Knowledge Mobilization

The Knowledge Mobilization Working Group, based at the University of Winnipeg, is conducting research that explores modern media (such as video and social media) as a way to document, in Canada’s three coastal-ocean regions, different perspectives on the importance of oceans for community (such as food, culture, economy).

We are also actively supporting other OceanCanada Working Groups as they engage with coastal communities, and helping other research groups mobilize the insights and learning gathered at the local level by sharing this information with Canadians.

In addition to our formal SSHRC partners, the Heiltsuk Nation and the David Suzuki Foundation are informal associates of the Knowledge Mobilization Working Group.

Anticipated outcomes

  • Assessment of priorities and concerns from Canada’s three coastal-ocean regions
  • Harnessing of community priorities with OceanCanada research work
  • Development of new channels for communicating with Canadians
  • Building research capacity within Canada’s three coastal-ocean communities

Activities 2018-2019

Over the past year, Master’s student Natalie Baird, PostDoc Vincent L’Hérault, and Dr. Ian Mauro of the Knowledge Mobilization Working Group made progress on their collaborative research projects in the Arctic (Pangnirtung), Atlantic (Magdalen Islands), and Pacific (British Columbia) regions of Canada, respectively. Nearing the end of OCP, the Knowledge Mobilization Working Group has achieved its objective of conducting community-based and multi-media focused social sciences research on all coasts of the country. This marks a major milestone for the Working Group and OCP as a whole.

Natalie Baird has been working toward defending her thesis in summer 2019 in order to complete her Master of Environment degree at the University of Manitoba. Natalie’s thesis is entitled Visualizing Changing Oceans: Participatory Video and Inuit Knowledge in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. In July-August, Natalie spent five weeks in Pangnirtung, working with community-based filmmaker and co-director David Poisey to finalize the video products with community members. Natalie has been sharing the videos and results of her thesis at conferences and gatherings across North America and has won numerous awards for this work. Nearing the end of her program, Natalie has continued to build relationships with community members, local organizations, not-for-profits (e.g. ARCTIConnexion), and the federal government to build youth-centred programs that continue the momentum of her Master’s research. This ensures long-term impacts from OceanCanada that bring together scientific monitoring, Inuit Knowledge, and filmmaking in the Pangnirtung region.

Dr. L’Hérault uplifted our Atlantic research phase into core activities. In close partnership with local stakeholders and a Québec film producer, Vincent designed and initiated in spring 2018 a participatory research and documentary film project, Le Peuple de la Mer, with the coastal community of the Magdalen Islands located in the middle of the Gulf of St-Lawrence. In June and November 2018, and again in March 2019, L’Hérault and his team travelled to the Magdalen Islands to document and interview over 30 key players in the fisheries industry, including shellfish fishermen, plant owners, plant employees, fishermen associations, the Québec Fisheries Association, distributors, DFO scientists, as well as Québec’s Deputy Minister of Fisheries, and Québec’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. L’Hérault also attended two conferences during winter 2019: the Annual conference of the Québec Fisheries Association in Québec, and the Seafood Expo North America in Boston. L’Hérault has been active in thinking through and developing a Chapter Outline for the OCP Book project. Chapter 4, Knowledge Mobilization and Participatory Communities for Ocean Sustainability, will address the contribution of new approaches for knowledge sharing and community engagement in the context of a large-scale ocean research partnership.

Dr. Mauro has been supporting Baird and L’Hérault’s work and has been highly active with his own contributions. On April 4, 2018, Dr. Mauro and the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) at University of Winnipeg launched its flagship product—Climate Atlas of Canada—at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) with Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. The event included a demo and a conversation between Dr. Mauro and Minister McKenna, which was livestreamed on Facebook to thousands of viewers. Mauro also completed and launched the film Beyond Climate with Dr. David Suzuki and they have since toured it across Canada and British Columbia engaging thousands of Canadians in person and millions more via print, broadcast, and social media. Mauro, L’Hérault and the team at PCC have developed short films on fishing and aquaculture from their previous field work in the Magdalen Islands while a larger feature-length version is in production. In conjunction with the OCP meetings in Halifax, Mauro, L’Hérault and Baird have shot a short film about offshore oil and gas development on the East Coast that is now in production. Mauro has given numerous presentations on this research program, generated significant media, and also supported expert panel processes on climate change, oceans, and other related issues.

Activities 2017-2018

HQP Hillary Beattie worked with Bella Bella community members and KM WG co-lead Ian Mauro on a documentary film titled Glwa: Resurgence of the Ocean-Going Canoe, which the team premiered in Bella Bella and in Toronto at the largest Indigenous film festival in the world, the ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival. In the upcoming year, team members will submit two research articles to peer-reviewed journals, which will conclude this subproject. KM HQP Natalie Baird worked with the Pangnirtung Youth Centre and the Hamlet Office and filmmaker David Poisey in Pangnirtung to understand Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Traditional Knowledge) regarding oceans and climate change through video and art-making. The team is currently processing the video material, sorting and translating the interviews, and editing the footage into short films. HQP Vincent L’Hérault began work on a film involving the effects of climate change in the Magdalen Islands, interviewing fishermen, sealers, municipal officials, and various other stakeholders. This is the only French language research that has taken place as part of OceanCanada, making a critical contribution to the partnership and its intention to be a truly national initiative. Ian Mauro continued to work on the film Beyond Climate. The film was completed in early January 2018 and submitted to Hotdocs, North America’s largest documentary film festival. Ian Mauro was invited to brief the SSHRC Executive about his video-based research program and linkages with knowledge mobilization. He has been working with their Communications Director to organize a SSHRC sponsored video and knowledge mobilization event at Congress 2018 that will, in part, feature OceanCanada-related research.

