Current Masters Fellows
The 2012 Masters Fellows are Leigh Joseph and Daniel Salau Rogei.
Leigh Joseph is a member of the Squamish First Nations and currently a second year Masters student in ethnobotany studying at the University of Victoria under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Turner. For the past five years she has worked with various First Nations groups on ethnobotany related projects. These communities include: Squamish, Kingcome Inlet, Ahousaht, Haida Gwaii and Saanich. These experiences have led Leigh to pursue a Masters in ethnobotany. In her current research she has been working to restore riceroot, an iconic traditional food plant, into the Squamish estuary. This research idea came from speaking with members in the community who are interested in renewing knowledge and practices around traditional plant foods. The large-scale context for this research is health related, many indigenous people in BC are addressing diet related health concerns such as Type II diabetes and obesity through rebuilding a connection to their traditional diets. This connection can be profound and can create opportunities for cultural renewal on many levels.
Daniel Salau Rogei has been working with the Maasai community for the last twelve years through a community based organization, Simba Maasai Outreach Organization (SIMOO) which am one of the founder members. SIMOO’s objective is to improve the community’s wellbeing through integrated development and advocacy for their social-cultural rights. SIMOO is on the process of establishing a Centre for Indigenous Languages and Cultural Studies (CILACS), where Maasai language and their indigenous way of life will taught and propagated for posterity, but there will also be a rigorous research and documentation process. The approach to this project will be both theoretical/academic and most importantly experiential/practical. It is through this program that Daniel intends to carry out intensive participatory research that will result in documenting such findings for education purposes and for the benefit of future generations. The product of this project will be returned to the community in form of publications, manuals and video materials on cultural practices and community core values. These will be used as authentic materials for education and reference when engaging other stakeholders.
Read the first Activity Report from Daniel!