Dr. Iain Davidson-Hunt

Natural Resources Institute
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3T 2M6
Tel.:(204) 474-8680
Fax:(204) 261-0038
E-mail: iain.davidson-hunt@umanitoba.ca
Website: Cultural Landscapes
Dr. Iain J. Davidson-Hunt


B.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture, Crop Science Major, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada, 1988
Master of Natural Resources Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 1995
Ph.D. Natural Resource and Environmental Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 2003

Research Interests

I hold a faculty position at the Natural Resources Institute in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Earth, Envrionment & Resources at the University of Manitoba. This follows five years working in Latin America (Bolivia & Mexico) to support rural community development and eight years on land use planning and enterprise development in northern Canada. I now work with Master of Natural Resource Management students interested in ethnobotany and ethnoecology with a particular focus on the practice of harvesting (gathering, hunting, fishing) within forested landscapes. We focus both on harvesting for subsistence and for non-commercial and commercial trade. In the area of commercial trade an emerging interest is in documenting the value chains and networks of specific organisms and products. At the Ph.D. level I have been working with students to develop conceptual framing and methodologies to understand the topologies of harvesting networks and the continuity of such practices. This work builds out of my previous research on cultural landscape documentation and realization that different approaches were required to understand both the everyday practice of harvesting and its continuity.

I have also recently begun to draw together my experience as a professional planner and my interests in ethnobotany, ethnoecology and community enterprises in developing an approach that we term biocultural design. While this is an emergent interest it provides an applied platform to work with community enterprises to consider how the process of design can be utilized to develop products rooted in knowledge of the biological materials guided by the cultural values of a region. While we consider biocultural design to be an integrated process we break it into two phases. In the first phase we are building upon my previous work on cultural landscape documentation and enhancing that methodology by bringing in thinking from cultural asset mapping to create an approach of biocultural asset mapping. The second phase utilizes a team approach that includes community members and other relevant knowledge holders to move from documentation to the design of biocultural products.

I look forward to hearing from and working with students who have an interest in exploring some of these topics in partnership with communities.


At the Natural Resources Institute I currently teach Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Qualitative Methods in Community-Based Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and topic courses in ethnobotany / ethnoecology, cultural landscapes, biocultural asset mapping and biocultural design.

Selected Publications

(since 2010, see my Research Gate page for complete listing)


  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) 2016. People in Nature: Valuing the Diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. Pp. 108.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., A. Brown, D. Leonard I. Miretsky and L. Hebert. 2015. Common Ground Discovery Trail: Tunnel Island. City of Kenora, Kenora, ON, 20 pp.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., N. Deutsch and A. Miller. 2012. Pimachiowin Aki Cultural Landscape Atlas: Land that Gives Life. Pimachiowin Aki Corporation, Winnipeg, MB, 154 pp.
  • Morrison, A. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2012. Opaskwayak Cree Nation Guide to the Wetlands of the Saskatchewan River Delta. Aboriginal Issues Press, Winnipeg. 53pp.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and R.M. O’Flaherty. 2010. Pikangikum Cultural Landscape Documentation Guide. Aboriginal Issues Press, Winnipeg, MB, 78 pp.

Book Chapters:

