Maro Adjemian-Baskerville


Supervisors: Dr. Mario Blaser and Dr. Arn Keeling

Supervisory committee member: Dr. Benoit Éthier (Écoles d'études autochtones, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue)

Previous Education:

MA Geography (2008), McGill University.

BSc Biology (2002) McGill University

Title of Research Project: The Entangled Territorialities of Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Protected Area Creation: Indigenous Self-determination Through Conservation?

Research Project description:

Although protected areas have a colonial history of excluding Indigenous peoples and dispossessing them of their lands, over the past two decades a new global paradigm of conservation has developed that increasingly promotes Indigenous-led conservation as a solution to both biodiversity conservation and the protection of Indigenous rights. However, translating this new conservation paradigm into significant change on the ground has been challenging and inconsistent. My research examines the opportunities and constraints that protected areas offer Indigenous nations, and the capacity of Indigenous protected areas to transcend existing colonial power structures and support self-determination.

In collaboration with the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw (Atikamekw Nation Council), my research will support the elaboration of a conservation plan for a proposed Indigenous protected area, Masko Cimakanic Aski.  The Atikamekw Nehirowisiw have gradually been dispossessed of their unceded territory in the Haute Mauricie region of Quebec by colonization, the development of forestry, mining and hydroelectric industries, and private sport hunting and fishing. Within this context, Masko Cimakanic Aski aims to define and uphold an Atikamekw Nehirowisiw vision of conservation and territorial governance as an act of resurgence. Through my involvement in the elaboration of the conservation plan, I will explore Atikamekw visions of territorial governance and conservation.

My research will examine:

1) the process of how a conservation plan rooted in Atikamekw knowledge, territorial governance structures and relationships with territory is developed and what it looks like, and

2) based on my support and analysis of the process of negotiation with the Quebec government for the establishment of this protected area, the ways in which Atikamekw visions of conservation align, intersect and contrast with international, federal and provincial understandings and objectives related to conservation.

Research Interests:

  • Political Ontology
  • Indigenous and decolonial methodologies
  • Governance
  • Indigenous resurgence and self-determination
  • Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs)

Awards and Distinctions:

  • SSHRC Doctoral Award, 2021-2024
  • Fonds de Recherche du Québec- Société et culture (FRQSC) Doctoral Award, 2019-2023
  • MUN Dean’s Excellence Award, 2019-2023
  • SSHRC Master’s Award, 2007-2008
  • Centre for Developing Areas Studies Research Grant, 2007
  • Theo Hills Award, 2007