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TerreWEB Seminar: Teresa Ryan

October 21, 2014

Teresa Ryan Smhayetsk

Aboriginal ecological-social linkages legacy

 Thursday, October 30th

 3:30pm – 4:30pm (5:00pm for TW scholars)

 Room MCML 258

 Everyone welcome!


The advocacy for inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge systems in resource management is gaining momentum however constraints and obstacles prevent applying Ancestral knowledge in a manner that resonates with the Aboriginal domain. Several reasons exist for these challenges, not the least of which is misperceptions and conceptualizations of Aboriginal people. This seminar will demonstrate how north-central coastal British Columbia ecological landscapes were managed by Aboriginal social institutions specifically for stewardship of natural resources.


Teresa Ryan Smhayetsk is born into the Gitlan tribe of the Tsimshian Nation. She completed her PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UBC IRES, Vancouver). Her research has focused primarily on increasing the profile and appropriate use of Ancestral Knowledge systems in sustainable management of natural resources. Her PhD dissertation is an Aboriginal perspective of Aboriginal economy with evaluation of the eco-socio linkages associated to the eulachon “Grease” producing region in north-central coastal BC. She demonstrated the collateral loss of Aboriginal stewardship over extensive landscapes and the self-imposed opportunity costs created by colonial states.

Teresa currently serves as Sr. Policy Advisor to the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia, Scientist – Pacific Salmon Commission Joint Chinook Technical Committee (Canada), and Director – BC Aquatic Foods Resources Society. Teresa has previously served as Vice Chair – BC Pacific Salmon Forum; Member – BC Aquaculture Research and Development Committee (BC Innovation Council); and has participated in three Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat committees. She has coordinated two successful trade missions to China for the Native Investment and Trade Association; and assisted in teaching First Nations Forestry at UBC. Dr. Ryan is currently a Teaching and Learning Fellow at UBC Forest and Conservation Sciences.

Dr. Ryan is a Tsimshian cedar basket weaver and photographer. She learned Tsimshian cedar weaving from her Mother Bilhaam ne’ex Loa Ryan. Together they have taught several classes in traditional weaving styles according to the tribal traditions of the students. 

The Fall Seminar Series Schedule can be found here.

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