ONC Staff Profile
Indigenous Community Learning Coordinator, User Services
Mercedes grew up within Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea. Mercedes is Algonquin from the Greater Golden Lake First Nation in Ontario and is also of British ancestry. Mercedes attended Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick where she obtained a degree in Environmental Studies and Geography.
Mercedes has experience working with a variety of Governmental agencies including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Parks Canada, and the BC Ministry of Environment. Mercedes has been involved in an assortment of Wildlife Monitoring Research projects with Parks Canada in Banff National Park and in Northern Alberta with the University of Alberta. Mercedes also spent a year working with the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada (AWN) completing Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Studies and working with Elders to record and map cultural knowledge in an attempt to reduce the impact of industrial development within their territory. During her time at AWN, Mercedes led a multi-stakeholder wildlife monitoring and education program called the Caribou Patrol Program, championing the protection of Woodland Caribou species in Alberta.
Currently, Mercedes is the Indigenous Community Learning Coordinator at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). Her role at ONC is to include Indigenous perspectives related to the ocean into education materials so Indigenous students can see themselves better reflected within ocean science as well as to recognise the extensive knowledge surrounding the ocean held within Indigenous coastal communities.