Dr. Iain Davidson-Hunt

Associate Professor
Natural Resources Institute
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3T 2M6
Tel.:(204) 474-8680
Fax:(204) 261-0038
E-mail: iain.davidson-hunt@umanitoba.ca
Website: Cultural Landscapes
Dr. Iain J. Davidson-Hunt


B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture, Crop Science Major, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada, 1988
Master of Natural Resources Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 1995
Ph.D. Natural Resource and Environmental Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 2003

Research Interests

I hold a faculty position at the Natural Resources Institute in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Earth, Envrionment & Resources at the University of Manitoba. This follows five years working in Latin America (Bolivia & Mexico) to support rural community development and eight years on land use planning and enterprise development in northern Canada. I now work with Master of Natural Resource Management students interested in ethnobotany and ethnoecology with a particular focus on the practice of harvesting (gathering, hunting, fishing) within forested landscapes. We focus both on harvesting for subsistence and for non-commercial and commercial trade. In the area of commercial trade an emerging interest is in documenting the value chains and networks of specific organisms and products. At the Ph.D. level I have been working with students to develop conceptual framing and methodologies to understand the topologies of harvesting networks and the continuity of such practices. This work builds out of my previous research on cultural landscape documentation and realization that different approaches were required to understand both the everyday practice of harvesting and its continuity.

I have also recently begun to draw together my experience as a professional planner and my interests in ethnobotany, ethnoecology and community enterprises in developing an approach that we term biocultural design. While this is an emergent interest it provides an applied platform to work with community enterprises to consider how the process of design can be utilized to develop products rooted in knowledge of the biological materials guided by the cultural values of a region. While we consider biocultural design to be an integrated process we break it into two phases. In the first phase we are building upon my previous work on cultural landscape documentation and enhancing that methodology by bringing in thinking from cultural asset mapping to create an approach of biocultural asset mapping. The second phase utilizes a team approach that includes community members and other relevant knowledge holders to move from documentation to the design of biocultural products.

I look forward to hearing from and working with students who have an interest in exploring some of these topics in partnership with communities.


At the Natural Resources Institute I currently teach Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Qualitative Methods in Community-Based Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and topic courses in ethnobotany / ethnoecology, cultural landscapes, biocultural asset mapping and biocultural design.

Selected Publications

Davidson-Hunt, I.J., R.M. O’Flaherty, C. Burlando, A. Miller (eds.) Pikangikum Cultural Landscape: A Journey of Survival from the Gifts of the Creator. Forthcoming Berghahn Press, New York.

Davidson-Hunt, I.J., N. Deutsch and A. Miller. 2012. Pimachiowin Aki Cultural Landscape Atlas: Land that Gives Life. Pimachiowin Aki Corporation, Winnipeg, MB, 154 pp.

Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and R.M. O’Flaherty. 2010. Pikangikum Cultural Landscape Documentation Guide. Aboriginal Issues Press, Winnipeg, MB, 78 pp.

Davidson-Hunt, I.J. L.C. Duchesne and J.C. Zasada, eds. 2001. Forest Communities in the Third Millennium: Linking Research, Business, and Policy toward a Sustainable Non-timber Forest Product Sector. USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, MN., 151 pp.

Book Chapters:

Deutsch, Nathan and Iain Davidson-Hunt (2010). Pikangikum family hunting areas and traplines: customary lands and Aboriginal land use planning in Ontario's Far North, in: Marc, G. Stevenson and David C. Natcher (Eds.), Planning Co-Existence: Aboriginal Issues in Forest and Land Use Planning. Pp. 149-170. Edmonton: CCI Press and SFM Network.

Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and F. Berkes. 2010. Journeying and remembering: Anishinaabe landscape ethnoecology from northwestern Ontario. In Leslie Main Johnson and Eugene S. Hunn (eds.) Landscape Ethnoecology, Concepts of Biotic and Physical Space. Pp. 222-240. Berghahn Press, New York. 

Davidson-Hunt, I.J., P. Peters and C. Burlando. 2010. Beekahncheekahmeeng Ahneesheenahbay Ohtahkeem (Pikangikum Cultural Landscape): Challenging the Traditional Concept of Cultural Landscape from an Aboriginal Perspective. In Kristen Walker-Painemilla, Alisa Woofter, Anthony Rylands and Cassie Hughes (eds.) Indigenous People and Conservation: From Rights to Resource Management. Pp. 137-144. Conservation International, Washington, D.C.

Berkes, F., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, N. Deutsch, C. Burlando, A. Miller, C. Peters, P. Peters, R. Preston, J. Robson, M. Strang, A. Tanner, L. Trapper, R. Trosper and J. Turner. 2009. Institutions for Algonquian land use: Continuity and Implications for Sustainable Forest Management. In M. Stevenson and D. Natcher (eds.) Changing the Culture of Forestry in Canada: Building Effective Institutions for Aboriginal Engagement in Sustainable Forest Management. Pp. 35-52. Occasional Publication No. 60. CCI Press and Sustainable Forest Management Network, Edmonton, AB.

O’Flaherty, R.M., I.J. Davidson-Hunt and A.M. Miller. 2009. Anishinaabe stewardship values for sustainable forest management of the Whitefeather Forest, Pikangikum First Nation, Ontario. In M. Stevenson and D. Natcher (eds.) Changing the Culture of Forestry in Canada: Building Effective Institutions for Aboriginal Engagement in Sustainable Forest Management. Pp. 19-34. Occasional Publication No. 60. CCI Press and Sustainable Forest Management Network, Edmonton, AB.

Shearer, J., P. Peters and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2009. Co-producing a Whitefeather Forest cultural landscape monitoring framework. In M. Stevenson and D. Natcher (eds.) Changing the Culture of Forestry in Canada: Building Effective Institutions for Aboriginal Engagement in Sustainable Forest Management. Pp. 63-84. Occasional Publication No. 60. CCI Press and Sustainable Forest Management Network, Edmonton, AB.

