Perspectives on Safeguarding Soil Health in Indigenous Agroecosystems


University of Alberta, Lister Centre
Edmonton AB

Event Date and Time
February 13th, 2024 at 3:30pm MST to February 13th, 2024 at 4:45pm MST

Bentley Lecture in Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture is the dominant land use in First Nations in the Canadian Prairies. In this lecture, soil biochemist Melissa Arcand will provide an overview of the contemporary context of First Nations agriculture in the prairies and highlight strategies that First Nations are employing to safeguard soil health in their agricultural lands. She'll share recent activities and learnings from Canada’s first Indigenous-led Living Lab, Bridge to Land Water Sky as well as outreach and training activities to increase agricultural land management capacity for Indigenous people.

Presenter: Melissa Arcand, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan and is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6. Arcand researches soil health, carbon storage, and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems. Her recent interdisciplinary research focused on Indigenous agriculture in the Prairies, including hosting a SSHRC Connections Grant-funded Forum on Indigenous Agriculture in Saskatchewan. Arcand also collaborated with First Nations’ lands departments to assess soils on agricultural lands with support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund – Explorations Grant and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agricultural Climate Solutions Living Labs.