Dakota is working on the Braiding Seeds project led by Dr. Silvia Sarapura and supported by seven interdisciplinary scholars in collaboration with remote First Nation partners and Up North on Climate. Her research focuses on braiding multiple sources of knowledge, specifically Indigenous knowledge, lived experiences, and perspectives, with Western science to explore and center Indigenous peoples’ views on food security and sovereignty through community-engaged participatory action research.
Dakota received an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science at the University of Ottawa on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people, where she lived and worked at the heart of Canadian politics. She studied a wide range of topics across the Social Sciences discipline, including the political economy of food and farming, Indigenous understandings of holistic health, and the ways in which laws and legislation impact environmental and human health. Last summer she had the opportunity to complete an internship with the Canadian Childcare Resource and Research Unit.
After completing her degree, Dakota hopes to continue to support projects, organizations, and people using her skills in grant writing, community outreach, and leadership. Dakota’s experience with food systems transformations stem from her past work with non-profit organizations and through collaborating with community members in First Nations and low-income housing communities to support projects that empower people to have greater control of their food systems. She is eager to use her passion for food-related programming to make a meaningful impact and find opportunities to learn and work with people and communities at the forefront of food system transformation.
Dakota chose to become an Arrell Scholar and study at the University of Guelph because she felt the opportunity would provide the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to affect change in food systems. She recognized U of G as one of Canada’s best Universities for food and food systems research, and admired the ethos of sustainability and community well-being exemplified on campus and within the City of Guelph.