Melanie has a passion for participatory styles of learning and expression and during her time with the CGRF, she investigated participatory learning and governance. She was interested in exploring the importance of cross-cultural collaborations in working towards sustainable and socially just governance systems for land and resources.
Through her doctoral research, Melanie looked at transformative learning within cross-cultural settings, and how that learning can inform collaborative governance of shared land and resources.
The first phase of her research focused on past and current learning experiences and how they affected governance systems for the Kenora Forest. She conducted interviews with parties to governance and collaboration from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Grand Council Treaty #3, members of the Miitigoog Trust and Miisun, Wincrief Homes, and other independently involved parties. The second phase of her research involved participatory methods that helped to further her explorations and focus on forest management.
Melanie’s thesis is available here: Building Common Ground: Learning and reconciliation for shared governance of forest land in northwestern Ontario.
Dr. Zurba is now a faculty member at the University of Winnipeg.