Kelsey Leonard

Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Waters, Climate and Sustainability, University of Waterloo

Kelsey Leonard is a water scientist, legal scholar, policy expert, writer, and enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Nation. Leonard is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, where her research focuses on Indigenous water justice and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. She has also recently been named Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Waters, Climate, and Sustainability.

Leonard seeks to establish Indigenous traditions of water conservation as the foundation for international water policymaking. She represents the Shinnecock Indian Nation on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean, which is charged with protecting the United States’ ocean ecosystems and coastlines. She also serves as a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission. Her regional ocean policy work in collaboration with American First Nations as well as U.S. state, federal, and fishery management council entities received a Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Solutions.