Staff

Illustration of a herd of caribou running

Chelsee Arbour, Project Coordinator

Chelsee Arbour

Project Coordinator, Research Support & Advancement

Doreen Best, Manager, Administration and Finance

Doreen Best

Manager, Administration & Finance

Garry Best, Senior Labrador Advisor

Garry Best

Senior Labrador Advisor

Paula Cooke, Administrative Staff Specialist, standing in front of her grandad's snowmobile

Paula Cooke

Administrative Staff Specialist

Mckenzie Hutchings

Mckenzie Hutchings

Student Recruitment, Retention, & Relationships Officer

Headshot of Jamie Jackman, Program Coordinator

Jamie Jackman

Program Coordinator, Community Connections & Education

Caroline McDonald's headshot

Caroline McDonald

Social Enterprise Associate, Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems

Headshot of Alex Sawatzky, Special Projects Manager
Alex Sawatzky, PhD

Special Projects Manager

Rachel Snelgrove kneeling by the water with two dogs

Rachel Snelgrove

Farm Associate, Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems


Staff

Chelsee Arbour, Project Coordinator

Chelsee Arbour
Project Coordinator, Research Support & Advancement

Chelsee Arbour, PhD candidate (Settler, she/her), is an archaeologist and cultural heritage researcher who focuses on narrative construction, researcher positionality, and most importantly collaborative knowledge mobilization. She utilizes relational approaches to research to better understand how differing narrative practices story, engage with, and understand Indigenous histories of the ‘deep past’, centering community voices within the larger discourse of how the past is brought into being in the present.

For the past 10 years, Chelsee has primarily worked in partnership with the Innu Nation and the communities of Sheshatshit and Natuashish on community oriented heritage and archaeological projects that problematize settler narratives of Innu histories and the deep past in the Quebec/Labrador peninsula. Additionally, she has worked on a number of heritage related projects with various Labrador stakeholders including the Innu Nation, Nunatsiavut, and NunatuKavut. Her larger research goals and interests include collaborative and relational research practices, repatriation, the decolonization of archaeology, museums, and academia, and the development of Indigenous led curricula and tools utilizing digital approaches to education and learning.

In her role as Project Coordinator (Research Support & Advancement) for the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Chelsee is working closely with leaders and community members in Labrador, at Memorial, and with fellow SASS researchers and staff to support Northern- and Indigenous-led research. Specifically, she supports faculty and staff on research planning and development, assists with research grants and funding applications to support the strategic growth, curriculum development, and on-going research and operations of SASS, works closely with project partners and researchers to identify new opportunities for collaborative research, growth and development, and helps support the on-going management of the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems.

Chelsee is thrilled to have recently relocated to North West River, Labrador, where her partner and their venerable 18 year old cat will be joining her shortly.

Email:  c.arbour@mun.ca

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Doreen Best, Manager, Administration and Finance, standing outside on a sunny day with birch trees in the background

Doreen Best
Manager, Administration & Finance

Doreen joined the Labrador Campus team in April 2012. She was born and raised in Labrador and graduated from high school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. She holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Memorial and York University. She also has a diploma in Administration supplemented by further studies in communication, leadership, finance, human relations and business management. Prior to joining the Labrador Campus, Doreen worked with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Bell Aliant, NL Legal Aid Commission, and the College of the North Atlantic.

In her role as Manager of Administration and Finance, Doreen provides leadership with administrative policies, processes and staff, human resources activities, financial management and budget planning, research grant and contract administration and operational management. She provides analysis, information and guidance to support informed decision -making; organizational development and change; project, information and strategic management; and communications and relationship building. Doreen is a member of Memorial’s Senior Administrative Group. She is the Labrador Campus' liaison with University departments including Finance/Budgets, Human Resources, Facilities, Research Grant & Contract Services; Environment, Health and Safety; School of Graduate Studies and other areas of the University community as required. She also works with external stakeholders and partners, supporting and strengthening relationships and initiatives.

Doreen has volunteered with groups such as Scouts Canada, Labrador Creative Arts Festival and Parent School Council. In personal time, Doreen enjoys family time with her husband, son, little dog, and extended family. She likes the cabin life, boating, snowmobiling, fishing, piano and gardening. She feels a close connection with her home of Labrador – its people and place. She is excited about the expansion of higher education in Labrador and very happy to be engaged in a career that collaborates with that initiative.

