Gwen and James are the leading experts in North America in providing advice on creating better relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Together, they have over 50 years of experience in this space. Their collective understanding has been instrumental in organizational change throughout governments and organizations in North America.
A member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Gwen has over twenty years of experience in providing advice, developing strategies, and managing natural resource-related projects for First Nations and their partners, including in land and water planning, protected areas planning, and policy. Gwen has worked on watershed planning with the Mescalero Apache, the Makah Tribe (including collaborative Recovery Planning for the Ozette Sockeye with the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the State of Washington and the Makah Tribe), the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the Okanagan Indian Band, and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. Gwen has led and facilitated land use planning and title and rights protection processes with those nations and others including the West Moberly First Nations. Gwen has been recently working on indigenous-led conservation including caribou habitat protection and old growth protection with the Okanagan Nation Alliance and negotiating and planning for the South Okanagan Similkameen National Park Reserve.
Gwen is an adept researcher with experience in forest hydrology and natural resources management grounded in technical knowledge (Gwen has a Master of Science in Renewable Resources with a thesis specialization in forestry hydrology) and indigenous perspectives, including designated community-developed bio-cultural use indicators for Water Quality Standards for the Makah Tribe. Gwen has been advising the evolving provincial policy environment for forestry and climate change, land use planning, Indigenous-led conservation in BC, and watershed planning. Gwen teaches courses in Ethical Space and Indigenous Leadership at University nuhelot’ine thaiyots’i nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Gwen has provided Ethical Space training to many levels of government including; BC Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, BC Ministry of Forests, BC Ministry of Environment, BC Water Land and Resource Stewardship, Parks Canada, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Chief of Staff office, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, City of Nelson, Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments, District of Mission, Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, US National Parks Service, and many others.
James Rattling Leaf, Sr.
Lakota, CQ® Certified Facilitator: CQ Train-the-Trainer
Mr. Rattling Leaf is a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, developing programs that utilize the interface between Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Western science. He applies his expertise in Earth observation technology to convey how TEK can be used with Western science to address the impacts of climate change. He also teaches Cultural Intelligence methods, supports Indigenous engagement strategies, and serves Indigenous nations’ efforts through effective and respectful data application. He holds leadership roles with the University of Colorado-Boulder, North Central Climate Adaptation Center, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Group on Earth Observations Indigenous Alliance, and the Ecological Society of America.