Maria Shallard is the Director, Indigenous Research at the Canadian Climate Institute. She was raised on Líl̓wat territory in Pemberton (Mt. Currie), B.C. She currently resides on unceded K’ómoks territory in Cumberland, B.C. As someone of mixed European settler and Penelakut ancestry, Maria comes to her work knowing that learning and (un)learning is a life-long journey. She has over a decade of professional experience as an educator, project manager and researcher, coordinating Indigenous and western knowledge programs. She specializes in leading institutional and relational systems changes that support reconciliation, justice, and equity from a place of collective healing with the land and waters and with one another.
Her range of past work includes leadership positions at the BC Public Service, post-secondary institutions, and Indigenous organizations, and her current work is focused on Indigenous clean energy.
Maria holds a Master’s in Geography from the University of Guelph with a specialization in political ecology and Indigenous ocean governance. This research was supported through the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management. She holds an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria with a double major in environmental studies and Canadian environmental history, with a minor in Indigenous studies. Maria also holds certificates in coaching, leadership, and communication.