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.
+1 514 654-7835