Dr. Ginger Gibson
Dr. Ginger Gibson (PhD, Mining Engineering) is a Founding Director of the Firelight Group. She works as a negotiator for Indigenous communities and companies on land use and mining issues. Her research has focused on impact assessment, negotiation and implementation of Impact and Benefit Agreements. Ginger has extensive experience of working with communities in the north, including focus on risk assessment and risk communication, traditional ecological knowledge, and socioeconomic and cultural impact assessment and mitigation. She is the co-author of The Community Toolkit for Negotiation of Impact and Benefit Agreements. As a Trudeau Scholar, she completed a PhD in Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia and is now an Adjunct Professor there. The Firelight Group brings in many research interns and associates and is eager to talk to interested and aspiring community-based researchers.
Dr. Martin Raillard
Dr. Martin Raillard, Chief Scientist of the federal agency Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR), speaks to its role in advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic, strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology, and promoting the development and distribution of knowledge of other circumpolar regions, including Antarctica. POLAR recognizes the respectful inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge as fundamentally important to the co-creation of new knowledge. Through initiatives including its Northern Scientific Training Program, POLAR helps support and inspire the next generation of polar researchers. At its new Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus, POLAR fosters an environment where local residents, visiting researchers, educators, and students have ample opportunity to learn, and share information and perspectives.
Mr. Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Duane Smith is the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). The Corporation was established in 1985 with the mandate to receive the Inuvialuit lands and financial compensation resulting from the 1984 land claim settlement.
Previous to his election as Chair of IRC, Mr. Smith was President of Inuit Circumpolar Council - Canada (ICC Canada). He was elected President of ICC Canada in June 2002. As President of ICC Canada, Mr. Smith also became Vice-President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Duane has been involved with ICC Canada since 1998. He resigned as President, ICC Canada when elected as IRC Chair & CEO in January 2016.
Locally, Mr. Smith was elected Chairperson of Inuvik Community Corporation for 6 terms beginning in 2004 and recently re-elected as Inuvik’s Chair in December 2015. He resigned his Chairmanship when elected as IRC Chair & CEO in January 2016.
Mr. Smith was a member and co-chair to the Board of Directors of ArcticNet. He co-led the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study that coordinated and documented data on the Arctic through traditional knowledge and western science. Additionally, Mr. Smith was a member of the National Steering Committee for the Canadian International Polar Year.
Born and raised in Inuvik, NT, Mr. Smith has represented the Inuvialuit nationally and internationally for many years as a member and Chair of the Inuvialuit Game Council on sustainable resource management and indigenous rights. He also has over 18 years of experience with the regions government in conservation and resource management. Mr. Smith is a former co-chair of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Arctic Specialist Group Sustainable Use Initiative.
Mr. Smith continues his close attachment to the land and is a steadfast advocate for indigenous rights, their relationship to the environment as well as the traditional knowledge and insights indigenous people can provide.