Meet this 12 months’s recipient: Kianna Bear-Hetherington, a proud Wolastoqey girl from the attractive group of Sitansisk positioned in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Being proudly of the Wolastoqiyik “folks of the attractive and bountiful river”, she grew up with a particular relationship with the land and all residing issues in it. 

“My relationship with nature relies on a profound non secular connection to Mom Earth.”

Kianna Bear-Hetherington

A Ardour for Indigenous Conservation 

A deep non secular connection to nature and a burning want to assist Indigenous communities thrive drove her to finish a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Pure Assets with a serious in Water Useful resource Administration on the College of New Brunswick (UNB). She has just lately utilized to the College of Carleton in Ottawa to pursue a Grasp of Public Coverage with a Focus in Indigenous Coverage in hopes of restoring connections to ancestral lands in significant methods via impactful laws and coverage modifications.

In all areas of her life, she is a fierce advocate for the development of Indigenous rights by returning to our sacred relationship with our Mom Earth. 

“Reconnecting with my tradition has helped me uncover many passions and discover objective within the work that I do with the land. I’m deeply enthusiastic about bridging Indigenous information methods and western science to determine a sustainable relationship with the land. My research will enable me to create extra inclusion of Indigenous Conventional Data within the governance of pure useful resource administration.”

In earlier years, she assisted with main treaty rights and session recordsdata with Sitansisk and the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick (WWNB). These experiences weren’t solely empowering as she was in a position to interact as an energetic member of her group, but additionally strengthened the beliefs and values that she intends to carry ahead in her chosen profession path. 

Presently, she additionally sits because the Indigenous Consultant (Nuci Putuwasuwin) for the College of New Brunswick. On this function, she focuses on advancing efforts that enhance the experiences and alternatives provided to Indigenous college students via a culturally protected lens. 

Giving again to her group

“Volunteering my time to assist my group thrive is one thing that I worth and by no means get bored with. A few of that volunteer work is spent at numerous powwows, serving to out wherever I’m wanted, but additionally in organizing culturally related workshops for youth together with harvesting sweetgrass, conventional basket making and drum making.”  

These experiences have additionally allowed her to attach extra with the folks in her group in significant methods, listening to their tales and experiences and utilizing that to assist information her management. 

Diving into Nature

Kianna just lately had the unimaginable alternative to spend the entire month of July in Croatia as a Analysis Assistant with Operation Wallacea. The primary two weeks, she was based mostly in Krka Nationwide Park the place she was liable for conducting conservation fieldwork that included transect surveys, level counts, and mist netting on a spread of species that referred to as Krka their house.

She spent her remaining two weeks diving off the coast of Silba Island, throughout the Adriatic Sea gaining each her PADI Open Water Qualification and Superior Diver Qualification. Right here, she targeted on marine analysis and took part in a Mediterranean ecology and survey strategies course whereas enterprise analysis surveys on Mediterranean fish communities, the influence of sea urchin populations and the function of seagrass meadows in supporting fish and invertebrate biodiversity.

Plans for the Future 

Her future profession objective is to finish a regulation diploma so she will characterize a collective of voices which frequently go unheard essentially the most. She is impressed to create larger recognition of Indigenous governments and peoples via the courts, parliament, and legislatures as a result of it is very important purchase their perspective on all points, not simply those that have an effect on non-Indigenous folks.

“I need to be a voice for communities going through environmental injustices and encourage the youth in my group to make use of their voices as properly. By way of my ardour for environmental stewardship and Indigenous rights, I hope to teach and encourage Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth alike to interact in respectful, reciprocal relationships with nature and Indigenous communities. You will need to empower the following era to develop into acutely aware leaders in conservation.”

A thanks to the Labatiuk Household

“I would like Nature Canada and the Labatiuk Household to know the way extremely honoured and grateful I’m for this chance I’ve been awarded. With out your donation, I wouldn’t be capable of increase the funds crucial to meet my ambition of turning into a lawyer to characterize the Wolastoqey nation. Your generosity is permitting me to make my targets and goals a actuality. Woliwon, Welalin, Thanks on your continued assist and funding in my future.”

We at Nature Canada are excited to see Kianna’s subsequent step on the planet of Indigenous conservation. We’re assured her ardour for nature will make an actual distinction on the planet. 

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