Joint Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry & Geology Seminar: Valoree Gagnon, Michigan Tech

Friday, February 5 at 3:00pm

Virtual Event

“Tribal Nations Sovereignty: Foundations for Stewardship and Governance Partnerships in the Great Lakes”

Dr. Valoree S. Gagnon, Research Assistant Professor for the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science , Michigan Technological University

Abstract: This seminar centers Indigenous understandings of sovereignty and its meanings in the context of the U.S. and the Anishinaabe Original Instructions. The session will provide an overview of Great Lakes treaties, ceded territories, and shared governance and stewardship for lands, waters, and life in the region, and illustrate guidance for research partnerships with/by/as Tribal Nations using the Medicine Wheel concept and teachings. The goals are to increase our understanding of the diverse perspectives and practices in our region, and to continue to build and strengthen sustainable partnerships between our schools and communities into the future.  

Biography: Valoree S. Gagnon (she, her, ki, kin) is a mother of four boys, and a community member in Keweenaw Bay, located in present day L'Anse, Michigan within Ojibwa (Chippewa) homelands and ceded-territory established by the Treaty of 1842. She serves as the Director for University-Indigenous Community Partnerships, Great Lakes Research Center and a Research Assistant Professor for the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University, and an instructor at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College. Gagnon also serves on the NSF EngageINFEWS RCN External Advisory Board (NSF# 1856059) that focuses on innovations at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems (INFEWS), while also serving on the U.S. Caucus of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Task Team, Annex 10 Science Subcommittee of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Gagnon has interdisciplinary expertise in environmental policy, food sovereignty and community-engaged research, and her work focuses on the socio-cultural impacts of legacy toxic compounds and the policies intended to address them, particularly on Indigenous fishing communities. Her research, teaching, and service center on elevating Indigenous peoples and knowledge, facilitating equitable research practice and design, and guiding partnerships that prioritize the protection and restoration of land and life in the Great Lakes region. In Upper Michigan, she loves to walk her dogs on the trails, garden and gather, and preserve many foods, especially jams and salsas. 

*Panelist: Steve Bouma-Prediger (Religion/Environmental Studies), Annie Dandavati (Political Science), Suzanne DeVries-Zimmermann (GES), Michelle Gibbs (Director for the Office of Sustainability), Steve McMullen (Economics/Business), Mike Pikaart (Chemistry)


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