Indigenous Governance Speaker Series: Gillian Staveley

Gillian Staveley
Reconnection – Grounding Kaska Values to Dene K’éh Kusān
There is a resurgence happening within Indigenous communities about connecting back to our lands, language, and laws to find the healing we need during this troubling time in our world. The Kaska Dena communities are working towards finding ways to use our strong land ethics to help manage our traditional territory according to our values that are rooted in our ways of knowing, doing, and being.

Today in a world where Indigenous-led conservation is recognized and being increasingly supported, the concept of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA's) is the answer to many of the important conservation and reconciliation initiatives in the North. There are challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities around being a leader in stewardship and it is a relationship that we can all be a part of.

About the speaker:
Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)
Director of Land Stewardship and Culture with Dena Kayeh Institute

Gillian Staveley is a Kaska Dena member whose heritage lies in the Muncho Lake region of Dena Kēyeh in Northern British Columbia. Graduating from UBC in 2014 with a Masters in Anthropology, Gillian’s research explored the importance of multi-generational environmental knowledge. In addition, it focused on issues of colonialism and political ecology – all topics that are relevant to Indigenous communities across the globe.

Through Gillian's connection with her heritage and culture, she has actively promoted the conversation of what Indigeneity means in the 21st century. Gillian has worked predominantly in the resource development sector as a traditional land use practitioner, consultant, and archaeologist. In her past work as the Regional Coordinator for the Kaska Dena in British Columbia, her goal was to ensure that through the Government to Government relationship that exists between her Nation and the Province, that the respect for Kaska Laws – Dene K’éh Gū́s’ān and the commitment under the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples is upheld in all consultations and engagements with her Nation.

Gillian currently serves as a Director of the Dena Kēyeh Institute (DKI), a non-for-profit society created by the Kaska Nation to empower, preserve, and protect the Kaska Dena language, oral traditions, history, culture, and traditional knowledge. Gillian's primary work as the Director of Land Stewardship and Culture has been focused on her Nations Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas proposals within the Kaska Ancestral Territory.

As a mother of two strong and energetic Kaska boys, her livelihood is encompassed around watching them grow, live, and experience the world around them in Dena Kēyeh, ‘the people’s country.’
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