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Sarah Dickson-Hoyle, MSc

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Sarah Dickson-Hoyle, MSc


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PhD Candidate

Sarah Dickson-Hoyle, MSc

Restor(y)ing fire-adapted landscapes: landscape change, Indigenous co-management and restoration in Secwepemcúl’ecw Landscapes.

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I am an interdisciplinary social-ecological scientist with a background in ecology and community-based fire and natural resource management. I hold a dual BA (Geography)/BSc (Botany) and a Master of Forest Ecosystem Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia and have ten years of professional experience working in consulting, community not-for-profits and science and sustainability education.


In British Columbia, 20th century practices of fire suppression and exclusion – coupled with climate change and legacies of past forest management – have resulted in longer and more severe fire seasons. The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons burned a record-breaking 2.5 million hectares across the province and disproportionately affected First Nations communities. These impacts catalyzed many communities into action, and the 2018 Provincial Flood and Fire Review recommended establishing equal partnerships with First Nations governments, and incorporating Indigenous knowledge, across all stages of fire management and planning. Along with Canada’s current emphasis on advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, this points to a clear need to advance Indigenous-led collaborative approaches to landscape-scale forest restoration and adaptation. Working collaboratively with the Secwépemcul’ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society – founded by eight Secwépemc First Nation communities directly impacted by the 2017 ‘Elephant Hill’ wildfire – my research will seek to understand how such approaches can restore both ecological and cultural values in fire-affected landscapes. Through a combination of ecological and qualitative social science methodologies, this research will contribute to the development of co-management and collaborative monitoring initiatives that seek to support First Nations in (re)asserting traditional stewardship practices, knowledge and connection to land and place.




Ravensbergen, S., Copes-Gerbitz, K., Dickson-Hoyle, S., Hagerman, S.M. and Daniels, L.D. (2020). “Community Views on Wildfire Risk and Preparedness in the Wildland-Urban Interface Report to the Union of BC Municipalities, First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, BC Community Forest Association and BC Wildfire Service. February 2020.


Dickson-Hoyle, S., Hagerman, S.M. and Daniels, L.D. (2019). “Restoration and reconciliation? Towards Indigenous-led restoration and (re)new(ed) human-environment relations in novel firescapes”. American Association of Anthropology/Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting. Oral Presentation.


Dickson-Hoyle, S. and Secwepemcúl’ecw Restoration and Stewardship Society. (2019). “Restoration and Indigenous stewardship of (post)fire landscapes: towards co-management and (re)connection to place in Secwepemcúl’ecw, Canada”. XXV IUFRO World Congress. Oral Presentation.


Dickson-Hoyle, S., Kovacevic, M., Cherbonnier, M. and Nicholas, K.A. (2018). “Towards meaningful youth participation in science-policy processes: a case study of the Youth in Landscapes Initiative Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 6(1): 67-83.


Dickson-Hoyle, S. (2013). “Risk, remnants and roadsides: understanding fire and conservation management along a rural road, western Victoria”. Master’s Thesis. University of Melbourne.