Clementine Bouche

Hello! My name is Clementine, I am a second year REM student. Originally from France, I did my undergraduate studies in Quebec, and then came to Vancouver to study at SFU. My supervisor is Clifford Atleo, who is a Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht) scholar; he researches and teaches Indigenous governance, political economy, and resource management.

What inspired your current research topic?
Opportunity! In 2014, a Cumulative Effects Management (CEM) Program began between the Metlakatla First Nation (located in northwest coastal British Colombia), Simon Fraser School of Resource and Environmental Management researchers, and Cumulative Effects and Decision Analysis experts. The CEM Program was proposed in response to multiple industrial development initiatives on the traditional territory of the Metlakatla First Nation. These projects have various benefits and costs impacting the community’s environmental, economic, cultural, and social well-being. The Metlakatla CEM program is a resource assessment and management system designed to monitor and improve the status of priority Metlakatla values and to provide a proactive response to aggregate change in the region. My master’s research focuses on the health pillar of the CEM Program. My goals are to 1. identify the health aspects most affected by industrial initiatives, 2. understand the health priorities of the community, and 3. determine the best health indicators for the community.

Why do you think this topic is important?
I am passionate about my research. It weaves together the three main dimensions of sustainability and contributes to the well-being of the Metlakatla First Nation. Community member’s health is key to the community prosperity. Risks to Indigenous health has often been disregarded in past environmental assessments; yet, health issues can have dramatic outcomes on a person’s life. Assessing and managing holistic health – including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health – is a necessity to reduce social inequities and ensure the community’s self-determination.

How will the Wolfgang Haider Award help you achieve your research goals?
The Wolfgang Haider Award supports the engagement activities that I will be conducting with the Metlakatla. My project includes several focus groups and interviews to obtain input from the Metlakatla. I am extremely grateful to be able to do this work with the community. I came to this land as an uninvited guest and stand as a white settler. Yet, my research, guided by respect and desire to learn, and informed by Indigenous Peoples, connects me to the histories and presents of the lands I stand on, and inspires me to strive for national Reconciliation.