Sarah Ozog

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As a first year Ph.D student in Resource and Environmental Management, I feel fortunate to say I will be working under the supervision of Nuu-chah-nulth and Tsimshian scholar Dr. Cliff Atleo Jr. and will be receiving the additional committee support of Dr. Mark Jaccard and former REM alumni Dr. Katya Rhodes. My goal for this thesis is to identify how climate change policy is influenced by multilateral government commitments to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

On top of preliminary research, funding proposals, REM 611 with Dr. Anne Solomon (which is awesome!) and REM 621 with Dr. Duncan Knowler (which is also awesome!), I have two wonderful boys (ages 2 and 4), a passionate forester of a husband, and a 50 year old sail boat we live on a month of the year exploring the coast to keep me occupied. Oh and our very pretty boarder collie named Maggie, can’t forget Maggie…

What inspired your current research topic?
Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of working directly for Indigenous Nations, their NGO’s, local and Provincial government, and the private sector, gaining a unique perspective on resource and environmental management. What became evident to me in these roles was that there is almost always a common interest in exploring how resource management could be practiced more sustainably. I feel strongly that increasing the dialogue on climate change can help constructively stimulate not only increased conversation but necessary collaboration on more sustainable resource development solutions to the issues that face us all. Since beginning my Ph.D studies, I am further inspired by the profound and vast amount of Indigenous scholarship on de-colonizing methodologies since my last studies in 2012. The recent works of Glen Coulthard, Leanne Simpson and Rachel Flowers to name a few, are an inspiration to keep challenging existing ways of thinking for the better.

Why do you think this topic is important?
“I” don’t. The entire country does. The jury does appear to be out as clearly demonstrated by our most recent Speech from the Throne (2020) whereby the following commitments were delivered: Action on climate change, funding to improve First Nations participation in the green economy, First Nations direct involvement in fisheries management and, legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As some of these goals have been made previously by many levels of government, more clearly identifying why some governments appear to be delaying or perhaps abating their commitments, and how the policy development of each can more effectively influence or inform the other, is where I hope my research can contribute.

How will the Arthur and Ancie Fouks Graduate Entrance Award in Public Service help you achieve your research goals?
Being awarded the Arthur and Ancie Fouks Graduate Entrance Award in Public Service has provided me with renewed enthusiasm for the public service, and real encouragement for my efforts to date. Already I’ve been able to use this award in academic proposals and applications, further strengthening my instincts that building a stronger bridge between the public service and academia is in everyone’s best interest; as the alternate route to needed solutions for our living environment, will take a lot longer to get to without that bridge. I’d like to thank all of SFU’s REM Faculty as well as the Arthur and Ancie Fouks Trust for their encouraging recognition and very generous support for my studies.