MiningWatch Canada is a federally registered non-profit society.
The Directors have expertise and experience in geoscience, human health, education, resource management, labour rights, organisational management and fund-raising, international development, and aboriginal issues. Individual board members are responsible to the member organisations of MiningWatch as a whole and will not, in their governance capacity, represent specific organisational interests.
Earl Commanda, Co-Chair
Earl is a member of the Ojibway Nation from the Serpent River First Nation in Ontario. Born and raised in this community, Earl has worked for his people as Economic Development Officer initially and was their Chief spanning a twenty years term from 1983 to 2003. He also contributed his time as Chairperson of the North Shore Tribal Council for seventeen years and served as first President of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation in Ontario from 1995 to 2000. Earl has been involved regionally with Grand Council Treaty #9 (now know as Nishnawbe-Aski Nation) in Timmins, Ontario in the early 1970's and more recently in two Housing Pilot Projects in Ontario, one initiated by him at the Union of Ontario Indians and the second with the Chiefs of Ontario. To July 2009, he was with the Assembly of First Nations on the Special Initiative on Housing as part of the Federal - Provincial Roundtable Process which begun in 2004. He is curently employed with the First Nations Market Housing Fund as one of the projects flowing from the AFN Housing Initiative.
Laura Calm Wind
Laura Calmwind is a member of the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) located in what is known today as Northwestern Ontario, and has been an activist for indigenous peoples rights since the early 1980's. One aspect of her long-term support of the right to sovereignty and self-determination for indigenous peoples was the role she played to help her community stop the Ontario government and Platinex mining company from entering KI territory without the free, prior and informed consent of the KI peoples. Today, the land is free from staking and mining. Laura has recently helped establish the Oshki-As-yaa'aag Mino Bimaadiziiwin Foundation, dedicated to bringing to life the dreams and potential of youth leaders. She has remained closely connected to her culture and traditions and is a fluent speaker of her indigenous language, Anishnabamowin. Laura enjoys spending time with Elders and traditional knowledge practitioners and is an avid participant in cultural ceremonies and events.
Tracy Glynn is an activist from the Miramichi who resides in Fredericton where she works as the Acadian Forest Campaigner with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. She has a keen interest in environmental justice and eradicating Canadian mining abuses overseas and at home, which is rooted in her time spent at mine-affected communities in Indonesia and graduate work on mine pollution. She has written a number of articles for the Dominion and is a co-editor of the Mines and Communities website. She is a 2009 Gordon fellow exploring the impacts of mining on indigenous women in Labrador, Guatemala and Indonesia with the goal of telling women's stories and offering policy recommendations to government. Tracy is an active member of the NB Media Co-op, Fredericton Peace Coalition, Fredericton Palestine Solidarity, the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network. She teaches a course on environmental praxis at St. Thomas University.
Ken Luckhardt resides in Toronto and currently works as an independent consultant on labour and human rights issues. He was formerly with the Canadian Auto Workers, most recently at the CAW’s International Department where the union’s Social Justice Fund (SJF) is housed. The SJF is a registered labour NGO that supports human and labour rights, development, gender and humanitarian projects throughout the South with a special emphasis on Central and South America and Southern Africa. Ken has extensive experience in supporting the struggles for trade union rights in Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador; national independence rights in East Timor; and labour rights for garment industry workers around the world. Ken is a political anthropologist and has taught at the Universities of Alberta and Western Ontario, and Ryerson University.
Bruce Maclean is a research associate with the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) located in Winnipeg, Canada. His principal responsibilities there include providing education and assistance to First Nations in Manitoba interested in the conservation of fish habitat. He also provides guidance to communities, Aboriginal and other, in dealing with abandoned mines. Bruce assists communities in checking their water quality and the health of fish in their area through an approach that combines Indigenous Knowledge and western science. He has a strong understanding of the meaningful involvement of Aboriginal people in the environmental assessment process. Bruce has experience working in Mexico and Ecuador on habitat conservation. He holds an environmental science degree from the University of Manitoba. Bruce lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two children.
Esperanza Moreno, Secretary
Esperanza has just completed her Masters in Political Science at the University of Ottawa. She is an experienced leader and senior manager of not-for-profit organizations – as Deputy Director of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation for over 12 years, and prior to that, in high-level positions in Oxfam Quebec and the Canadian Organization for Solidarity and Development. She has advanced research and analytical abilities that she has used to further her interest in human rights, international cooperation and international solidarity; and she recently used those skills as a volunteer on our criminalization of dissent project.
Anne Marie Sam, Co-Chair
Anne Marie is a member of the Lusilyoo (frog) clan from the Nak'azdli First Nation, Fort St James, located in northern central British Columbia. In 2007, Anne was elected to the Nak'azdli Band Council. Anne has been one of the lead community members reviewing the Mount Milligan Copper Gold project in their traditional territory and assisted in coordinating their Aboriginal Interest and Use Study, which is a community created document that outlined how the proposed Mt. Milligan project will impact Nak'azdli. Anne is currently working with the Canadian Boreal Initiative to connect with First Nation communities impacted by historical, current or proposed mining developments within First Nations territories.
Based in Ottawa, Jean Symes is currently responsible for Inter Pares' Africa program, as well as policy analysis and program development on extractive industries and tax justice. Jean's previous work at Inter Pares includes Program Coordinator and Director of Communications. She also spent several years working in Inter Pares' Latin America program, focusing on peacebuilding, refugees and internally displaced people, and bringing a feminist perspective to human rights protection, including developing programming on sexual violence against women in conflict areas. Prior to Inter Pares, Jean's experience includes human rights promotion and monitoring, social policy development, and financial management.
Ian Thomson, Treasurer
Ian lives in Ottawa where he works for KAIROS, the national social justice agency of Canada's mainline churches. Since 2007, he has chaired the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) that unites over 20 Canadian civil society organizations promoting legal reforms to hold corporations accountable in Canada for the human rights and environmental impacts of their international operations. Prior to joining KAIROS, Ian worked as a mining sector analyst at a leading socially responsible investing company in Toronto. He has engineering degrees from the University of Toronto (MASc) and Queen's University (BSc).