About Us

Kwusen is a specialist consulting company who works with Indigenous communities to conduct community-based research on Indigenous Knowledge, cultural heritage, and traditional land use. Our participatory approach emphasises community capacity building to engage community members in researching their own cultural heritage, Indigenous Knowledge, and land use practices. We specialize in traditional ecological knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, and Traditional Land Use and Occupancy research in relation to land claims and environmental impact assessments. We also provide innovative services to utilize documentary video, websites, apps and web-based mapping technologies in our research and reporting.

Kwusen’s research team is based Victoria, BC and currently provides traditional use and occupancy studies (TUOS) research, media production, training, and consultation support services to Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia and Alberta. With a TUOS research team of seven staff plus associates, we have extensive experience and the capacity to provide high quality and consistent support in your ongoing TUOS research.

In addition to TUOS, we specialize in documentary video production and the production of web-based software applications. Over the past six years Kwusen has been working with our First Nations partners to address the challenges they were having managing diverse recordings (maps, audio, video, notes, etc.) made as a part of TUOS/TK studies and consultation. Kwusen worked with our partners to develop a secure web-based data management and mapping system that can manage all of these diverse records. This web-based mapping and data management system has grown into Community KnowledgeKeeper (CKK), which is now used to manage research and consultation related data for twenty-eight communities.

Who We Are

Towagh Behr, M.A.

Anthropologist, Principal

Towagh has conducted Traditional Knowledge (TK), Traditional Use Studies (TUS), and cultural documentation projects with over thirty Indigenous communities in western and northern Canada in the past fourteen years.

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Bill Farrant, B.A.

Manager, IT Solutions

Bill Farrant has played a key role in the development, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of CKKs for the Fort McKay, Athabasca Chipewyan, Mikisew Cree, K’ómoks, Yellowknives Dene, and Fort Nelson Nations, as well as with Fort McMurray Metis Local 1935.

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Alissa Cartwright, M.Phil

Indigenous Rights Research Manager

Alissa holds a degree in History (Hons) from the University of Victoria and a M.Phil in Public History & Cultural Heritage from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

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Prarie Blake, B.Sc.

Director of Technology

Prarie has nineteen years of experience building digital solutions in public sector.

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Devin Waugh, M.Sc.

Indigenous Knowledge Researcher

Devin holds a degree in International Development and an MSc in Geography from the University of Guelph.

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Greg Sebastian

Software Developer

Greg has spent the past ten years working with Web Applications, and has skills relating to software development on multiple platforms as well as system and network administration.

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Camille O'Sullivan, B.A.

IT and Consultation Support, Trainer

Camille holds a degree in Classics from Queen’s University and a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Carleton University.

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Kate Richey, B.A.

IT and Research Support

Kate Richey has a degree in Archaeology from the University of Calgary and prior to working for Kwusen she worked in the cultural resource management sector as a field archaeologist in northern Bri

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Zorah Staar

Finance Manager

Zorah Staar is excited to have become the Finance Manager for Kwusen Research & Media, as of February, 2019.

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Stella Spak, Ph.D.

Anthropologist

Stella Spak received her PhD in Social Cultural Anthropology (Canadian Resource Co-management Boards and Their Relationship to Indigenous Knowledge) from the University of Toronto in 2001.

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