Blog: Faces of CELA, Maria Lucas

1) What is your role and how long have you been involved with CELA?
I am a student-at-law through the Ryerson Law Practice Program. My role generally involves research and writing on environmental legal and policy questions. I began my role with CELA in January 2021.

2) What inspired you to get involved in environmental law and public policy?
My Indigenous and academic background inspired me to study law because I believe that the law is key to reconciling Indigenous-Crown relations. Environmental law and public policy are key components of this relationship and consequently a key part of reconciliation in Canada.

3) What’s the most rewarding part of working/volunteering with CELA?
The most rewarding part of working with CELA is being part of a movement that is advocating for change to environmental law and policy to ensure the health and well-being particularly of the most vulnerable in our society.

4) What do you think is Canada’s biggest environmental challenge today?
I think Canada’s biggest environmental challenge are the impacts of climate change particularly on Canada’s water resources.

5) How do you think we can best approach this challenge?
I think we can best approach the water crisis in Canada through more effective governance mechanisms that apply both Western science and Indigenous ways of knowing to water management (two-eyed seeing).

6) If you were the Leader of the World, what environmental law or policy would you implement?
I would implement an environmental law or policy that facilitates the sustainable use of water because water is life and should be protected now and into the future.

7) When you’re not working on Great Lakes issues, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working on Great Lakes issues, I like to read, spend time with family and friends and go running!