Kylee Smith

Resource SpecializationSustainable Agricultural Sciences
Region SpecializationEurope (Scandinavia)
HometownNiagara Falls / Neyaashiinigmiing (Reservation) -> Ontario,Niagara Falls / Neyaashiinigmiing (Reservation) -> Ontario

I’m from Haida Gwaii, an archipelago on the north coast of BC. I grew up on the ocean, connected to my ancestor’s relationship with the land and water, and our generation’s responsibility to keep that alive and protected. I went to school to do something I could bring back home. I knew I wanted to combine marine biology with topics in Indigenous studies like land and water rights, law, traditional ecological knowledge, resource management, and governance.

I didn’t actually travel internationally, because I chose home for my region. Instead, I went to Bamfield Marine Science Centre on Vancouver Island for the Fall Semester in Marine Biology, which was an amazing way to learn biology in am immersive field setting and my favourite semester of my undergrad. I completed my language requirement by learning my own language, Xaayda Kil (Haida language), which is endangered, from elders at home.

I work on the marine monitoring team as a field technician, so I run different marine surveys in the summer season, travelling by boat in isolated areas. I’m responsible for carrying out the field data collection, field shift logistics, and data management. I work year-round, so in the off-season, I work on a variety of projects, including project planning, data analysis, traditional ecological knowledge work in the community, community engagement. I am supported to develop my interests, and I learn so much, scientifically and otherwise, on the job. I get to do cool, interesting, meaningful science in an Indigenous context, working in remote places most people would never get to visit.

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