Dr. Brian Tucker is an ecologist specializing in terrestrial ecology and spatial statistics, with additional background in ecological restoration. He is a resident of Northwestern Ontario and has a strong connection to his Métis community, the traditional Métis way of life, as well as the commercial fishing, logging and trapping industries. He is currently the Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use for the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Brian was born and grew up in Northwestern Ontario (Fort Frances), where his traditional lifestyle fostered and maintained a close connection to the lands and waters of the north. He grew up hunting, fishing, trapping and harvesting plants as part of his Métis way of life. Before completing high school and moving away to attend post-secondary education, he worked at the family commercial fishing, trapping, and logging operations. He has also worked in the tourism industry, primarily as a fishing guide.
Brian studied at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Ph.D. in Ecology) where he explored new methods of spatial data analysis and applied them to clonal plant ecology. During his M.Sc. research at Laurentian University (M.Sc. in Biology), Brian examined small scale (topographic) and large scale (historic smelting impact) vegetation community composition gradients using Hidden Markov Models. His B.Sc. research at Laurentian University (B.Sc. in Environmental Earth Science) comprised of examining the same gradients with the standard Markov Model. Prior to his university studies, Brian attended Confederation College in Thunder Bay (3-yr Environmental Engineering Technology). He has been an NSERC scholar throughout his undergraduate, M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies.
Brian’s studies have allowed him to explore and live across Northern Ontario; over the years, both Thunder Bay and Sudbury became “home” as connections and friends were made both at educational institutions and in the community. This has provided him with knowledge of the geography, the people, the issues and the opportunities across Northern Ontario. Brian’s studies in Alberta provided him continued exposure to high calibre educational institutions. It also served to further broaden his understanding of the Canadian experience, both in the sense of its diversity and its consistency across space and people.
Driven by the need to return to his family roots and community in Northwestern Ontario, Brian and his family moved back to Fort Frances where he remotely completed his doctoral research at the University of Alberta. During this time he spent three years teaching a range of courses at Confederation College’s Fort Frances campus. Many of these courses were distance education courses, and Brian was able to teach and learn from students from across the northern part of the province.
Over the course of the past three years, Brian has worked within the Métis Nation of Ontario in the Lands, Resources and Consultations Branch. He has served as the Manager of the LRC Branch, and he is now the Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use. This work has allowed him to work closely with Métis communities, industry representatives in the resource and energy sectors, and Federal and Provincial officials from various ministries on a range of projects, issues and initiatives. Brian has gained experience in government policy development and implementation, Aboriginal consultation, resource development in northern Ontario, infrastructure projects, natural resource management and northern education initiatives. Working within the MNO has also given Brian considerable exposure to Métis governance, rights, and culture. This work has also allowed him to travel across much of Ontario. Whenever possible, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and son. He also enjoys canoeing, hunting, fishing, trapping, and literature.