Karen Bakker is a Canada Research Chair, and Director of the Program on Water Governance at UBC, one of Canada’s leading social science water research institutes. The Program reaches a network of thousands of policy makers and community members across Canada and beyond. Dr Bakker regularly advises domestic and international government bodies on water issues, and has published three books on water, including the seminal collection Eau Canada.
Jeff Bear (Maliseet) produces, writes and directs independent documentaries with director Marianne Jones (Haida) at Urban Rez Productions in Vancouver. Since 2000 Urban Rez has produced the 26-part series Ravens and Eagles, for broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as well as Storytellers in Motion, a 39 part documentary series about indigenous storytellers, and currently, Samaqan: Water Stories. The first documentary that Bear and Jones shot together, Burnt Church: Obstruction of Justice won the 2001 Telefilm/APTN award for Best English Language Production. Bear has worked in video and television steadily for the last 24 years. He speaks the Maliseet language fluently and was raised in Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.
Ruth Beer is a Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts and has completed several public sculpture commissions. Recently her work has been focused on “Catch and Release”, a project (2009-2012) supported by a SSHRC Research Creation in the Fine Arts Grant to create artwork in collaboration with cultural and heritage museums in Canada, Japan and China.
Fiona Bowie teaches in Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University. Flow, a work by Bowie with collaborator UBC Computer scientist Sidney Fels at 1 Kingsway in Vancouver (flow1kingsway.com) was selected as one of the top 40 public artworks installed in North America in 2009 by AFTA (Americans for the Arts). Another commission for the City of Vancouver, Surface, is a live documentary of the underwater life of Vancouver’s False Creek, transmitted from a camera mounted under an Aquabus streaming at surfacer.ca.
Michael Blackstock is an independent scholar, poet, artist, and forester who has served as a member of the UNESCO-IHP Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity. He has published two books of poetry: Salmon Run: A Florilegium of Aboriginal Ecological Poetry and Oceaness. Of Gitxsan (Hazelton) and Euro-Canadian descent, Blackstock has a MA in First Nations Studies. His first book, Faces in the Forest (McGill-Queen’s UP), examines tree art in conjunction with First Nations cosmology, citing carvings, paintings and writings on trees within Gitxsan, Nisga’a, Tlingit, Carrier and Dene traditional territories.
Celia Brauer is an artist, writer, ecologist and conservationist. She has exhibited works – mostly in photographic collage, drawing and fabric applique – since 1976. In 2005 she founded the False Creek Watershed Society and is presently on staff. Since 2004 she has created and produced a BC Rivers Day event “The Salmon Celebration” and an Earth Day event “The Interspiritual Blessing of the Salmon. She has also organized Lost Streams and First Nations History Walks and a Community Mapping Project. She was a Master Gardener with Van Dusen for many years and has a keen interest the preservation and rehabilitation of the wild Pacific salmon and the local ecology – especially its water systems.
Violet Caibaiosai is one of the original Mother Earth Water Walkers, who have collectively walked around the perimeter of all the Great Lakes, to acknowledge the sacredness of water in the face of threats posed by pollution and social disregard. A counselor completing her MA at the University of Regina, Caibaiosai’s interests include healing communities and revitalizing indigenous knowledge systems.
Cecilia Chen has worked as an architect in Montreal and Toronto, and is currently completing her PhD in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her dissertation research focuses on the mapping of water, and how the construction of places, landscapes and cities are influenced by the limitations and possibilities in this particular subset of representational practices. She is one of the organizers and co-editors of Thinking With Water, a forthcoming anthology with McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Dorothy Christian is a writer, a video artist, and a producer/director of documentaries. She is of the Okanagan-Secwepemc Nations of the interior of BC, and has written over 75 mini-documentaries for Vision TV. Her experimental film, a spiritual land claim, has been screened at many festivals. Dorothy is currently completing a PhD at UBC, where she is exploring Indigenous knowledge and how it impacts film production and aesthetics. She co-organized a public forum called “Protect Our Sacred Waters” with Denise Nadeau in 2007 and recently co-authored an essay called “Untapping Watershed Mind” with Rita Wong.
Asava Dance is a Los Angeles-based ensemble that has riveted audiences in Canada and the US for the last year. The company presents site specific works and dances for the concert stage. The Bodies of Water Project is reaching audiences from Toronto to Los Angeles. Canadian choreographer Seonagh Odhiambo, composer Bennie Maupin, percussionist Angel Luis Figueroa, and the dancers Bria Milan Cameron, Mariah Murray, Megan Ryan, and Kimberley Michelle Smith, give stunning performances and movement workshops. These events inspire important discussions that affect our communities. Dancers explore energy, flow and reflection around topics of social or environmental significance.
Duane Elverum is an Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. As a designer, sustainability educator and co-founder of CityStudio Vancouver, his teaching and research explores how universities can connect students to public issues with studio-based, collaborative and dialogic learning models oriented toward civic engagement. He has crossed the Pacific Ocean in a sailboat six times, most recently in 2010 sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver with OceanGybe’s Plastics Research Expedition.
