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Special Event: Conserving Cultural and Natural Heritage for International Mountain Day


CMN Admin


Dec 9, 2021


Dec 9, 2021


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We are thrilled to announce that the event “Conserving Cultural and Natural Heritage for International Mountain Day,” will now take place on Wednesday, January 26th at 9:00 am Pacific / 11:00 am Central / 1:00 pm Atlantic (for approximately two hours).

The event was previously postponed out of respect for the communities mourning the passing of Elder Dave Courchene, who was a founding member of Reconciling Ways of Knowing: Indigenous Knowledge and Science (RWoK)

This online event is brought to you by the Canadian Mountain Network and RWoK and highlights the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, sustainable mountain tourism.

We hope you can join us for this dialogue on Wednesday, January 26th at 9:00 am Pacific / 11:00 am Central / 1:00 pm Atlantic (for approximately two hours).

Moderator Nicole Olivier (CMN) will facilitate a conversation amongst Barbara Wilson (Haida Nation), William Snow (Stoney Nakoda Nation), Isabelle Falardeau (Université Quebec à Trois-Rivières), and Stephanie Yuill (M.Sc, Gov't of NWT) to discuss the role ecological and cultural tourism can play in building resilient economies, supporting Indigenous self-determination, fostering reconciliation, and sustaining biodiversity. Read the panellists bios below.

In 2003, the United Nations designated International Mountain Day as a day to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development, and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world. Learn more about International Mountain Day here.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A period during which participants will be able to ask questions of the panellists.

We are pleased to be able to offer complimentary registration for this event.

Speaker Biographies:


Norma was raised and educated in Old Crow, the most northerly community in the Yukon. She is a citizen of the Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation (People of the Lakes) and a member of the Wolf Clan. She gained her depth of traditional, scientific and ecological knowledge in Old Crow flats where her grandfather, mother and the land were the bearers of this invaluable, ancient knowledge, which was passed on to Norma at a very young age. Encouraged by her Elders, Norma entered politics shortly after leaving school. In 1985, Norma was elected into Yukon’s Legislative Assembly as Member for Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation, a position she held until 1992. During this time, Norma was selected by the Elders of the Gwich’in Nation to act as a spokesperson on behalf of the Gwich’in people for the preservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. In addition to her role as CMN co-Research Director, Norma is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Science at McGill University in Montreal, where she has co-led community-based research and training initiatives focussed on climate change adaptation. She also serves as Senior Advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, which advocates for Indigenous-led land use planning, Guardians programs, and the creation of Indigenous Protected Areas.


Miles G. Richardson, O.C., is a citizen of the Haida Nation and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Early in his career, while serving as Administrator for the Skidegate Band Council, he directed the establishment of the Haida Gwaii Watchmen program. Then, while serving as the youngest President of the Council of the Haida Nation (1984-1996), he led the drafting of the Constitution of the Haida Nation; development of the first comprehensive Haida Nation land and marine use plan, enacted under Haida law; and negotiation of the Gwaii Haanas Agreement, the first Nation-to-Nation agreement between the Haida Nation and Canada, which protected the Gwaii Haanas area of his people’s homeland, Haida Gwaii. He was a member of the BC Claims Task Force recommending negotiations to build a new relationship. He served as a delegate of the First Nations Summit Task Group (1991-1993) and was subsequently nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission for two terms. He served as Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission (1998-2004).


Kii’iljuus is the Kuuljaad (“boss woman”) of an ancient clan, St’awaas Xaaydagaay (Cumshewa Eagle clan), of the village of HlKinul. She worked for over thirty years in various capacities and departments within the federal government of Canada. She was also the Cultural Liaison for Gwaii Haanas from 1989 until 2012 and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Simon Fraser University. Kii’iljuus lives her passion in guiding youth, sharing knowledge, conducting research, and engaging in discussions with those who are interested and want to make a difference for the next generations. Her areas of interest are governance, laws, oral histories, and traditional ecological knowledge and she is a sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.


William Snow is a member of the Stoney Nakoda Nation, Wesley First Nation, as well as a Dual Citizen of Canada / United States of America, and is of Stoney Nakoda / Yuma Quechan descent. Since 2012, Bill has been the Consultation Manager for Stoney Nakoda First Nation. This work involves the assessment of industrial resources projects within Stoney Nakoda Traditional Lands, that involve many consultations with industry, the provincial and federal governments, in the Southern Alberta.

Bill is a graduate of the University of Lethbridge, Business Administration program, and in 2016, assisted in coordinating ceremonies for Stoney Nakoda Nation for the Bison Reintroduction at Banff National Park & Elk Island National Park, as well as for the proposed renaming of Tunnel Mountain. Also, Stoney Nakoda Nation completed a Traditional Knowledge Study of Grizzly Bears in the Kananaskis Provincial Park for Environment Canada.

Bill is also an advisor to the Chiniki Lecture series at the University of Calgary, and an Advisor at for the Thinking Mountains Conference (2015 and 2018), Mountains 101 and the Canadian Mountain Network initiative at the University of Alberta. In September 2017, Bill accepted the Ted Smith Conservation Award from Yellowstone to Yukon on behalf of Stoney Consultation. Bill lives in Calgary and works at the Stoney Indian Reserve at Morley, Alberta.


Isabelle is a student, researcher and proud mum. She is both a geographer specializing in tourism and a professor of tourism and social development at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. After completing a Master’s Degree focused on the values of sustainable development in Quebec’s national parks, Isabelle began work on her doctoral thesis which looks at innovation in nature-based tourism. Specifically, her research is interested in tourism in protected areas and natural environments, tourism in mountain areas and the concepts of innovation and authenticity applied to tourism. Isabelle’s past experience as a designer and manager of snow parks and ski resorts deeply influence the way she teaches and researches important mountain topics.


Stephanie Yuill is proud to call Paulatuuq, Northwest Territories - land of the Inuvialuit - home. As Manager of Tuktut Nogait National Park for Parks Canada, she works closely with the park’s co-management board to ensure a healthy future for the land, water, and the many species of this place, including the Bluenose West Caribou. She has a MSc in Recreation, Parks & Leisure Studies from Texas A&M University and has dedicated her career to sharing her passion for outdoor recreation and education, including co-hosting youth on-the-land Science and Culture Camps with Tłı̨chǫ elders, in which youth learned about traditional knowledge, science, and how they can work together. She also worked with NWT elders and resident hunters on the creation of a Hunter Education program in order to develop more respectful hunters. She has served as Manager of Territorial Parks Operations and Public Education Coordinator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, and in numerous other public education and environmental stewardship roles in government and the not-for-profit sector.

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