Pawlowska-Mainville, Dr. Agnieszka (Agnes)

Dr. Agnieszka Pawlowska-Mainville
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Website: Campus:
  • Prince George


Agnieszka (Agnes) Pawlowska-Mainville is an Associate Professor in First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia. She examines intangible cultural heritage within land-based practices such as customary governance, sustainable livelihoods, food systems, folklore, language retention, as well as natural and cultural resource stewardship, including World Heritage Sites. Her interdisciplinary work with numerous Indigenous communities across Canada as well as with traditional land-based practices like tree-beekeeping in Poland examines elements of cultural heritage: safeguarding and promotion. Her work aims to support the process of cultural heritage transmission to future generations. She completed her M.A & Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba and earned her B.A. from McGill University and is currently completing a BA in Anishinaabemowin. Dr. Pawlowska-Mainville’s most recent publications discuss weaving Dakelh and academic pedagogies through moose-hide tanning (2020), a chapter on the Anishinaabeg boreal forest food system (2020), and on Indigenous resource governance as a form of intangible cultural heritage (2021). She is currently a Lead Author on the UN-IPBES Values Assessment, and an Expert Member on UNESCO’s International Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICICH), International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and a founding member of Intactilis: International Consortium for ICH Research.

Her decade-long work with the Asatiwisipe Anishinaabeg examines cultural and natural resource stewardship as a form of community self-determination on the First Nation-led UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination called Pimachiowin Aki, "the land that gives life" in Anishinaabemowin. Dr. Pawlowska-Mainville also worked with the Makeso Sakahican Inninuwak where she helped lead a group of Elders, resource-users and academics to present evidence at the Clean Environment Commission hearings against the Keeyask and Conawapa dams in Manitoba in 2014. Her testimony on intangible cultural heritage included a critique of the environmental regulatory processes and their dealings with the severity of impacts on the heritage of local harvesters and knowledge-holders. Dr. Pawlowska-Mainville is also working with Polish apiarists and traditional tree-beekeepers on safeguarding their cultural knowledge and livelihoods. Her own measures to preserve her own diverse cultural traditions, languages, land-based practices, and culinary skills guide her engagement in this area of research.

Dr. Pawlowska-Mainville welcomes students interested in any area of research pertaining to [intangible] cultural heritage: language retention, cultural knowledges, food, folklore, land-based traditions – the list is endless! Topics related to Polish (Kashubian, Górale and Cuiavian) folklore and Slavonic traditions are welcome as are any students excited about exploring and transmitting own heritage to future generations.

Research and Expertise

Currently accepting graduate students
Supervises in:
  • MA International Studies