Matthew Evenden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at UBC, where he also chairs the Program in Canadian Studies. His research focuses on environmental history and water history, with a regional specialization in Western Canada. He serves as a co-leader of the Canadian Water History Project (with Stéphane Castonguay, UQTR), and as an executive leader of the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE). His books include Fish versus Power (awarded the Canadian Historical Association’s Clio Prize), The River Returns (with C. Armstrong and H.V. Nelles), and Urban Rivers (with S. Castonguay).
Leila Harris is an Assistant Professor with the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies at UBC, where she also serves as the Associate Director of the Program on Water Governance. Trained as a political and socio-cultural geographer, Harris is currently working with students researching comparative water governance in Africa, as well as on issues related to multiple use water in Bolivia, gender and wastewater management in Buenos Aires, and gender and fisheries in the Philippines.
Paul Harrison is a marine scientist/oceanographer who has worked extensively on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, in Canada and Hong Kong. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UBC, and he works on water quality issues and the interaction between nutrients, algal blooms and red tides. He is interested in understanding our ‘Nitrogen Footprint’ and the impacts of excessive amounts of nitrogen from fertilizers, animal wastes and sewage that is being discharged into the coastal zone.
Basia Irland is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist, and activist who creates international water projects featured in her book, Water Library, University of New Mexico Press, 2007. The book focuses on projects the artist has created over the last thirty years in Africa, Canada, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the US. Through her work, Irland offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants, and animals rely on this vital element. Irland is Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico. She often works with scholars from diverse disciplines building rainwater harvesting systems; connecting communities and fostering dialogue along the entire length of rivers; filming and producing water documentaries; and creating waterborne disease projects around the world, most recently in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Nepal. She is regularly commissioned to do river restoration projects.
Florence James is a First Nations-Hwulmuhw born in the Gulf Islands, Galiano and Kuper Island, the traditional territory of Puneluxutth’. She is the elder in residence at Vancouver Island University, and she has taught in the Hul’q’umi’num language program at Chemainus Native College.
Larissa Lai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at The University of British Columbia. She is the author of When Fox Is a Thousand, Salt Fish Girl (shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, the Tiptree Award and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award), sybil unrest (coauthored with Rita Wong), Eggs in the Basement, and Automaton Biographies (a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize).
Alannah Young Leon is Opaskwayak Cree/Peguis Anishnabe Midequay. A PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Studies in Indigenous Education at UBC, she works with Indigenous Elders on how cultural practices inform leadership development. She also works with urban institutions on Indigenization projects. Her projects also include Indigenous resurgence for transformative Truth and Reconciliation processes. She is an artist, activist and ceremonial practitioner. http://ourhome-and-nativeland.ca/2011/09/03/alannah-young-leon-larry-grant-rose-point/
Janey Lew is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she most recently taught in the Asian American Studies Program before joining the Capilano English Department faculty. Her dissertation compares Aboriginal and diasporic Asian cultural representations in Canada and the U.S.
Melina Laboucan Massimo is a member of Lubicon Cree First Nation (Northern Alberta) and a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace in Edmonton. She has studied and worked in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada, with a focus on Indigenous rights and culture, resource extraction and international diplomacy.
Janine MacLeod is working towards her PhD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, where she is currently teaching an upper level course entitled Water: History, Culture, Politics. Her book manuscript, Liquid Bodies: water and memory, is currently under consideration for publication. It reflects on contemporary processes of commodification and contamination, as these articulate with waters’ capacity to carry memory and meaning. She is a co-editor of Thinking With Water, a collection on water and cultural theory forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Lee Maracle is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada. Her books include Daughters Are Forever (fiction, Raincoast, 2002), Will’s Garden (Theytus, 2002), Bent Box (poetry, Theytus Books, 2000), Sojourners & Sundogs (fiction, Press Gang, 1999), Ravensong (Press Gang, 1993), I Am Woman (nonfiction, Press Gang, 1988) and Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel (fiction, Women’s Press, 1975). She has received the J.T. Stewart Voices of Change Award, and she contributed to First Fish, First People, which won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. Maracle has taught at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Western Washington University, South Oregon University, and many more places.
Alanna Mitchell is a Canadian journalist and author who writes about science, education and human behaviour. Known for her strong narrative style, she was named the best environmental journalist in the world by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Reuters Foundation. Her books include the international best-seller Sea Sick: The Hidden Crisis in the Global Ocean and Dancing at the Dead Sea: Tracking the World’s Environmental Hotspots.
Marissa Muñoz is a PhD student in the Faculty of Educational Studies at UBC. She draws from her professional experience as an educator in formal and informal learning environments, and as a Xicana Tejana Mestiza from the Texas/Mexico borderlands. Her current project uses an Indigenous lens to examine the connections between place, identity, Indigeneity, and water. Marissa developed curriculum for and around the use of ceramic point-of-use household filters for the TAMU Water Project, a trans-disciplinary collaboration addressing the water needs of colonias (rural communities) along the Texas border.
