Spring 2021

Newsletter Archive


Executive Director's Message

article image

This month we celebrate our 8th year as an affiliated institute at Mount Royal University. Over this time, we have enjoyed providing research opportunities to students, collaborating with faculty and staff, bridging community and campus and contributing to MRU's culture of innovation and change-making. As Mount Royal's only affiliated institute we play a unique role, one that bridges academic research with community need to advance conservation. Our work with MRU covers a lot of ground. Right now, our collaborations with MRU focus on:

  • Building the Urban Wetland Monitoring Network. The urban wetland monitoring network brings together researchers working on initiatives addressing Calgary urban wetlands to inform municipal goals associated with urban biodiversity. The network includes MRU faculty Dr. Felix Nwaishi and Dr. Melanie Rathburn, and representatives from University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan, Miistakis Institute and City of Calgary to work collaboratively to address conservation and sustainability of wetland functions within the City of Calgary.
  • Supporting students by providing interdisciplinary research opportunities through internships. We recently said goodbye to Alexa Romano who was working with us on a literature review on the temporal impact of humans on wildlife in urban areas and Shelby Hansen who assisted us in some snow tracking and remote camera classification. Best of luck to both of you. We are now gearing up to hire our 2021 summer students.
  • Interacting with faculty and students through offerings of guest lectures. Most recently we presented Landscape Connectivity and Citizen Science: What, Why, How.

We look forward to interacting more with our MRU community when we are all back on campus!

A few weeks ago, Miistakis staff and board were fortunate to have spent a day with Holly Fortier of Nisto Consulting, Indigenous Awareness Training, for a day of listening, learning and reflecting to inform and support our journey of reconciliation. Miistakis understands that we have an important role to play in the reconciliation of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada by seeking to understand past wrongs and co-create new pathways to sustainable conservation. Reconciliation requires a consideration and integration of Indigenous ways of knowing, that includes and respects Indigenous communities, rights, and knowledge leading to better environmental and community outcomes. We look forward to continuing our learning. Thank you Holly!


Danah Duke, Executive Director