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.

Three Minute Thesis at TRU

Both Dominique Hazel and Kelsey Boule competed in The(3MT™) competition held at TRU on March 20th, 2018. The 3MT™ is an internationally recognized research communication competition developed to challenge thesis-based graduate students. They were tasked to deliver a presentation of their research and its significance in three minutes or less to a non-specialist audience. Dominique spoke passionately on the environmental impacts of music festivals in B.C. and Kelsey shared her thesis on the ethical issues of sport hunting in the province. They represented the Masters of Environmental Science while competed alongside TRU students from diverse programs including: Masters of Education; Masters of Nursing; and Masters of Business Administration. It was a tight competition with compelling participants.  Both students enjoyed listening to the other researchers on campus. Kelsey placed second in the competition judged by community members Donovan Cavers, Councillor City of Kamloops, Danalee Baker, Executive Director, United Way, Thompson Nicola Cariboo, and Andrew Cooper, Artistic Directior, Chimera Theatre.

Environmental Science Masters Showcase (2018)

The Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Community Lab members got together (sans Courtney) for a few quick photos after a successful day had by all.  Their posters and presentations were well-received. The open bar (which is tradition), may have motivated the second picture.

Pictured below:

Jason Johnston, Dominique Hazel, Kelsey Boule, Carmen Massey,  Paulina Ross and Pate Neumann

(The guys seem less impressed or too cool, not sure which is appropriate).


TRU Contributions to Fresh Water Fishing Symposium…

Pictured above (from left):

Dr. Courtney Mason (Canada Research Chair); Campbell Bryk (fish tourism operator and graduate from TRU tourism);  Brennan Lund (Natural Resource Science undergrad student); Dr. Brian Heise (Associate Professor, Natural Resource Science); Kindra Maricle (Natural Resource Science undergrad student); Carmen Massey (Masters student in Environmental Sciences).

On November 8th and 9th 2017, a Fresh Water Fishing Tourism Symposium was held in Kamloops, BC. TRU had number of attendees who contributed to the productive dialogue. A series of interesting panels and presentations filled the busy schedule over the two days. Courtney Mason was part of a stimulating panel entitled: Managing Our Landbase for Recreational and Tourism Values. Participants shared their perspectives of working in land-based tourism operations over many decades in the province. While some frustration was evident with the province’s decisions that have been in favour of resource extraction industries and the impacts on local waterways and fish tourism operations, there was a clear desire to move beyond land use plans and create productive legislation to protect small tourism businesses and water ecosystems throughout the province.


Boule Presents Findings at Health Psychology Conference…

Kelsey Boule, graduate student in Master’s of Environmental Science, and Courtney Mason, Associate Professor, went to St. John’s Newfoundland to present at the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS) conference this October. Kelsey presented on the project she has been a Research Assistant on for the past two years which looked at rethinking positive youth development and barriers to physical activity programs for urban Indigenous youth. This research focused on the barriers to and facilitators of physical activity for urban Indigenous youth in Kamloops. Privileging the perspective of Indigenous youth, the findings work towards implementing strategies that help overcome these barriers to increase their overall participation and access. Her talk was part of a larger seminar which discussed topics on sport and physical activity in Indigenous communities where she was able to reflect on similar studies that have been conducted across Canada. The conference was a great opportunity for Kelsey to meet and engage with academics and students from across the country to discuss further research opportunities.

Kelsey Boule pictured at Signal Hill in St. John’s.

Nickolas Kosmenko, Kelsey Boule, Leisha Strachan, Tara-Leigh McHugh and Courtney W. Mason. “Relevance of an Existing Knowledge-To-Action Model to Research with Indigenous Youth.” Paper presented at the 48th Annual Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS), St. John’s, NL, October 13, 2017.

Kelsey Boule, Courtney W. Mason, Tara-Leigh McHugh and Leisha Strachan. “Rethinking positive youth development and barriers to physical activity programs for urban Indigenous youth.” Paper presented at the 48th Annual Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS), St. John’s, NL, October 13, 2017.