Faculty: James Wilkes
James is a cultural ecologist, educator, and photographer who is dedicated to social and environmental justice, Indigenous and Canadian rights, land protection and biodiversity, as well as decolonization, re-humanization and knowledge revitalization.
James honours his mixed Scottish and Hungarian ancestry, and he has been fortunate to live and work in remote communities, traveling extensively throughout the Americas and East Asia.
His educational and experiential background is rooted in diverse understandings of the environment, coupled with interests in politics, science, spirituality and knowledge system interaction. His graduate research focused on Indigenous environmental decision-making and his work with Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) highlights the need for improved provincial policy that: respects the relationships, responsibilities and knowledges of Indigenous peoples; recognizes the rights, laws and autonomy of Indigenous communities; and involves Indigenous people in fair, open and meaningful ways.
James continues to work to support the continuation of ecological and cultural diversity in Canada through research, teaching and action, including land use studies and map biographies with the Nunatsiavut government and Inuit communities on Labrador’s northeast coast (Nunatsiavummiut territory).
James is currently an instructor in the Indigenous Environmental Studies Program at Trent University, as well as a professor and James Bay trip leader in the Ecosystem Management Program at Fleming College.