Denise Marie Nadeau is from Quebec where her French ancestors intermarried with and colonized the Mi’kmaq. She is Adjunct Faculty and a Research Associate with the Department of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal. As well she works as a dance movement therapist combining expressive art therapies and spiritual practices in the healing of racist and colonial violence. She currently lives in the territory of the K’omox Nation.
Astrida Neimanis is a writer, academic and seasoned lakewater bather. Currently teaching at the London School of Economics, she is finalizing her book manuscript entitled Bodies of Water. One of the co-editors of the Thinking with Water anthology, she undertakes work that explores the potentiality of embodiment on an ecologically fraught and biotechnologized global landscape, from a feminist perspective.
Seónagh Odhiambo is an Assistant Professor of Dance at CSULA and a Fisher Center Fellow. She defines dance as a point of contact through which ideas, inspiration, movement, and meaning travel. Both scholar and choreographer, she developed numerous dance projects as an award recipient. After completing an MA at UBC and a PhD in Dance at Temple University, Odhiambo choreographed with various dance groups from Salt Spring to New York and Hawaii. As a choreographer she brings movement traditions and pedestrian gestures into contact, calling for audience reflection on one’s own agency. Partly based in Vancouver, she has presented at venues throughout Canada, the US, and Great Britain.
Mona Polacca is a Hopi/Havasupai /Tewa elder. She has a Master of Social Work Degree from Arizona State University, where she is working on her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Justice Studies department. She is also on the faculty of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program dedicated to promoting a vision of wellness by providing trans-cultural training to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals. She served on the working group for the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace in 2009.
Alexandra Phillips‘ practice focuses on the merging of art and anthropology. Her work has been exhibited across North America, and she has received numerous awards including the Collector’s Award at the International Sculpture Competition in Golden, Colorado, and First Place at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.
Bryson Robertson is a Ph.D candidate in environmental engineering at the University of Guelph and a director of OceanGybe Environmental. His work focuses on the effects of oceanic plastic pollution and the migration of plastic around our oceans via natural processes, as well as the effects of oceanic bathymetry on ocean swell breaking characteristics. As part of the OceanGybe Expedition, Robertson sailed 70,000 kilometers over four years, documenting plastic detritus on remote beaches. He has taught students in 10 countries about our oceans and the long lasting effects of oceanic plastics.
Sandra Semchuk has been a photographer for 40 years. She is a co-founder of the Photographers Gallery in Saskatoon and an Associate Professor at Emily Carr University. Sandra’s photographs and collaborations have been exhibited widely in North America and internationally.
Cathy Stubington is a community-based artist and puppeteer, who lives in Secwepmec territory in the interior of B.C. where she is Artistic Director of Runaway Moon Theatre. She has initiated many large scale community projects over the past 12 years, each involving innumerable people of all ages and walks of life. The most recent one culminated in a community performance Sawllkwa/Water, in the woods, on the banks, and in the water by Kingfisher Interpretive Centre, on the Shuswap River.
Wang Ping is an Associate Professor at Macalester College. She is an award-winning poet and novelist who has conducted research on China’s rivers and taught courses drawing on the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers in the Twin Cities as the sites for field trips, research, and interviews with the local communities for writing projects. Her current creative project, Kinship of Rivers, brings together communities along the Mississippi and Yangtze Rivers.
Marten Sims has been orchestrating The Sea Inside, a research and practice-driven project that engages with and in transformation design for his MAA at Emily Carr University. http://www.seainsideproject.com. He is also a cofounder of the Wake Project, an initiative that focuses on shark and ocean education. http://www.wakeproject.net/
Naomi Steinberg is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling, which has been working on an Elemental initiative including a six-week Water storytelling workshop series co-sponsored with Vancouver Community College.
Karolle Wall is an Associate Professor in Critical + Cultural Studies and Coordinator of the Emily Carr Writing Centre. Her recent film ‘imush q’uyatl’un, was made in collaboration with Florence James, a Penelaxuuth elder. Her praxis is an expression of her belief that through art and social action humans can come to see and understand the fragility and the beauty of the non-human life that exists on the margins, in intertidal zones, in that crucial, liminal space where nature meets the industrialized world.
Rita Wong is the author of three books of poetry: sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai), forage (winner of Canada Reads Poetry 2011 and the 2008 Dorothy Livesay Prize), and monkeypuzzle. Wong teaches at Emily Carr University, where she has developed a humanities course focused on water, with the support of a fellowship from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. She is currently researching the poetics of water in the Downstream Project, with the support of a SSHRC Research/Creation grant.
Gu Xiong is a multi-media artist from China who now lives in Canada, and works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia. His recent project, Waterscapes, looks at migration along the waterways of the Fraser River in Canada and the Yangtze River in China.