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School of Architectural department on the work in the Kanyen'kehà:ka community of Kanesatake

This week, Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson gave a lecture to a group of graduate students at the Université de Montréal’s School of Architecture. She participated in this seminar with other experts and Indigenous community leaders to speak about her work with Indigenous communities in Quebec, focusing on the Mohawk community of Kanesatake. “It was a real merging of cultures and disciplines,” said Dr. Bisson. This is something that she has done often in her career.


Grand Chief Victor Bonspille of Kanesatake and Eugene Nicholas, Director of Environment in Kanesatake, spoke about their community, its history, and the development of the Ecocenter. Dr. Bisson spoke about her career path, starting as a wildlife biologist to now doing community work. Other issues presented included waste dumping, the environmental contaminants and health impact study in the community, and the impact of flooding due to climate change. The goal of this seminar was to lead and provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas, as well as provide possible solutions. The architectural students were asked questions - for example, what could be done to rectify some of the issues in this Mohawk community?


During this exchange, Dr. Bisson was asked by one of the students about taking away data from the community regarding the environmental contaminants and health impact study. She explained that this, as well as other work, abides by the First Nations principles of OCAP® (ownership, control, access, and possession), so the data belongs to Kanesatake. Her role is simply that of a facilitator.

“It was inspiring to see a room full of students who are seeking to make a difference. They are there to serve their communities. I strive to do the same as a technical or science advisor to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities”, said Dr. Bisson.


About TerraHumana Solutions


TerraHumana Solutions is a consulting firm, which specializes in helping community and business leaders to find sustainable solutions to environmental and social issues. Our approach is simple - we listen. Bringing 20 years of international experience in natural resource sciences, strategy, project conception, and management, we can find the right strategic approach for you. At TerraHumana Solutions, we contribute to informed decision-making on community and business engagement projects, and conservation projects with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.



For more information, please contact:

Isabelle-Anne Bisson, PhD.

President

TerraHumana Solutions

+1 514 654-7835

ibisson@terrahumanasolutions.com


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This month, we are making an overview of our past year's accomplishments. From conducting environmental assessments to ecological evaluations, our team at TerraHumana Solutions has been working hard to help protect green and natural spaces, facilitate conservation projects, and provide sustainable and ecological solutions to Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities, organizations, and companies.


We want to highlight our collaborative work of 2021 with:


Ratishontsanonhstats Kanesatake Environment

TerraHumana Solutions continued to work with Ratishontsanonhstats Kanesatake Environment on the first community-led Environmental Contaminants and Health Impact (ECHIP) Study in Kanesatake. Our work has entered the second phase (2020-2022; Phase I was in 2019-2020) in collaboration with Dr. Niladri Basu of McGill University’s Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE). This collaborative research is funded by the First Nations Environmental Contaminants Program (FNECP) (Indigenous Affairs Canada, Government of Canada). The FNECP started in 2000, providing funding to support First Nations communities in addressing their concerns about environmental pollutants on their territories. In the community of Kanesatake, we sampled just under 100 sites and initiated a Human Health Risk Assessment with a few community members continuing this community-led journey.



ECO Canada and Menv Internship Program - Concordia University

During the summer of 2021, TerraHumana Solutions' latest incubator of talents hosted two interns. With ECO Canada, Marian MacNair (one of TerraHumana Solutions' research assistants) headed the study during the spring and summer and oversaw the ecological evaluation of a natural area in Hudson, Quebec. Hudson recently announced a three-month development freeze - the town is considering several science-based reports and is planning to incorporate them into a suitable conservation plan.

With the Menv Internship program at Concordia University, Nikita Bhat (our second intern) looked at the history of environmental contamination in Indigenous communities with a case study in Kanesatake to feed into the issue we have been working on for the ECHIP study. The goal of this report consisted of two parts: one was to provide an empirical account of the environmental transgressions on this Mohawk territory, and the second was to collect the wealth of knowledge from community members who have been observing the long-drawn-out effects of contamination for decades.


REgarde Citoyen!

A group of concerned residents, REgarde Citoyen!, wanted to protect one of the least-wooded areas of Saint-Joseph-du-Lac. A developer hired a consulting firm to submit a technical report in order to renew a certificate of authorization from the Quebec Ministry of the Environment. REgarde Citoyen! gave TerraHumana Solutions a mandate to conduct an independent summary evaluation of the last forest in this area. The report submitted by the developer was incomplete, and recommendations were made for more studies. We look forward to working with REgarde Citoyen! again in the future.