Email:  doreen.best@mun.ca

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Garry Best, Senior Labrador Advisor

Garry Best
Senior Labrador Advisor

Garry Best was born and raised in Happy Valley, Labrador, and is a Nunatsiavut beneficiary.

Garry enjoyed a 23 year career in the Canadian Forces. He initially enrolled in 1982 as an Air Force trainee and then re-enrolled in 1984 as a Maritime Engineering Officer. He received a Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op) in Naval Architecture from Memorial University in 1989. He then continued his studies in the United Kingdom and was a successful graduate (with Distinction) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Constructors Course at the Royal Naval Engineering College in Manadon, England. This was followed by a post graduate Diploma in Naval Architecture and a submarine design course at University College London. Garry enjoyed operational deployments on both the East and West Coasts of Canada as well as technical assignments at Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton, BC, and National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. During that time he was selected to be the Senior Aide-de-Camp to Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and was also elected to the position of National Military Chair of the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group.

Garry retired from the Canadian Forces in 2006 and then joined the Public Service of Canada where he worked in a variety of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada executive positions including: special advisor on regional transformation to the Deputy Minister, and Director in a number of Sectors: Land and Economic Development, Infrastructure Operations, and Engineering and Technical Services, where he strived to improve socioeconomic and health outcomes as well as strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. In his final assignment, Garry served as Indigenous Services Canada’s Regional Executive for First Nations and Inuit Health, Ontario Region. He is a graduate of the Canada School of Public Service's Executive Leadership Development Program.

Garry is currently the Chair of the Labrador Inuit Capital Strategy Trust. He is also a certified youth soccer and softball coach, assists with the Veteran’s community, and enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife Jackie as much as possible.

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Paula Cooke, Administrative Staff Specialist, standing in front of her grandad's snowmobile

Paula Cooke
Administrative Staff Specialist

Paula Cooke is of Inuit descent, and a NunatuKavut member.

Paula attended the Labrador Community College in 1991/92, and the College of the North Atlantic in 2016-18, both occasions studying Office Administration. Along with this, she has extensive experience in business management, finance, and client relations. Paula provides administrative support for all staff, ensuring day-to-day operations run smoothly, and assisting with logistics as required.

She has a passion for Labrador and its people, and spends much of her time with her family enjoying the land. In her photo, she's at the Rooms in St. John's, standing in front of a snowmobile that belonged to her Grandfather.

Email: paula.cooke@mun.ca

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Photo of Mckenzie Hutchings, Student Recruitment, Retention, & Relationships OfficerMckenzie Hutchings
Student Recruitment, Retention, & Relationships Officer

Mckenzie Hutchings (she/her) is a member of the NunatuKavut Community Council and spent her childhood in the communities of Nain and North West River. She is a recent graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Geography and minoring in Sociology. Mckenzie's professional experience includes working with youth across the province in education and extracurricular environments. She is a strong advocate for other youth living in rural areas and understands many of the challenges that rural living causes for youth in Labrador. Her role as the Student Recruitment, Retention and Relationships Officer will give her the opportunity to continue working with youth and adults while encouraging them to pursue levels of higher education as well as building strong relationships and connections within communities across Labrador. Mckenzie is well accustomed to all regions in Labrador and has spent significant time in each, giving her the ability to understand and work with all those across Labrador efficiently.

Her personal interests include environmentalism as well as the conservation and preservation of Labrador's rich physical and cultural landscapes. In her free time she can generally be found enjoying the Labrador wilderness and doing things like hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting. Mckenzie currently lives in North West River with her partner and dogs.

Email: mckenzie.hutchings@mun.ca

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Headshot of Jamie Jackman, Program CoordinatorJamie Jackman
Program Coordinator - Community Connections & Education

Jamie Jackman is a Nunatsiavut Beneficiary who grew up between the communities of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Hopedale, Labrador. He studied Anthropology at the University of Prince Edward Island and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts. He then went on to work mainly with Indigenous organizations in areas related to community-based research, youth programming, food security, and more, including the Native Council of Prince Edward Island, Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation, and the Labrador Friendship Centre.

Jamie’s interest lie mainly in food sovereignty, northern-based agriculture, and community engagement and development. In his current capacity as Program Coordinator for the Labrador Campus of Memorial University, he is working on the development of the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems, focusing mainly on community engagement and outreach.

Jamie is also a board member at Food First NL and was the coordinator for the Labrador Friendship Centre Community Food Bank for three years.

Jamie happens to also be a musician and recording artist active in the Province’s music scene with his folk-rock group, Silver Wolf Band, and is a current board member of the Eastern Labrador Arts Alliance.

