Natalie Baird (B. Env. Sc. (Hons.) 2014 is currently a Master of Environment candidate and a visual artist. She is working on a participatory research project in Pangnirtung, Nunavut that uses video and arts-based methods to document and communicate Inuit perspectives of changing oceans. Natalie also works at Art City Inc. as the film photography instructor and at the Misericordia Health Centre as an artist-in-residence.
She first became interested in Inuit culture through Inuit art, and in 2016 travelled to Baffin Island to conduct surveys with Nunavummiut for the Canadian Census. Shortly after Natalie began work with the Arctic component of Ocean Canada, a national SSHRC funded partnership that is supporting coastal communities as they respond to rapid and uncertain changes. She particularly credits the travel and field courses in the Riddell Faculty for inspiring her. The travel course to Clearwater, Manitoba was, to quote Natalie: “a major turning point. I was really inspired by the farmers, community members, and Elders that we heard from in Clearwater, and how their voices could be part of academic conversations”. Although she describes her career path as “meandering”, her many positions and interests have all contributed to her current research. To once again quote Natalie: “I’ve always felt connected to land and community, as well as creative ways to think and talk about those connections. Community-based work and research can be very challenging. I am lucky to work with so many amazing people that give me the energy that has kept me coming back”.