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UM doctoral student receives 2014 Trudeau Scholarship

Recognized for trailblazing work in Brazil

May 27, 2014 — 
Erika Bockstael

Erika Bockstael

Erika Bockstael, a PhD candidate in natural resources and environmental management at the University of Manitoba, will receive a coveted scholarship from the Trudeau Foundation.

On May 27 the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation proudly announced the names of the 14 recipients of the 2014 Trudeau scholarship, the most prestigious doctoral award for the social sciences and humanities in Canada. The scholarship supports outstanding doctoral students who are committed to solving issues of critical importance to Canada and the world. In addition to an annual grant of up to $60,000 for a three-year period, the 14 Trudeau Foundation scholars will benefit from the expertise and knowledge of the network of Foundation fellows and mentors.

Bockstael’s research focuses on the inclusive and participatory governance of coastal resources among a group of Caiçara, a mixed-heritage traditional people, and among people with disabilities, in Paraty, Brazil. She is particularly interested in the inclusion of people with disabilities in development and governance, in self-directed development, in human development and the capabilities approach, and in reducing inequality with regard to human rights and social justice.

Her work is part of a larger Canada-Brazil interdisciplinary team study on participatory coastal resources management. Paraty, the study area, is located in one of the world’s most biologically diverse yet threatened ecoregions, with multiple users and conflicts between user groups.

Bockstael’s objective is to help community members increase their capabilities for collective action to achieve environmental and social justice as they struggle with governance issues. The livelihoods of the traditional people in this area, the mixed-heritage Caiçara, involve a mix of coastal resources, fisheries, small-scale agriculture, and agro-forestry. Inclusive and participatory resource governance is important for balancing their livelihood needs with conservation.

Bockstael is particularly concerned about the participation of people with disabilities, and her project includes a program focused on social inclusion through environmental education and community participation with a group of people with disabilities.


About the Foundation

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. The Foundation’s actions are focused on four major themes that reflect central questions critical to our society: Human Rights and Dignity, Responsible Citizenship, Canada in the World and People and their Natural Environment. By granting doctoral scholarships, awarding fellowships, appointing mentors, and holding public interaction events, the Foundation brings together thinkers and decision-makers from all walks of public life who form a critical, provocative, informed, and engaged network to collaborate on the transformation of great ideas into concrete improvements for Canada and the world. In 2002, with the unanimous support of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation, which also receives donations from the private sector. Learn more at

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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