Email: jamie.jackman@mun.ca

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Caroline McDonald's headshot

Caroline McDonald, MBA
Social Enterprise Associate, Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems

Caroline is passionate about community and sustainable social enterprise development and the potential to grow the social enterprise sector as positive change agents in Newfoundland and Labrador. Born and raised in St. John’s, Caroline believes that an authentic understanding of community is crucial for harnessing successful and sustainable social businesses.

Caroline is a Memorial University graduate, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience and a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Caroline was the recipient of two Science Undergraduate Research Awards (SURA) that focused on evaluating and improving best-practice pediatric protocols for at-risk patients. In 2016, Caroline gave a TEDx talk in St. John’s, an invaluable experience to learn from a diverse group of community champions.

Caroline’s interest in social enterprise was fostered through her involvement with Stella’s Circle. As the pianist for the organizations Inclusion Choir, Caroline experienced first-hand the possibility and power of impactful social business. Additionally, Caroline worked with Taskforce NL where she was responsible for supporting projects including the Surplus Food Rescue Program and local manufacturing of PPE. Caroline is currently involved with Home Again Furniture Bank as a member of their social enterprise committee.

Caroline recently completed a summer internship with the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems - Labrador Campus of Memorial University where she supported the development of a social enterprise portfolio. She is now continuing to move this work forward in her role as Social Enterprise Associate with the Pye Centre.

Email: ccm675@mun.ca

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Headshot of Alex Sawatzky, Special Projects ManagerAlex Sawatzky, PhD
Special Projects Manager
Adjunct Professor, School of Arctic & Subarctic Studies

Alex Sawatzky, PhD (Settler, she/her), is an interdisciplinary researcher and artist who collaborates with communities, researchers, and organizations to co-create and mobilize knowledge. She engages visual methods and tools that are driven by relational approaches to research, centering community voices and knowledge to ensure research, and research communication works with and for the people it serves to benefit.

For the past six years, Alex has been working in partnership with Inuit in Labrador on community-led climate change adaptation projects. During her PhD, she worked with the community of Rigolet to develop the foundation for a place-based, Inuit-led environment and health monitoring system that works with and for Inuit.

In her current capacity as Special Projects Manager at the Labrador Campus, Alex is working with key partners and leaders in Labrador and Memorial to manage the strategic development of the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems. She is also leading and supporting projects and activities related to the Labrador Campus development and transition, including the strategic growth and development of educational programming, research initiatives, and infrastructural developments.

Alex also owns and operates her own freelance art and design practice, specializing in mobilizing science and research into visual forms, and enhancing science communication. She currently lives in Guelph, Ontario with her partner and dog.

To learn more about Alex’s art and design practice, visit: www.alex-sawatzky.com
Email: asawatzky@mun.ca
Twitter: @_asawatzky

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Rachel Snelgrove kneeling by the water with two dogs

Rachel Snelgrove
Farm Associate, Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems

Rachel is an Indigenous undergraduate student at Memorial University studying a Bachelor of Biology with a concentration in Applied Ecology and Conservation. Taking a break from Memorial to study at Academy Canada’s Greenhouse Production program piqued Rachel’s interest to continue her studies at Memorial focusing on food security.

Being born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay has enhanced Rachel’s passion in the deliverance of Northern food security and sustainability for her home region. She understands the climate and the challenges of importing nutritional food to the North and has embarked on a path to make changes so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of eating healthy. Growing up in Labrador, Rachel has been blessed to love the simplicity of life that nature has to offer. She has had the opportunity to canoe the Churchill River on several occasions and was inspired by the stories and knowledge she learned of the “traditional trapper’s way of life.”

At a young age she had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania, Africa as a student volunteer and had the opportunity to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here, she witnessed firsthand how food sustainability impacted the tribal communities, where children walked to school kilometres away not just to be educated, but to be fed. This planted the seed to her future studies and career path. Rachel has a desire and ambition to advocate and educate everyone on the importance of food waste and the role we all play in securing our planet’s health for future generations to thrive and enjoy. She aims to promote living in symbiosis with nature by embracing traditional ecological knowledge and mindsets.

Rachel also brings knowledge and understanding of plant growth and greenhouse production from her time working at Lester’s Farm Greenhouse and Market in St. John’s. When she's not studying, she enjoys exploring the Province’s beautiful wilderness with her two dogs, Marley and Ren.

Email: rmnsnelgrove@mun.ca

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Contact

Labrador Campus

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