  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., P. McConney, C.J. Idrobo, M. Rodriguez. 2016. The use of biodiversity for responding to globalized change: a people in nature approach to support the resilience of rural and remote communities. In I.J. Davidson-Hunt, H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) People in Nature: Valuing the Diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. Pp. 19-31. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Deutsch, N., K. Boe, I.J. Davidson-Hunt and K. Smith. 2016. A data module for PiN. In I.J. Davidson-Hunt, H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) People in Nature: Valuing the diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. Pp. 77-86. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Idrobo, C.J., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, S. Meijer, P. McConney, N. Olsen, H. Suich and K. Smith. 2016. Mixed-methodology for PiN landscape assessments. In I.J. Davidson-Hunt, H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) People in Nature: Valuing the Diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. Pp. 35-46. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Suich, H., K. Boe, N. Conner, I.J. Davidson-Hunt, N. Deutsch, C.J. Idrobo, M. Madzwamuse, S. Maginnis, A. Mead, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen. 2016. An introduction to people in nature. In I.J. Davidson-Hunt, H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) People in Nature: Valuing the Diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. Pp. 7-14. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Suich, H., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, S.S. Meijer, N. Olsen and G. Oveido. 2016 The next steps for People in Nature. In I.J. Davidson-Hunt, H. Suich, S.S. Meijer and N. Olsen (eds.) People in Nature: Valuing the Diversity of Interrelationships between People and Nature. Pp. 91-99. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
  • Johnson, L.M. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2011 Ethnoecology and landscapes. In E.N. Anderson, D. Pearsall, E. Hunn and N. Turner (eds.) Ethnobiology. Pp. 267-284. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • Deutsch, Nathan and Iain Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Pikangikum family hunting areas and traplines: customary lands and Aboriginal land use planning in Ontario's Far North, in: Marc, G. Stevenson and David C. Natcher (Eds.), Planning Co-Existence: Aboriginal Issues in Forest and Land Use Planning. Pp. 149-170. Edmonton: CCI Press and SFM Network.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and F. Berkes. 2010. Journeying and remembering: Anishinaabe landscape ethnoecology from northwestern Ontario. In Leslie Main Johnson and Eugene S. Hunn (eds.) Landscape Ethnoecology, Concepts of Biotic and Physical Space. Pp. 222-240. Berghahn Press, New York.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., P. Peters and C. Burlando. 2010. Beekahncheekahmeeng Ahneesheenahbay Ohtahkeem (Pikangikum Cultural Landscape): Challenging the Traditional Concept of Cultural Landscape from an Aboriginal Perspective. In Kristen Walker-Painemilla, Alisa Woofter, Anthony Rylands and Cassie Hughes (eds.) Indigenous People and Conservation: From Rights to Resource Management. Pp. 137-144. Conservation International, Washington, D.C.

Journal Articles:

  • Turner, K.L., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, A.A. Desmarais and I. Hudson. 2016. Creole hens and ranga-ranga: Campesino foodways and biocultural resource-based development in the central valley of Tarija, Bolivia. Agriculture 6:41-74. doi: 10.3390/agriculture6030041
  • Sylvester, O., A.G. Segura and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2016. Wild food harvesting and access by household and generation in the Talamanca Bribri Indigenous Territory, Costa Rica. Human Ecology 44: 449-461. doi:10.1007/s10745-016-9847-4
  • Sylvester, O., A.G. Garcia Segura and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2016. Complex relationships among gender and forest food harvesting: Insights from the Bribri indigenous territory. International Forestry Review 18(2): 247-260. http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1505/146554816818966327
  • Sylvester, O., A.G. Garcia Segura, A.G. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. In Press. The protection of rainforest biodiversity can conflict with food access for Indigenous People. Conservation and Society.
  • Turner, K.L. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2016. Tensions and synergies in the Central Valley of Tarija, Bolivia: Commercial viticulture and agrobiodiversity in smallholder farming systems. Journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 40(6): 518-552. DOI:10.1080/21683565.2016.1151473
  • Wheeler, M.J., A.J. Sinclair, P. Fitzpatrick, A.P. Diduck and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. In Press. Place-based inquiry’s potential for encouraging public participation: Stories from the common ground land in Kenora, Ontario. Society and Natural Resources.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and C.J. Idrobo. 2015. The role of creativity, biodiversity, sites, and mobility in crafting resilient ‘foodscapes’: An example from the Atlantic Forest Coast of Brazil. Local Environment, DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2015.1075479
  • Bolton, R. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2014. “Being out on the lake”: Iskatewizaagegan Anishinaabeg perspectives on contemporary fishing practice and well-being. In Review. Biodivesity Watch Special Issue on Food Security 4: 37-54.
  • Robson, J.P., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, A. Delaney, G. Lichtenstein, L. Magole and A. Mead (eds.) 2014. Remembering Elinor Ostrom: Her Work and its Contribution to the Theory and Practice of Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. Special Issue, Policy Matters 19. IUCN: Gland, CH. [Online] http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/policy_matters__ostrom_full.pdf
  • Robson, J.P., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, A. Delaney, G. Lichtenstein, L. Magole and A. Mead. 2014. Remembering Elinor Ostrom: Introduction. Special Issue, Policy Matters 19: 7-9. IUCN: Gland, CH.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., C. Idrobo, R. Pengelly, O. Sylvester. 2013. Non-timber forest product co-design: Co-producing knowledge and adapting to environmental change in northwestern Ontario. Ecology and Society 18(4): 44. [Online] http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06001-180444
  • Miller, A. M. and I. Davidson-Hunt. 2013. Agency and Resilience: Teachings of
Pikangikum First Nation Elders, Northwestern Ontario. Ecology and Society 18
(3): 9. [Online] www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol18/iss3/art9/
  • Robson, J.P., A.J. Sinclair, I.J. Davidson-Hunt and A.P. Diduck. 2013. “What’s in a name? The search for common ground in Kenora, Northwestern Ontario. Journal of Public Deliberation 9(2), Article 7.
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J., K.L. Turner, A.T. Pareake Mead, J. Cabrera-Lopez, R. Bolton, C.J. Idrobo, I. Miretski, A. Morrison and J.P. Robson. 2012. Biocultural design: A new conceptual framework for sustainable development in rural Indigenous and local communities. S.A.P.I.E.N.S. 5(2): 33-45. [Online] sapiens.revues.org/1382
  • Davidson-Hunt, I.J. and K.L. Turner (eds.). 2012. Guest Editorial. Indigenous communities, the bioeconomy and natural resource development. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy 6(3): 188-193.
  • Pengelly, R.D. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2012. Partnerships towards NTFP development: perspectives from Pikangikum First Nation. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy 6(3): 230-250.
  • Idrobo, C.J. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2012. Adaptive learning, technological innovation and livelihood diversification: the adoption of pound nets in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Maritime Studies 11(3) [Online] www.maritimestudiesjournal.com/content/11/1/3
  • Miller, A.M., I.J. Davidson-Hunt and P. Peters. 2010. Talking about fire: Pikangikum First Nation elders guiding fire management. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 2290-2301.
  • Miller, A.M. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Fire, agency and scale in the creation of aboriginal cultural landscapes. Human Ecology 38:401-414.
  • Orozco-Quintero, A. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Community-based enterprises and the commons: The case of San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Mexico. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online] www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/issue/view/13.
  • Berkes, F. and I.J. Davidson-Hunt. 2010. Innovating through commons use: Community-based enterprises. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online].
  • I.J. Davidson-Hunt and F. Berkes (eds.) 2010. Innovating through Commons Use: Community-Based Enterprises. International Journal of the Commons 4(1) [Online] www.thecommonsjournal.org/index.php/ijc/issue/view/13.

