South African Tourism Conference a Success…

Pictured above: Carmen Massey (Centre) Fauve Garson-Stewart (right) and Colleen Black (left) students at TRU at the ICNT conference in South Africa.

Thompson Rivers University was well represented at the recent International Competence Network of Tourism Research (ICNT) conference at Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.  Carmen Massey, TRU Masters of Science Environmental Science candidate working in the Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities lab, presented her research on the role of relationships in sustainability at the Adams River salmon run.  TRU tourism undergraduate students Fauve Garson-Stewart and Colleen Black presented their UREAP research projects related to responsible tourism.

The ICNT network is an international group of tourism researchers who gather once per year to share recent work on tourism research.  Nine countries were represented at this year’s conference in South Africa.  “The ICNT conference was an excellent opportunity to present my work in front of an international group of tourism researchers, and to have them give me feedback on my research.  I especially benefited from listening to each of their projects and discovered the richness and diversity of tourism research being conducted.  I appreciate that TRU supported me in this experience,” says Carmen about her conference experience.



Carmem Massey,  Exploring the Network of Relationships at the Adams River Salmon Run, British Columbia, Canada.

The Lab Celebrates its First Graduates

Pictured above from left: Kelsey Boule, Dr. Courtney Mason and Dominique Hazel.

At TRU’s October graduation ceremony, the Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities Laboratory celebrated its first two graduates. Dominique Hazel and Kelsey Boule both successfully defended their masters’ theses this past summer.

Kelsey relocated to the lower mainland and is now working for Simon Fraser University. Dominique has joined the team at TRU’s Research Office.

Congratulations to both of them for all of their hard work and mentorship!

Salmon Symposium (Oct 2018)

Shuswap Salmon Symposium a Resounding Success
(Kenthen Thomas performing at Renaming Ceremony Salute to the Sockeye festival site).


Academics, scientists, Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers, students, youth, community members, conservationists, politicians and industry partners gathered for the inaugural Shuswap Salmon Symposium, September 30 and October 1 in Squilax, BC.  The Symposium was held at the site of the Adams River Salmon Run.  The  gathering was focussed on discussing salmon conservation from multiple perspectives, including: traditional knowledge, community, art, science, law, culture, spirituality, governance, management and economics.

Secwepemc Elder Mike Arnouse speaking at the Symposium
Attendees visited Tsútswecw Provincial Park to witness the renaming of park, and were led on walks with Indigenous elders and knowledge-keepers to receive a greater understanding of Secwepemc connection to salmon.  The Symposium continued at nearby Quaaout Lodge where an Indigenous feast was enjoyed and several presenters shared perspectives on the issues and challenges facing salmon conservation, from habitat concerns, need to incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge, realities facing fisheries managers, declining salmon populations, fish farming effects, and Indigenous lived experiences.  A stimulating panel discussion covered many areas of concern related to salmon conservation and the action planning sessions enabled open dialogue between attendees.  

TRU Masters of Science, Environmental Science candidate, Carmen Massey, TRU Bachelor of Tourism alumni, Julie John, TRU Dean of Science, Tom Dickenson, TRU Canada Research Chair, Courtney Mason, and TRU Executive Director of Aboriginal Affairs, Paul Michel, were instrumental in bringing together the Salmon Symposium in collaboration with The Adams River Salmon Society and Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band, and numerous community members, industry and conservationist partners.  TRU students and faculty from Science, Law, Business and Tourism were in attendance for this in augural event.  The action planning sessions and feedback reports reflect a strong desire to move this multi-disciplinary conversation forward in the future.

Photograph credit: Jim Cooperman

Aotearoa / NZ collaboration Updates

Waiohine River, Tararua Mountains, Aotearoa

This spring Courtney Mason journeyed down to Aotearoa to conduct collaborative research with Dr. Anna Carr at the University of Otago. Their research is part of a three year SSHRC IDG grant that examines how Indigenous communities in Western Canada and New Zealand are engaged in national park management. Courtney presented at Otago in March while Anna returned the favour at TRU in June. They both then travelled together to the Yukon to present at the 6th International Polar Tourism Research Network Conference in Whitehorse.

The following presentations resulted:

Courtney W. Mason. “Indigenous Tourism in Rural Canada: Histories of Displacement and Contemporary Partnership Development.” Presented to the School of Tourism, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, March 14, 2018.

Anna Carr. “Cultural Landscapes and Sustainability: Recognizing Cultural Values in Protected Areas.” Presentation at Thompson Rivers, Kamloops, BC,  June 18, 2018.

Courtney W. Mason, Anna Carr & William Snow. “Indigenous Tourism in Rural and Northern Canada: Histories of Displacement and Contemporary Economic Development.” Paper Presented at 6th International Polar Tourism Research Network Conference (IPTRN), Whitehorse, YK, Canada,  June 27, 2018.

Anna Carr, Courtney W. Mason & William Snow. “Indigenous Heritage Management in Alpine Areas.” Paper Presented at 6th International Polar Tourism Research Network Conference (IPTRN), Whitehorse, YK, Canada,  June 27, 2018.

Anna at Paul Lake, near Kamloops, BC.

Kluane National Park, Yukon.

Rural Tourism Symposium, Beyond the Fires: Wildfire Recovery and Industry Development

April 13 – 15, 2018
Kelsey Boule, Carmen Massey and Dominique Hazel joined associate professor, Dr. Rob Hood, at the 2018 Rural Tourism Symposium in Williams Lake over the weekend of April 13–15, 2018. The symposium, Beyond the Fires: Wildfire Recovery and Industry Development, was an industry based conference that included presentations from Dr. Rob Hood, Destination BC, and other industry experts around tourism resilience and recovery in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. The group represented Thompson Rivers University while engaging in stimulating discussions, offering an academic viewpoint to tourism issues and action planning. The students connected with both industry professionals and members of the community to speak about their master’s research objectives and results. Students Kelsey Boule and Dominique Hazel also presented research posters. The weekend was a great step towards creating new connections and advocating for the potential of student project research and collaborations with industry professionals to support both student learning, business organization, and community support.