Anelyse Weiler

Study program:
Ph.D. Sociology
Current affiliation:
University of Toronto

Anelyse Weiler (sociology, University of Toronto) wants to understand how the perspectives of migrant farmworkers in North America on environmental, health, and equity issues can inform local and international efforts to realize more sustainable food systems.

Anelyse Weiler is exploring the intersection between migration, labour, and environmentally sustainable food systems. Much of her research and advocacy focuses on advancing dignity with migrant workers in Canada and the United States. With a background in farming and food security, Anelyse has worked as an educator and researcher on building meaningful community-university partnerships. She is also engaged in research on alternatives to industrial meat. Anelyse’s PhD research seeks to understand the environmental priorities of migrant, immigrant and settler producers in agriculture, and how their ecological knowledge can inform more just and sustainable food systems.

As a researcher, writer, educator and advocate, Anelyse Weiler focuses on how livelihoods across the food system can promote human dignity and ecological resilience.

Anelyse's PhD research uses a case study of apple cultivation in BC and Washington state to better understand the environmental priorities of diverse agricultural producers, tensions between Indigenous land rights and settler modes of agriculture, and how people's migration experiences shape their sense of belonging. This research aims to render greater visibility to ecological knowledge that could inform a more just and sustainable food system.

Much of the drive for Anelyse’s work stems from her experiences in farming and local food promotion. This has included working at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, coordinating community-university partnerships at UBC, and taking a leadership role in the "Think, Eat and Grow Green Globally" research project with partners in Canada and Ecuador. Her Master's thesis project at Simon Fraser University explored how alternative food networks in BC have addressed social protections for un(der)paid farm interns and migrant farm workers.

Anelyse is currently engaged in projects on food security and food sovereignty in Northern Canada, alternatives to industrial meat, and creative forms of labour organizing among precariously employed workers in fast-food, meat processing and agriculture.
Anelyse's academic work is closely informed by her commitments to environmental and social activist communities. She has contributed to the Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op, Intergenerational Landed Learning Project, Friends of the UBC Farm, Sustain Ontario, CultureLink, and Vancouver's East End Food Co-op. She remains actively involved with Justice for Migrant Workers, Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture, and the BC Employment Standards Coalition. She splits her time between rural Alberta, BC and Toronto.

  • September 12, 2017
    - A report from Sophia Murphy and Anelyse Weiler Six dollars and twenty-two cents for a 1-kg bag of carrots in Nunavut. Almost one third of children in the Northwest Territories facing food insecurity. Half of a northern Ontario family’s monthly income spent just putting food on the table.
  • March 24, 2017
    - A report by 2015 scholar Anelyse Weiler With the decline of traditional organized labour and the rise of insecure employment, people hired in restaurants, farming and food-processing face tremendous challenges to realizing decent work. The recent expansion of ‘low-skill’ labour-migration streams in Canada and crackdowns on undocumented migrants in the United States have intensified workers’ vulnerability. These barriers, however, have elicited powerful movements across the food system for workplace dignity, human rights and immigration reform. 
  • August 8, 2016
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is happy to announce that it has approved its second round of targeted-area-of-inquiry (TAI) projects. The three projects include an exploration of Indigenous law, a social innovation lab addressing food waste, and a dialogue on the inclusion of Muslim-Canadian youth.
  • April 8, 2016
    2015 scholar Anelyse Weiler has won a Power of Youth Leadership Award in the Leadership Award for Research, Analysis and Solutions category, for her commitment to the advancement of food and agriculture-based livelihoods that promote ecological resilience and enable everyone to live and migrate with dignity.
  • July 8, 2015
    From funding new cancer drugs for Canadian children to the impact of social media on youth empathy, the exceptional research of our 2015 Trudeau scholars is pressing, ground-breaking and getting noticed. Delve into stories, interviews and discussions sparked worldwide by their pressing work in the humanities and social sciences.
  • June 9, 2015