her to better understand knowledge she has received from people she has volunteered and worked alongside throughout her life. Her current research focus is on documenting the social impacts of hydroelectric development on two Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba.

Alongside her thesis research Erin is working in partnership with the communities of South Indian Lake (Pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation) and the Chemawawin Nation in the creation of community archives. The northern community archives project will allow for the repatriation and accessibility of information for each community. Erin is working with both communities to grow each community archive to become a space for the further repatriation of information as well as artifacts. Erin is thankful for the Wa Ni Ska Tan: Alliance of Hydro Impacted Communities for without their generous funding and continual support her work in the north would not be as easily accessible. The Wa Ni Ska Tan: Alliance of Hydro Impacted Communities has especially assisted Erin in creating the social connections needed to create relationships with members of various northern communities in order to continue her work.

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Jack Lovell

Jack Lovell’s previous studies in sociology and Masters Degree in Rural Development at Brandon University explored inherent factors influencing the lives and economy of people and places in rural Manitoba. Jack’s current Ph.D. research at the University of Manitoba takes a multi-disciplinary approach to building localised economy that is focused upon an ‘alternative’ but pragmatic approach to Indigenous development. The research plan intends to be fully inclusive of traditional Cree cultural and spiritual values while implementing ‘cutting edge’ developmental theory. In conjunction with his educational process, Jack has worked the past 11 years serving a remote rural region as an economic development officer. By incorporating his diverse knowledge-base with the community leadership and Elders at Pickerel Narrows First Nation, his doctoral research program intends to reveal an effective, culturally appropriate pathway to building socio-economic capacity to this, and other northern Manitoba communities.

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Joseph Dipple

Joseph Dipple is a Ph.D candidate in the department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He completed his M.A. at the U of M in Native Studies as well. His research focuses on the implications of the production of hydroelectricity on the gathering and hunting way of life in northern Manitoba. In particular, he works with harvesters from Tataskweyak Cree Nations (Split Lake), Fox Lake Cree Nations, and South Indian Lake. Since the beginning of the Wa Ni Ska Tan Alliance, he has participated as a student. During the first year of the SSHRC funded project he participated as a co-editor of the Alliance newsletter. Additionally, he has participated in every annual gathering of the Alliance and worked with Dr. Stephane McLachlan on a funding proposal. Currently, Wa Ni Ska Tan is providing him with funding for his research on the land in northern Manitoba. 

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Ramona Neckoway

Ramona Neckoway is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba whose research focuses on perspectives, experiences and implications of energy production on Cree homelands in northern Manitoba. The working title of her work is “‘Where the Otters Play,’ ‘The Horseshoe,’ to Footprint and Beyond: exploring the spatial and temporal realities of hydroelectric energy production in northern Manitoba” and focuses on a critical and lesser known voices, histories, and perspectives of Hydro-affected Cree who find themselves on the shorelines of  “development.” For nearly a decade, Ramona has listened to local perspectives about this energy source and is aiming to integrate these voices and thereby hoping to develop an alternative narrative regarding energy production in the north. In addition to creating a counter discourse related to “development,” her work hopes to highlight ways hydro power affects those at both sides of the transmission lines.

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Tanjina Tahsin

Tanjina Tahsin has recently come from Bangladesh and is a first-year graduate student at the University of Manitoba’s Master of Environment program. She has a B.S. (Honours) degree in Soil, Water and Environment from University of Dhaka.

During her Master’s degree from the same department she studied Environment as her major arena of focus and completed a thesis on contamination (heavy metals) of food (specifically vegetables), sources of contaminants, and networks in the food chain, as well as their effect on human health. From 2013 to 2015 she worked for an International NGO, International Fertilizer Development Center, focusing on innovative agricultural technology as well as rural development, focusing especially on women.

During her work she has explored many monitoring tools (survey, interview and focus group discussions) based on project needs. Tanjina has also gained experience working with adolescents in an Adolescent Development Programme for BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh.

Now under the supervision of Dr. Stephane McLachlan she will conduct her research which will focus on the implications of hydro development for water quality and associated community concerns. She will be concentrating on setting up community based monitoring program with four or five communities and will collect environmental data. It is expected that her work will include both Traditional Knowledge (TK) and western environmental sciences in addressing community concerns.

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Victoria Grima

In 2003, Victoria was awarded the Bachelor of Engineering and Architecture (Honours) Degree from the University of Malta and in June of 2012 was awarded the Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma for Geographic Information Systems Technology offered by Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From December 2004 till April 2014, she was employed with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) as a Planning Officer and subsequently held the position of an Environmental Protection Officer.

Victoria’s Master research project at the University of Manitoba intends to apply GIS platforms/technologies to better understand and comprehend geographically the implications and effects of hydropower development impacts in Northern Manitoba for both affected natural environment and indigenous communities. In this respect, this research study intends to integrate spatial information technologies with Indigenous Traditional Environmental/Ecological Knowledge to:

  • identify and document changes through time of the hydro-associative environmental impacts on the profile of the waterways and their shorelines;
  • spatially document how hydro-associative environmental impacts have effected indigenous traditional cultural land-use and harvesting practices;
  • understand how the traditional land-use and harvesting practices have adapted to such impacts through time; and
  • analyze any noticeable geographical correlations.

The results achieved through such research can be of great use at both local and regional decision-making levels: when it comes to existing and planned hydropower developments, in the establishment of environmentally sound resource management and in sustainable development practices in Manitoba.

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