Dana James

Student Fellow


Postdoctoral Researcher


Land and Food Systems



Geographic Location

Vancouver, BC

Dana James is a postdoctoral researcher based in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) at the University of British Columbia. Her work is interdisciplinary and informed by theories and concepts drawn from political ecology, geography, rural and environmental sociology, and settler-colonial studies, as well as those directly generated by social movements. Dana’s current research relies on participatory approaches to creating indicators of agroecology with NGOs and farmers across Latin America. Dana completed her PhD at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), where her academic and public scholarship were supported by a Vanier CGS Award, UBC’s Public Scholar Initiative, UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, Mitacs, P.E.O. International, and SSHRC.

Areas of Interest: agroecology, food sovereignty, climate justice, well-being

Primary Recipient Awards

Dana James – Catalyst Fellows – 2022

The Wall Catalyst Student Fellow cohort will first come together to engage in the online, interdisciplinary Facing Human Wrongs course and subsequently work together on a number of public-facing projects.

The course content touches upon systemic, historical and ongoing violence, unsustainability, our complicities in social and ecological harm, and our tendency to address complex problems, such as biodiversity loss, food insecurity, economic and political crises, and the potential for social and environmental collapse, with simplistic solutions. The course requires students to be willing to be uncomfortable and to have their perspective challenged.

Dana James – Catalyst Collaboration Fund – 2023

Envisioning Secwépemc Foodland Conservation Areas

This participatory action research project emerged from a community interest in identifying a vision and priorities for Indigenous Foodland Conservation Areas (IFCAs) in Secwépemc territory. Drawing on lessons learned from Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) — Indigenous-led conservation areas that uphold Indigenous Peoples’ rights and responsibilities to sustainably steward their lands – our overarching aims are to: Document the integrated conservation methods of food harvesters in Secwépemcul’ecw; Deliver training and support for a network of Secwépemc hunters to conduct environmental monitoring of the migration corridors of elk, wild salmon, and other culturally important animals; and Co-develop insights for regionally adapted IFCAs based on the ecological and cultural scope and scale of Indigenous Food Sovereignty, resulting in research and policy proposals for a Secwépemc IFCA to protect, conserve, and regenerate Secwépemc biocultural heritage.