Berkes, F. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2008. Cultural basis for an ecosystem approach: Sharing across systems of knowledge. In D. Waltner-Toews, J. Kay and N.-M. Listers (eds.) The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability. Pp. 109-124. Columbia University Press, New York.

Recent Journal Articles:

Davidson-Hunt, I. J., C. J. Idrobo, R. D. Pengelly, and O. Sylvester. 2013. Anishinaabe adaptation to environmental change in northwestern Ontario: a case study in knowledge coproduction for nontimber forest products. Ecology and Society 18(4): 44. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06001-180444

Miller, A. M., and I. Davidson-Hunt. 2013. Agency and resilience: teachings of Pikangikum First Nation elders, northwestern Ontario. Ecology and Society 18(3): 9. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05665-180309

Robson, James P. Dr; Sinclair, Andrew J. Dr.; Davidson-Hunt, Iain J. Dr.; and Diduck, Alan P. Dr. 2013."What’s in a name? The search for ‘common ground’ in Kenora, Northwestern Ontario," Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 9: Iss. 2, Article 7. Available at: http://www.publicdeliberation.net/jpd/vol9/iss2/art7

Davidson-Hunt, I.J., K.L. Turner, A.T. Pareake Mead, J. Cabrera-Lopez, R. Bolton, C.J. Idrobo, I. Miretski, A. Morrison and J.P. Robson. 2012. Biocultural design: A new conceptual framework for sustainable development in rural Indigenous and local communities. S.A.P.I.E.N.S. 5(2): 33-45. [Online]

Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and K.L. Turner (eds.). 2012. Guest Editorial. Indigenous communities, the bioeconomy and natural resource development. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy 6(3): 188-193.

Pengelly, R.D. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2012. Partnerships towards NTFP development: perspectives from Pikangikum First Nation. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy 6(3): 230-250.

Idrobo, C.J. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2012. Adaptive learning, technological innovation and livelihood diversification: the adoption of pound nets in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Maritime Studies 11(3) [Online]

Miller, A.M., I.J. Davidson-Hunt and P. Peters. 2010. Talking about fire: Pikangikum First Nation elders guiding fire management. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 2290-2301.

Miller, A.M. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Fire, agency and scale in the creation of aboriginal cultural landscapes. Human Ecology 38:401-414.

Orozco-Quintero, A. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Community-based enterprises and the commons: The case of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Mexico. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online]

Berkes, F. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Innovating through commons use: Community-based enterprises. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online]

I.J. Davidson-Hunt and F. Berkes (eds.) 2010. Innovating through Commons Use: Community-Based Enterprises. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online]

Creative Works

Lake of the Woods Discovery Forest.

This project is currently in progress. I am working with the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to develop interpretation of iconic forest species and rare habitats of Lake of the Woods. The species were planted in the summer of 2012 and I developed, along with Richard Bolton, former student, text that provides English, Anishinaabe and Scientific nomenclature along with general ecological information and uses of the species by different cultural groups of the region. Inna Miretsky, current student, is undertaking a project to develop participatory interpretation tools that can be utilized by school groups and visitors to the discovery forest.

Miijim: Traditional Foods of the Lake of the Woods Anishinaabeg (Miijim: Anishinaabe Gaabi Inanjiged Zaaga’iganiing). Co-Curators: Phyllis Pinesse, Iain J. Davidson-Hunt and Lori Nelson. 2010. An exhibit that ran from August 4th to September 25th, 2010 at Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora, Ontario. The exhibit presented ethnobotanical research that I had undertaken with Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 Independent First Nation with a focus on foods. To create the exhibit we formed a design team made up of people from the museum, IIFN and myself. We then developed the message and panels along with new interviews undertaken by a youth from IIFN. Videos were also developed from these interviews. Programming throughout the museum brought together people from Kenora to learn from IIFN elders and harvesters about how the land has and continues to provide food for their community.

Cultural Landscapes: Revealing our Relationships with the Land over Time.

This is a website www.culturallandscapes.ca I created to allow for the exploration of cultural landscapes using new media. The purpose of the site was to allow graduate students to explore cultural landscapes through their creativity with different media while communicating with a broader audience than reached through academic journals. We launched the site in July of 2008 and have slowly built our contributors list as we worked through technical issues. Building Cross Cultural Understanding of the Pikangikum Cultural Landscape.

Exhibit presented Sept. 21st through October 30th 2009 at the Red Lake Heritage Centre that included original paintings by Mario Peters for research projects with accompanying text from elders. The purpose of the exhibit is to highlight in a visually captivating manner some of the teachings of the elders that have emerged through research and communicate these to the public and school groups.

Selected Professional Activities

Member, Manitoba Professional Planning Institute / Canadian Institute of Planners

Co-Chair, Theme on Sustainable Livelihoods, Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, International Union for Conservation of Nature
Chartered Herbalist

Member, Society of Ethnobiology

Member, International Association of Common Property

Students and Partners

You can check out the projects my students have worked on by going to the website of the Centre for Community-based Resource Management that provides digital copies of student theses. You can check out the theses of Richard Bolton, Catie Burlando, Jane Driedger, Andrew Miller, Alli Morrison, Roxann Nayar, Heather Nikischer, Alejandra Orozco Quintero, Will Roberts, Michael Sanders and Janene Shearer, for examples. You can also visit the websites of the partners with whom I am currently working:

Whitefeather Forest Management Corporation

Pimachiowin Aki Corporation

Common Ground Research Forum Latin American Centre for Rural Development (RIMISP) / Biocultural Diversity and Territories Platform for Sustainable Inclusive Development