Legacy Fund for the Environment

After some completed projects with The Legacy Fund for the Environment, it was clear that much common ground was shared. As a result, a collaborative agreement was forged between TerraHumana Solutions and The Legacy Fund for the Environment. It was a big win for citizens directing grassroots conservation projects across Quebec and Canada, and in this partnership, we have been able to give support and provide resources to grassroots conservationists.


Assisting Industry with Waste Management

Even though we cannot publicly disclose the names of our waste management clients, the benefits we provide are producing a positive impact. Effective waste management conserves resources, mitigates the impact of climate change, and reduces plastics. We pride ourselves in helping companies contribute to a circular and sustainable economy.


Sierra Club Canada Foundation and ECHO Foundation

We are delighted to be producing a bird conservation guidebook to help Quebec municipalities. This project was made possible with financial funding from the ECHO foundation (echofoundation.org) because of the collaborative efforts between the Quebec Chapter of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation (sierraclub.ca) and TerraHumana Solutions. The municipality of Terrebonne has decided to pilot this project. This guidebook will provide different mitigation methods and an educational workshop, and TerraHumana Solutions will have a supervisory role.


We want to thank all our collaborators: Ratishontsanonhstats Kanesatake Environment and the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, our industry partner ECO Canada, Concordia University, McGill University, Nature Hudson, the Legacy Fund for the Environment, ECHO Foundation, Sierra Club Quebec and Sierra Club Canada Foundation, and REgarde Citoyen!, for their trust in us. Working with these organizations has been rewarding and challenging - the best combination for learning and growing for all. As 2022 progresses, we will share more details as our projects continue to move forward.


About TerraHumana Solutions


TerraHumana Solutions is a consulting firm, which specializes in helping community and business leaders to find sustainable solutions to environmental and social issues. Our approach is simple - we listen. Bringing 20 years of international experience in natural resource sciences, strategy, project conception, and management, we can find the right strategic approach for you. At TerraHumana Solutions, we contribute to informed decision-making on community and business engagement projects, and conservation projects with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.


For more information, please contact:

Isabelle-Anne Bisson, PhD.

President

TerraHumana Solutions

+1 514 654-7835

ibisson@terrahumanasolutions.com


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Updated: Dec 1, 2021

To Produce a Bird Conservation Guide Book for Municipalities in Quebec



TerraHumana Solutions is proud to announce a project which aims to create a guidebook for Quebec municipalities to ensure their activities are geared towards bird conservation. “This project has been in the gestation stages for the past few years”, says Dr. Isabelle Bisson. It began in 2017 when she and her colleagues noticed that their respective municipalities would kick into high gear with cutting down trees and maintaining hedges during bird breeding season. As a result, bird nests were being knocked down. Migratory birds, along with their nests, eggs, and young are legally protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA, 1994) from April to August in Montreal. TerraHumana Solutions decided that they needed to act, so they applied for a grant from Bird Protection Quebec. Having successfully received funding from Protection des Oiseaux du Quebec, TerraHumana Solutions wanted to understand the exact issues associated with the non-application of this important environmental law. To their surprise, they discovered that municipalities had little to no knowledge of it.

Consequently, there was no enforcement of these kinds of environmental laws in the municipalities involved in the study. ‘Instead of an offensive stance, we decided the best position was to see how to work with municipalities. So to help them out, we decided to create a guidebook that spoke their language,” said Dr. Bisson.

This major milestone work – a guidebook to help Quebec municipalities work towards bird conservation – was made possible with financial support from the ECHO Foundation (echofoundation.org) because of a collaboration between TerraHumana Solutions and the Sierra Club Canada Foundation (sierraclub.ca). The city of Terrebonne has agreed to pilot the project. This guidebook will provide different mitigation methods, as well as a training workshop. Municipal leaders and key employees will learn how to better plan work activities while ensuring the safety of urban and peri urban avian fauna, and TerraHumana Solutions will be taking on a supervisory role. The project will be underway shortly, with two biologists assigned - Nathalie Gendron and Alexandre Choquet.

“We are very excited about this guidebook. We dream that other organizations will take it on and mould it to their work with other municipalities,” added Dr. Bisson.


About TerraHumana Solutions

TerraHumana Solutions is a consulting firm, which specializes in helping community and business leaders to find sustainable solutions to environmental and social issues. Our approach is simple - we listen. Bringing 20 years of international experience in natural resource sciences, strategy, project conception, and management, we can find the right strategic approach for you. At TerraHumana Solutions, we contribute to informed decision-making on community and business engagement projects, and conservation projects with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.


For more information, please contact:

Isabelle-Anne Bisson, PhD.

President

TerraHumana Solutions

+1 514 654-7835

ibisson@terrahumanasolutions.com











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