Valérie Courtois - Ilnu Cultural Educator, Forester

Valérie Courtois

Ilnu Cultural Educator, Forester

Valérie is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology, and ecosystem-based management and planning.

Valérie is a member of the Ilnu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami (Lac-St-Jean), in what is now known as Québec.

Valérie holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton. She has served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation, and as a consultant in Aboriginal forestry, including certification, and spatial and caribou planning.

Valérie has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013. She has received a number of awards for her work including the James M. Kitz Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry for her early-career contributions to the forestry profession, the Université de Moncton, faculté de foresterie “Distinguished graduate” and the Gold Leaf Award from the Canadian Council of Ecological Areas in 2019.

In addition to her work in conservation and planning, Valérie is an avid photographer. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Corporation du Mushuau–nipi, a non-profit that encourages cultural and professional exchanges between Innu and other communities on the Mushuau-shipu, also known as the George River. She lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.