Nadine Lefort

Roles at NAAEE:

CCC Fellow

Education & Outreach Manager
Mi'kmaq Environmental Learning Centre

Nadine grew up skipping stones, climbing trees, and playing in lighthouses on Cape Breton Island in eastern Canada. She didn’t realize it at the time, but that strong relationship with nature would strongly influence her life. She studied ecology and environmental education, with a focus on ways to foster relationships with nature through deep ecology practices.She spent several years managing a province-wide Environmental Education Program in British Columbia. She has worked with First Nations communities across Canada to develop culturally relevant learning tools that integrate traditional ecological knowledge and science that foster (re)connection with culture and our environment. She is currently Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Mi’kmaq Environmental Learning Centre in Eskasoni First Nation. She develops programs and resources that share and promote Mi’kmaq traditional knowledge on environmental sustainability.She sits on the board of the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication, as well as a local environmental organization.  She spends her free time with her family on hiking trails, on beaches, and playing in their backyard.

Fellowship Project

It is important for everyone to understand climate and people's role within it, however, climate change education is not always accessible for Aboriginal learners, even though Aboriginal communities are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  Climate change education is already established as an important community need, so the goal of this project is to help individuals in Mi’kmaq communities understand the science of climate change, how human activities influence climate, and how individuals can take culturally-relevant action to mitigate the damage of climate change and make their communities more resilient to changing climate.This project will:1. Consult with Elders, youth, educators, science experts, and community organizations to determine relevant content and context of a climate change education project.2. Develop a climate change curriculum package based on existing activities and lesson plans, integrating local traditional knowledge and examples of climate change issues and actions.3. Develop a workshop on climate change for community organizations to better understand climate change and to commit to hands-on climate change action.4. Follow up with schools and community organizations to support climate change actions in the community.By early 2016, it is expected that the project will complete a curriculum package with activities and lesson plans, which will be made available to teachers in Mi’kmaq schools (through Mi’kmaw Kinamatnewey), and schools in the Cape Breton Victoria and Straight Regional School Boards, as well as three completed community workshops engaging local organizations and businesses in climate change education and action.Throughout this project, we hope to see more citizens engaged in environmental action in their communities through individual, organization, and local government changes to reduce ecological footprints and become more resilient to climate change. We hope to see Mi’kmaq communities become regional leaders in community climate change action.Please visit our sister organization, the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources.