We all have a unique story to tell and it is important that every story be heard. Colouring Nature is an evening panel discussion that will provide the opportunity to listen to a diverse set of stories of relationships and experiences with nature.
Our featured panelists, Deborah McGregor (Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University), Drew Lanham (Cultural/Conservation Ornithologist, Lifelong Bird Watcher & Naturalist, Author, Professor & Poet Laureate), and Peter Soroye (University of Ottawa PhD Student), will help us to navigate the topic of race in nature. Guided by our moderator, Rhinannon Kirton, our panelists will share their personal experiences, barriers to accessing nature that Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities face, and how people and organizations can help to challenge racism in the outdoors.
Attendees will get the chance to ask our panelists questions at the end of the discussion, but feel free to pre-submit your questions before the event to [email protected]
Deborah McGregor, Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University
As a Canada Research Chair, cross-appointed with Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Professor McGregor has been at the forefront of Indigenous environmental justice and Indigenous research theory and practice. Over the years, she has achieved international recognition through her creative and innovative approach using digital and social media to reach Indigenous communities and the public. Her work has been shared through the IEJ project website and UKRI International Collaboration on Indigenous research.
Drew Lanham, Cultural/Conservation Ornithologist, Lifelong Bird Watcher & Naturalist, Author, Professor & Poet Laureate
Peter Soroye, PhD Student
Peter Soroye is a PhD Student at the University of Ottawa, researching the effects of climate change and habitat loss on pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies. Peter uses and studies community science (e.g. citizen science) data like eButterfly or iNaturalist, and is a huge proponent of the value of these types of monitoring programs for research and conservation. Peter enjoys getting excited about research and sharing it, and throughout his studies he has also spent much time volunteering in and organizing various public science communication events. In his spare time, Peter enjoys camping, hiking, and watching the Toronto Raptors, and is an amateur birder, butterfly-er, and wildlife photographer.
Rhiannon Kirton, Graduate Student
Rhiannon is a current graduate student at The University of Western Ontario and an alumni of the University of Manchester, England where she gained a BSc in Zoology. Rhiannon’s interest in large mammals and carnivores has taken her around the world including time in British Columbia, Montana, New Zealand and South Africa. This passion has supported a keen interest in protected areas and landscape level conservation initiatives.
When not making maps, reading papers or doing fieldwork she enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, canoeing and learning new skills outdoors. Previously part of the team that organized BlackBirdersWeek, Rhiannon continues to work on diversity initiatives in the sciences such as BlackMammalogistsWeek (Sept 13th – 18th 2020) and in the outdoor recreation industry championing “representation matters” to try and increase visibility for those wanting to join these communities.