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Facilitation Team

Northwest Saskatchewan Policy Institute

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Ken Coates

Canada Research Chair


Ken Coates is Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovationat the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewancampus.  Ken was raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, and has long-standing professional and personal interests in Aboriginal rights, northern development, northern Canadian history, science, technology and society, and Japan Studies.  He received his BA (History) from UBC, MA (History) from Manitoba and PhD (History) from UBC.  Ken has had the distinct pleasure of working at universities across Canada and internationally.

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Razak Abu, 

Postdoctoral Fellow 


Razak Abu is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Based in the community of Ile-a-la-Crosse, Razak works with the Northwest Saskatchewan Policy Unit, a community-controlled research and evaluation centre that provides research services for communities in the Northwest region. He specializes in community engagement and land use policy. Razak obtained his PhD in Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, where he worked with the community of Cumberland House to explore the long-term impacts of hydro-dam development on traditional resource use. He has presented his work to both academic and non-academic audience through community workshops and international conferences.

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Petr Baranovskiy, 

Research Specialist


Petr Baranovskiy is a Research Specialist with the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, and has been working with the Northwest Saskatchewan Policy Unit since its inception. Petr specializes in the economic policy analysis, economic and statistical modelling, energy policy, and using geospatial data for policy analysis. Petr holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Saskatchewan. His thesis was dedicated to the renewable energy policy of the Northwest Territories.

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Taylar Belanger,

Research Specialist


Taylar is from the northern community of Ile-a-la-Crosse, SK. She completed her first-year undergraduate studies for Psychology at the U of S in hopes to receive her degree. The basis of her personal work includes the enhancement of community and economic development, renewable energy, cultural and land-based education, non-profit programming, language revitalization, and youth opportunities for the Northern region. Taylar’s role within the North West Saskatchewan Policy Unit focus’ on northern opportunities, particularly for youth and assists in administrative duties..

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Myles Ferguson, 

Sandy Beach Resort


Myles Ferguson has a Ph.D in Applied Social Psychology as well as a law degree. Both degrees were earned at the University of Saskatchewan. As a postdoctoral fellow, Myles conducts research on economic and social issues important to Saskatchewan, with particular interest in Indigenous peoples. Myles also has 20 years experience conducting research for several government ministries and departments (both federal and provincial) as well as Indigenous organizations.

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