Creative Works

Lake of the Woods Discovery Forest. Co-designer Richard Bolton. Permanent interpretive trail located at Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre, Kenora, Ontario. 2013. Along with Richard Bolton we worked with the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to develop interpretation of iconic forest species and rare habitats of Lake of the Woods. Interpretive materials provide English, Anishinaabe and Scientific nomenclature along with general ecological information and uses of the species by different cultural groups of the region. Miijim: Traditional Foods of the Lake of the Woods Anishinaabeg (Miijim: Anishinaabe Gaabi Inanjiged Zaaga’iganiing). Co-Curators: Phyllis Pinesse, Iain J. Davidson-Hunt and Lori Nelson. 2010. An exhibit that ran from August 4th to September 25th, 2010 at Lake of the Woods Museum, Kenora, Ontario. The exhibit presented ethnobotanical research that I had undertaken with Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 Independent First Nation with a focus on foods. To create the exhibit we formed a design team made up of people from the museum, IIFN and myself. We then developed the message and panels along with new interviews undertaken by a youth from IIFN. Videos were also developed from these interviews. Programming throughout the museum brought together people from Kenora to learn from IIFN elders and harvesters about how the land has and continues to provide food for their community.

Selected Professional Activities

  • Steering Committee Member. Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) network, based at the School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan (Lead, Dr. Arun Agrawal).
  • Co-lead. People in Nature Knowledge Basket (PIN), based in Theme for Sustainable Livelihoods, Commission for Environmental, Economic and Environmental Policy, International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • Member, Manitoba Professional Planning Institute / Canadian Institute of Planners
  • Chartered Herbalist
  • Member, Society of Ethnobiology
  • Member, International Association of Common Property


You can check out the websites of the partners with whom I am currently working:
JAINA http://www.comunidadestudiosjaina.org.bo
Wabaseemoong Independent Nations http://www.win-tlua.ca
Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre http://www.wnhac.org