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Staff & Board

Co-Founder, Director
Michael D. Blackstock RPF (Ret.), C.Med., MA.

During times of crisis, a few leaders always step into the spotlight with a new vision bridging conflicting world-views. Michael Blackstock is one of these visionaries.

As an Independent Indigenous Scholar and founder of the Blue Ecology™ theory, Blackstock offers a unique First Nations perspective on the climate crisis, inserting water into the difficult debates about carbon emissions. He has published over two dozen peer reviewed papers, bridging Science and centuries old Indigenous ways of honouring nature. His ability to mediate grew out of a uniquely diverse background as a writer, a thought leader, and registered Forester. For the past 20 years, Blackstock has held senior positions in the BC Public Service. Currently, he is the Senior Negotiator and Manager of Indigenous Employment and Training at BC Hydro.

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Blackstock combines university education with positions at international bodies and an artistic First Nations heritage. Holding a Master of Art degree in First Nations Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia, 1997, he is also a chartered mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada (Alternative Dispute Resolution), and served as a member of the UNESCO-IHP (Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme) Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity for four years. In addition, Blackstock helped draft a water policy paper for the United Nations.

Of Gitxsan/European heritage, he is a member of the House of Geel, Fireweed Clan, where he is known as Ama Goodim Gyet. Blue Ecology™ theory benefited greatly when, in 2000, Blackstock interviewed the Elder, Millie Michell, shortly before she died. Passing the torch to him, she asked what he would do with her worries about water. His uncle, Walter Harris, mentored him as a northwest coast carver, and he has produced over a dozen limited edition northwest coast art prints. As the resident artist at Echo Valley Ranch and Spa and curating an art project on water, he is an inspiration to youth artists around the world.

Among his awards is the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Bill Reid Scholarship.

With his Water First framework, Blackstock is building bridges of intercultural understanding that enable a new vision of sustainable survival.

Michael Blackstock was influenced to take action and start the Blue Ecology movement by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

Norm Dove

Norm Dove has always been an innovator. A mechanical engineer, he emigrated to Canada from his native Britain in 1965 where he began a successful career that includes being the founder, CEO, and President of Devron Hercules Engineering for 20 years. His innovative spirit also earned him 34 patents and the induction into the Pulp & Paper Makers Hall of Fame. After selling his company in 1992 he bought the property now known as Echo Valley Ranch & Spa and developed it into the sustainably run eco-luxury ranch it is today.

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Norm’s friendship with Michael Blackstock led to him becoming involved with the Blue Ecology Institute. Michael connected Dove to the aboriginal way of thinking, which inspired him to join Michael and take action. Norm Dove believes in the difference that the interweaving of Aboriginal knowledge with science can make on a local and global level – specifically, it adds a missing fundamental component to scientific thinking, spirit.

“I believe the vast majority if not all, have and do sense spirit, some more often than others; what is novel is the concept of interweaving an intangible with logic by changing attitudes – it will have a profound effect.”, says Dove.

Flavia Foggiato, Lawyer, J.D., PG lato sensu

A multilingual lawyer (English, Spanish, Portuguese) from Brazil, Flavia Foggiato brings a unique combination of legal education, corporate governance, and over two decades of experience in the field of risk management and compliance to her board position. She graduated with a Bachelor of Law from The Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro and also holds a Postgraduate degree in Regulatory Law from the University Centre of the City of Rio de Janeiro. Foggiato’s legal background and corporate experience was instrumental in setting up the Blue Ecology Institute Foundation’s governance according to the principles laid out by Michael.

Foggiato says that Blue Ecology is ‘a breath of fresh air’, and that Michael’s ‘interweave’ approach bridges competing interests that can help avoid antagonistic conflicts. “The concept that Indigenous ecological knowledge and science mechanisms can find common ground is not only refreshing, but also progressive.” says Foggiato.

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Flavia sees Water First as a remarkably simple notion that we are all connected by water, and if you treat water with respect, our relationships with all organisms and the environment will be healthy and harmonious.

Most importantly, her skills assist Michael and his associates to focus on BEIF’s educational activities. Keeping an oversight on governance, Flavia brings balance and credibility to the institute for donors, associates and clients.

Flavia’s inspiration comes from nature, rather than a person. For the past few years, a few orca pods fish and play in front of her home, and recently a new calf was born into the pod – the first in 11 years. Flavia kept wondering what life would be like without these majestic creatures (and so many others) and decided to take action.

Executive Director
Christoph Schultz

A multilingual Development Economist, Christoph has spent his 15+ year professional career supporting a range of community development projects internationally. For over a decade, Christoph worked on supporting renewable energy projects with Indigenous communities in Peru, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. He has lived in seven countries and worked on projects in 20. Christoph has a Master’s in Development Economics and Policy from the University of Manchester and a Degree in Finance from the University of Calgary.

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He joined the Blue Ecology Institute Foundation because of his love for nature and belief that people can make a difference in reducing our impact on the planet by making more informed decisions.

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