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Our Team

We are a diverse and collaborative team of leaders, researchers and academics with a common passion for parks, protected, and conserved areas. We are driven to foster a strong platform for collaboration amongst park leaders and affiliated organizations and communities across Canada. 

Senior Leaders

Bowen Island, BC : Nex̱wlélex̱m

Dr. Don Carruthers Den Hoed (he/him) is a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.  Don has three decades of experiences in parks and protected areas interpretation, inclusion, and both urban and wilderness land management, and spent 26 years working with Alberta Parks. He holds an MA in Educational Contexts focused on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in parks and wilderness experiences and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies that explored the impact of special places on human wellbeing and stewardship. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Sustainability.

His current research focuses on knowledge mobilization in parks and protected areas, Indigenous-led cultural monitoring of species at risk, and equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization in parks and protected areas research and management.

 

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Hull, QC : Anishinaabemowin

Youth Leaders

Alberta : Niitsítpiis-stahkoii

Originally from Saskatchewan, Ebany currently lives in Calgary where she recently graduated from University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society. 

Since joining the team of Knowledge Gatherers with CPCIL, Ebany Carratt has delved into parks and protected areas topics relating to inclusion and accessibility, reconciliation, law, and the history of people of colour in parks. With a background in the social sciences, and prior involvement with various NGOs, Ebany is passionate about helping Park Leaders achieve better awareness on the intersectionality of inequality issues and the environment. She is also passionate about  influencing the implementation of better legislation/policies through the use of research guided by equity, diversity, and inclusivity. 

When in nature, you can find Ebany trying to look for something creepy or reading up on any possible historical facts about the place she’s visiting.

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Alberta :Niitsítpiis-stahkoii

Briana graduated from Mount Royal University with a major in Ecotourism & Outdoor Leadership,  a minor in Sport & Recreation Management, and an extension certification in Event Management.  

A passion of her’s is coordinating events to connect people with nature for health and well-being. In addition to numerous yoga hikes, she held a bike-in movie screening to fundraise for a youth development biking program. She also planned a nature-based market to fundraise for seniors in assisted living to eliminate accessibility barriers by providing them with ways to connect with nature from the safety of their homes. In the future, she hopes to host outdoor knowledge and skill workshops for people new to outdoor spaces and activities.

With CPCIL, Briana hopes to contribute to the momentum of connecting people with nature to promote a diverse and inclusive space of outdoor leaders and explorers.  

When in nature, you’ll catch Briana guiding, hiking or biking in the Rockies with a backpack full of homemade dehydrated meals and snacks. 

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Nova Scotia : Mi’kma’ki

Sarah is a writer, translator, facilitator, researcher, and dreamer who had the great good fortune of growing up on the shores of Mi’kma’ki, in a small Acadian village in Nova Scotia. She completed her undergraduate degree in translation at the Université de Moncton in 2016, followed by a Master of Arts with a concentration in literary translation at the University of Ottawa in 2020.  

Throughout her studies, she began working in museum interpretation and spent several seasons with Parks Canada working primarily in outreach and engagement.

This work launched her into a wider world of strategic sustainability in the public, private, and NGO sectors, in particular over her three years working with the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition to co-develop the Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy. She continues to enjoy building momentum, connecting dots, leading research, and expanding networks, as well as striving to centre my work around the spirit of co-creation. 

When in nature, you’ll catch Sarah reading, writing, or contemplating in a quiet, sheltered sitting spot (preferably next to water), accompanied with a thermos of coffee. 

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2022/2023 Knowledge Gatherers

Ontario : Anishinabewaki

Sherry graduated in 2020 with a Bsc. in Biology with specialization in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, which emphasized the importance of conserving our ecosystems and instilled a deep respect for nature.  

Since graduating, she’s worked at the Ottawa Outdoor Gear Library, a non-profit which seeks to reduce barriers to the outdoors for racialized and marginalized people. Equity and inclusion is a lens that informs the work that she does, so she hopes she can inspire and facilitate others to consider these topics while uncovering hidden narratives as a Knowledge Gatherer.  

Outside of her work at CPCIL, Sherry is often sewing and upcycling thrifted clothing, or attempting to make sourdough.  

When in nature, you’ll catch Sherry reading in a park or doing something active such as hiking, sledding, and the occasional cross country ski. But to her – nothing beats reading a nice book while laying in the sun.  

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Ontario : Anishinabewaki

Candace studies Plant Biology at the University of Toronto and is the first generation of her family to be born in Canada. Since she comes from a background of West Indian immigrants, she wanted to understand what it takes to leave behind the familiarity of her birthplace and home. So, she moved to Australia as an expat to gain a better understanding of what her grandparents may have faced. She returned home with more love for her home in Canada. 

Now, she values the resources that exist to assist various demographics with access to all that Canada has to offer. This is why the work being done at CPCIL is so important to her, because natural spaces and protected areas are Canadian icons. She wants to continue to be a part of projects that promote diversity, sustainability, and belonging. 

When in nature, you’ll catch Candace bird watching in Bronte Creek Provincial Park or any trail along the Niagara Escarpment in Stoney Creek, Ontario.

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British Columbia : xʷməθkʷəy̓əm

Sonal graduated in 2018 with Bachelors in Fashion Communication from India and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking and studied Entertainment Studies at UCLA. She is currently a second year graduate student at UBC School of Journalism and is interested in working at the intersection of film and reportage.  

She currently works at the Global Reporting Centre, based out of UBC as a Research Assistant. Her work has been featured in The Tyee, Conde Nast Traveller and Reforestation Nation, to name a few. Her favourite thing about the industry is that she gets to serve as a vessel for stories as she believes Journalism and Film have the power to transform, heal and inspire people’s lives. She’s greatly interested in the decolonization of media and CPCIL’s mission to investigate and inform ways to advance diversity and inclusion. 

When in nature, you’ll catch Sonal at the beach at sunrise reading a book – or taking a dip in the ocean.  

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British Columbia : xʷməθkʷəy̓əm

Chhavi is an international student from India, a graduate student at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media (JWAM), and a podcast coordinator for the Women’s Health Research Cluster (WHRC) at the University of British Columbia. Chhavi is a ball of excitement who loves to explore different cultures and learn about people from different walks of life. Her dream job is to travel the world and capture the stories of ordinary people who are making the world a better place.  

As a Knowledge Gatherer for CPCIL, Chhavi hopes to use her journalism skills like interviewing, writing, and research and a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) framework to highlight and amplify the hidden stories within the Parks Canada ecosystem.

When in nature, you’ll catch Chhavi taking long, reflective walks and listening in on the sounds of nature, from a flowing river to the chirping of birds. As of this moment, her favourite place to do this is in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

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