Activities 2016-2017

The Knowledge Mobilization Working Group was on track to develop participatory multi-media research projects in each of the three coastal regions of Canada. We continued to edit the Beyond Climate feature-length documentary which will be completed in 2017/18. One student film project involved working collaboratively with the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, BC on canoe gatherings, their contribution to cultural revitalization, and the associated benefits for social-ecological systems. Another student was developing a film on a participatory art project on ocean systems in the Arctic, specifically in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. We helped redesign and bring better functionality to the OceanCanada website, as well as established a more active and effective social media presence. In addition, we have produced OCP-branded video dispatches featuring project advisors, co-investigators, graduate students, and postdocs, and played an active role in helping to organize and facilitate the spring 2016 OceanCanada conference at UBC. Finally, the KM WG was instrumental in launching the OceanCanada-Vancouver Aquarium speaker series, Charting a Sustainable Course: Exploring Canada’s Fisheries.

Activities 2015-2016

During 2015/2016, the Knowledge Mobilization Working Group made substantial progress in integrating community-based research, multi-media deliverables, public outreach, and cross partnership organizing and communications. It operated at the local, regional, and national levels and had active partnerships with various working groups, universities, non-governmental organizations, and funding agencies. This year’s activities included: 1) a 30-minute version of the British Columbia climate change documentary, based on over 50 interviews with residents, scientists, policymakers, government officials, and business leaders; 2) fieldwork and film documentation by Hillary Beattie, University of Manitoba Master’s student, for her thesis entitled Socio-Ecological Systems, Cultural Revitalization and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Heiltsuk Territory: A Case Study of Tribal Canoe Journeys; 3) community engagement in the Pacific region using multi-media tools. Similar work is planned for other regions in upcoming years, and regional videos will be weaved together into a larger, national-scale OCP documentary that will be a core product of OCP knowledge mobilization activities. In the fall of 2015, the Working Group began a scoping phase in the Arctic to explore opportunities for collaboration and research with communities in Nunavut.

In addition to these activities, in October 2015 Matt Carreau joined the Working Group to assist with OceanCanada communication, outreach, and coordination. He enhanced OCP’s website and social media presence, and coordinated newsletters, conferences, and other core OCP-related activities. Matt left OCP to pursue other ventures in the UK in August 2016. We wish him the best of luck!


Ian Mauro (Co-Lead), University of Winnipeg
Eric Solomon (Co-Lead), Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
Vina Brown, Northwest Indian College

Frank Brown (Heiltsuk) at the Vancouver Aquarium

Highly Qualified Personnel

Natalie Baird
Using participatory visual methods to document and communicate local and traditional knowledge of changing ocean dynamics in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.
Hillary Beattie
Master’s Student
Vincent L’Hérault
Postdoctoral Fellow



YearPresented byPresentation TitleLocation
2019Baird, NShifting our lens: engaging youth in oceans and climate change research through participatory video. Rising Up, A Graduate Students Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Research, University of Manitoba.Fort Garry, MB.
2019Mauro, I.Restorying climate change: Indigenous knowledge, storytelling, and mapmaking. National Climate Change Science and Knowledge Priorities Workshop, Environment and Climate Change Canada.Ottawa, ON.
2019Mauro, I.Climate, cinema, and cartography: science, storytelling, and the future of adaptation. Manitoba Water and Wastewater Association Annual Conference.Winnipeg, MB.
2019Mauro, I.Climate, cinema, and cartography: science, storytelling, and the future of planning. Atmosphere Conference, University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture.Winnipeg, MB.
2018Mauro, I.Climate change and Canada. Member of panel at: Climate Change Knows No Borders, Loyola Climate Change Conference. Loyola University.Chicago, IL.
2018Mauro, I.Climate change and global conflict. Paper presented at: University of Missouri.Columbia, MO.
2018Mauro, I.Climate, cinema and cartography: digital storytelling and climate change. Paper presented at: University of MissouriColumbia, MO.
2017Baird, N.Participatory arts-based methods for community-based research, Natural Resources Institute, University of ManitobaWinnipeg, MB.
2017Baird, N.Video and storytelling in Pangnirtung. Inuit Ilagiit Annual General MeetingPangnirtung, NU.
2017Baird, N.Video and storytelling in Pangnirtung. Inuit Ilagiit Annual General MeetingPangnirtung, NU.
2017Baird, N.Visualizing changing oceans: Inuit knowledge and participatory video. 2017 SSHRC Storytellers Showcase. SSHRC Congress, Ryerson UniversityToronto, ON.
2017Beattie, H.Participatory videography research methods in theory and practice. Department of Environment and Geography, University of ManitobaWinnipeg, MB.
2017Beattie, H.; Brown, V.Pulling together to gather strength: telling stories of cultural resurgence and resilience in Heiltsuk territory. American Association of Geographers Annual MeetingBoston, MA.
2017Mauro, I.Canada’s climate story: participatory film, geovisualization and the future of mobilizing knowledge into action. American Association of Geographers Annual MeetingBoston, MA.
2016Beattie, H; Brown, V; Brown, F; Mauro, I.Cultural revitalization, indigenous knowledge, and ecological sustainability: a collaborative videography research project. Coastal Zone CanadaToronto, ON.
2016Mauro, I.Fishing with our hands: visualizing commercial and traditional activities in Pangnirtung’s char fishery. ArcticNetWinnipeg, MB.
2016Mauro, I; Romanow, J; Wuttunee, W; Bullock, R.Indigenous communication in the digital world: economic realities and challenges. Panel, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Research and University of WinnipegWinnipeg, MB.