Rachel Arsenault

My English name is Rachel Arsenault, and I am gii goon (fish) clan from Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island). I am a third year PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University with a focus on climate change and how this is impacting Indigenous water ways. With my current research, I am also learning about how I can support further development on Indigenous water governance. I have dedicated, and will continue to dedicate, my entire career to amplifying Indigenous voices on Indigenous water governance, Indigenous water laws and building up Indigenous resilience to the environmental impacts from climate change. I share the vision of RESEAU, which is to accelerate the achievement of “socioeconomically and technologically sustainable outcomes in water health and well-being for Indigenous and rural communities”, as these outcomes have been lacking in many Indigenous and rural communities for decades. It has long been understood by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers that resolving the water crisis in Canada requires adaptive, flexible, and transformative changes which can be tailored to each unique communities’ specific needs. As a result, I believe that the Community Circle model that RESEAU has adapted will accomplish these necessary transformative changes. As a Board Member, I am committed to supporting RESEAU with their efforts to “mobilize innovative offerings to guide decision makers towards reaching their infrastructure and public health goals when investing in community improvements”.

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