Merkel, Garry

Merkel, Garry (nadi’ denezā)

UBC Doctor of Science, honoris causa
UAlberta Doctor of Law, honoris causa

Garry Merkel (nadi’ denezā) is Tahltan from northwest British Columbia – what is now known as the Stikine River area. By trade he is a professional forester but, like many professional members of the Indigenous community, he has a wide-ranging set of experiences including community planning and development, treaty negotiations, governance development, business development and management, education, housing & infrastructure and various intergovernmental agreements in various fields. His experience in education has spanned many decades ranging from developing and supporting implementation of a national post-secondary education strategy to increase the numbers of aboriginal resource management professionals in Canada, the development of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology to the conception and development of the Center of Indigenous Land Stewardship, all of which have earned him various honorary degrees and awards from various institutions. His core purpose is to help others to be able to envision and shape their own futures, particularly as it relates to land and community wellness. The Center and the Bachelors program in Indigenous Land Stewardship are 2 of his long-term priorities – supporting Indigenous communities to be able to develop their own land stewardship systems based on their society’s land ethics. He believes that this land ethic contains many of the beliefs that are necessary to bring humans back into their ‘proper place’ within nature, and that translating this ethic into reality with practical land stewardship systems will create a path that others can follow to achieve this ‘proper place’ as a planetary scale.