World Habitat Day


The first Monday of October marks World Habitat Day. The focus this year is about promoting the contribution of innovative frontier technologies to sustainable waste management in order to achieve more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

Steven Vanloffeld is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholar from Saugeen First Nation in Ontario. His research focuses on consent and development in Indigenous territories as it relates to nuclear waste disposal.

Having served on the Saugeen First Nation council, he has seen first-hand the pattern of development and understands the importance of meeting the needs of the community.

Canada adopted the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2015, which includes the principle of free, prior and informed consent in regard to territory.

The Chippewas of Saugeen (Steven’s home community) and the Chippewas of Nawash are two First Nation communities in Canada which have secured the right to give or withhold consent.

With over a decade of experience in Indigenous, government, and community relations, Vanloffeld understands the importance of sustainability and long-term effects.


"Government and industry are watching to see how this is operationalized, which will help inform a framework moving forward." - via Western University


Cynthia Morinville is a 2016 Scholar who is exploring the lived experiences of informal workers in the global South who extract rare metals from discarded electronic waste. Her research uses documentary filmmaking and photography to tell the e-waste story in a new way.

Morinville engages notions of agency, representation, and justice to offer alternative narratives around the global e-waste crisis. By providing overlooked local perspectives on dismantling and resource recovery activities, her research aims to contribute to current reform efforts.


"Whenever you ask questions about environmental sustainability, you have to start with social justice and equality. Access to land and resources is at the base of all radical politics." - via University of Toronto