Amanda Degray



Dr. Arn Keeling and Dr. John Sandlos

Previous Education

BA Psychology (major), Geography (minor), McGill University 2015

Title of Project:

Mapping Indigenous risk perceptions in Yellowknife, NT

Research Project Description

Beginning in the 1930s, gold mining activities in Yellowknife, NT had profound effects on the landscape and on the Yellowknives Dene First Nation’s traditional land-use activities. The Giant Mine left a toxic legacy of 237,000 tonnes of buried arsenic trioxide and widespread environmental contamination. For the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, whose traditional livelihoods and cultural practices are dependent on the local environment, historic mining pollution led to the forceful dispossession and dislocation of the First Nation’s land-use practices. Many sites that were traditionally used for hunting, fishing, berry-picking and harvesting medicinal plants are now either contaminated or fragmented.
My research integrates risk perception research with that of Indigenous land use studies to document the legacy effects of the Giant Mine and arsenic contamination on YKDFN traditional land use practices.

Research Assistantship

Research Assistant, Trent University, The history, science and politics of trans-boundary contaminants in the North: History of Northern Collaborations. Jan. 2018 -

Research Assistant, Memorial University, Northern Exposures: Science, Indigenous peoples, and Northern Contaminants: NiCHe website project. Sept. 2017 – April 2018

Research Assistant, Memorial University, Memorial Dialogue on Social Licence to Operate: Workshop and Summary Findings. Sept. 2016 – Dec. 2016/ June 2017 – Aug. 2017

Research Assistant, McGill University, Department of Economics. Long-term Mining Monitoring Project: Data Archiving. May 2014 – Aug. 2014

Intern, Centro de Incidencia Ambiental de Panamá (CIAM). Cerro Quema Mining Project: Research Report. Jan. 2014 – Apr. 2014

Teaching Assistantship

  • Teaching Assistant, Winter 2018. Introduction to Remote Sensing, (GEOG3250)
  • Teaching Assistant, Winter 2016, Geographies of Global Change, (GEOG 1050)
  • Teaching Assistant, Fall 2015, Geographies of Global Change, (GEOG 1050)

Awards and Distinctions

Memorial University’s Recognition of Excellence

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC)

Northern Scientific Training Program

McGill Graduate Honours (Distinction)

McGill Arts Research Internship Award (ARIA)

Conferences and Presentations

Invited Talks

‘Mapping traditional land use change in Yellowknife, NT’ Indigenous Cartographies of Extractives Industries Conference, Montreal, Canada, October 2017

Conference Presentations

‘Mapping Indigenous Risk Perceptions in Yellowknife, NT’ Blue Box Seminar Series, Memorial University Department of Geography, St. John’s, Canada, December 2017

‘Mapping Indigenous Risk Perceptions in Yellowknife, NT’ Memorial University Aboriginal Research Series, St. John’s, Canada, December 2017

‘Mapping Toxic Legacies using the Risk Perception Map Biography Method’ Canadian Association of Geographers Conference, North York, Canada, May 2017

Poster Presentations

‘Mapping Memories of Mining Pollution in Yellowknife, NWT’. Oceans Arctic and Society: Moving the Conversation Forward (COASTS) Conference, St-John's, Canada, October 2016

Research Groups:
Northern Mining Group

Toxic Legacies 

Northern Exposures

Research Interests:

  • Environmental justic
  • Extractive Industries
  • Indigenous cartographies
  • Public understandings of risk


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000