To view this media release in a PDF format, please click here


For immediate release
January 22, 2021

Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is announcing that our staff member, Stewart Hill, was successful in completing his Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resources and Environmental Management degree at the University of Manitoba today.

“It is my distinct honour to announce that our very own Senior Research and Policy Analyst, Stewart Hill, successfully defended his thesis today titled The Autoethnography of an Inniniw from God’s Lake, Manitoba, Canada: First Nation Water Governance Flows from Sacred Indigenous Relationships, Responsibilities and Rights to Aski,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee.

“Dr. Hill, who is from God’s Lake First Nation, has been on a long journey studying in his field. Today he has achieved his PhD,” said Grand Chief Settee. “We watched him present his research and defend his thesis today and his committee said he passed with flying colours. Dr. Hill makes us extremely proud as the first person to complete and achieve his PhD from his community of God’s Lake.”


“Today I’m very happy,” stated Dr. Stewart Hill. “It’s been a long road, a long journey, and it hasn’t always been easy but through hard work and determination, you persevere. As the Grand Chief said, hopefully it paves the way for many youth to be able to chase their dreams and accomplish them. Today I’m very happy, I’m elated! Thank you very much. I would like to acknowledge my advisors, Dr. Shirley Thompson of the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute and Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst of the Soil Sciences department of the U of M. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. David Lobb, Dr. Myrle Ballard and Dr. Ovide Mercredi. As well, thank you to my friends and family, especially to my wife, Aggie. I thank you all.”

“I presented a star blanket to Dr. Stewart Hill earlier today; he is our very own Cree warrior,” said Grand Chief Settee. “He completed his PhD studies solely through accessing scholarships and bursaries to complete his studies. Dr. Hill accomplished a great feat today—this is a historic day and we ask you to join us in congratulating Stewart on being a role model for so many Indigenous people in Northern Manitoba and right across Turtle Island.”


For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]