Bentley Lecture: Perspectives on safeguarding soil health in Indigenous agroecosystems

Date(s) - 13/02/2024
12:00 am

Join us for the 22nd Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture Lecture

Perspectives on safeguarding soil health in Indigenous agroecosystems

Agriculture is the dominant land use in First Nations in the Canadian Prairies. In this lecture, I’ll provide an overview of the contemporary context of First Nations agriculture in the prairies and highlight strategies that First Nations are employing to safeguard soil health in their agricultural lands. I’ll share recent activities and learnings from Canada’s first Indigenous-led Living Lab, Bridge to Land Water Sky as well as outreach and training activities to increase agricultural land management capacity for Indigenous people.

About the event

Student Presentations will take place in the Aurora Room beginning at 2:30 pm.
The lecture will begin at 3:30 pm in the Maple Leaf Room.
A reception will follow. Free to attend.

Register to attend

About the speaker

Melissa Arcand, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan and is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6. She researches soil health, carbon storage, and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems. Her more recent interdisciplinary research focuses on Indigenous agriculture in the Prairies and included hosting a SSHRC Connections Grant-funded Forum on Indigenous Agriculture in Saskatchewan and collaborating with First Nations’ lands departments to assess soils on agricultural lands through projects funded through the New Frontiers in Research Fund – Explorations Grant and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agricultural Climate Solutions Living Labs. Her team is developing and delivering outreach activities in soil health and agricultural beneficial management practices to First Nations through a Weston Family Foundation Soil Health Initiative project. In addition to her research and service work, she teaches and is the academic advisor for students in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy (“Let us take care of the land” in Plains Cree) Indigenous land and resource management certificate program and is the Academic Lead for the kihci-okâwîmâw askiy Knowledge Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.