Thompson Rivers University

TRU researcher receives national recognition, funding extension

June 15, 2021

KAMLOOPS – A Thompson Rivers University (TRU) faculty member has been renewed as a Canada Research Chair (CRC) for another five years to study rural and Indigenous land use.

Dr. Courtney Mason’s Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities centres on tourism, food security, protected areas and conservation. His renowned research program aims to assess the benefits and viabilities of tourism and park development in rural and Indigenous communities. The research focuses on minimalizing risks to local ecosystems, increasing economic opportunities, and supporting cultural continuities.

Dr. Courtney Mason

According to the Government of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs Program invests up to $295 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.

“TRU and the CRC program have offered me a wonderful opportunity to expand my research at local, regional, and international levels. The program has invested in a student-centred, inclusive, and participatory approach that I highly value,” said Mason.

“I am greatly indebted to the colleagues and community members who have supported my work and share my vision for community-based research that enhances understandings of sustainability challenges and potential solutions.”

His research findings will make invaluable scholarly contributions and help inform policy decisions related to rural and Indigenous land use management and governance. These decisions have national and global relevance as well as significance at grassroots community levels as they shape the livelihoods of rural and Indigenous communities.

“TRU was pleased to nominate Dr. Mason for a second five-year term as Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihood and Sustainable Communities. Confirmation of his renewal attests to his status as an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of tourism, food security and Indigenous studies,” said TRU Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies Will Garrett-Petts.

“His community-based work with Indigenous peoples informs public policy, promotes social and cultural sustainability, and supports capacity building in rural and remote communities,” said Garrett-Petts.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Courtney Mason on the renewal of his role as a Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities from TRU. His program develops, attracts and retains top talent researchers in Canada. I am pleased to see the continuation of the great work that Dr. Mason does for the benefit of our incredibly important rural communities,” said Cathy McLeod, member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

Douglas Booth, Dean of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism, shared in the excitement of Mason’s renewal.

“Dr. Mason is highly regarded by his scholar peers, colleagues and students for his work with Indigenous communities in Canada and abroad and for his support of community-driven initiatives that enhance local food security and tourism projects. Dr. Mason’s efforts in attracting and developing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows has been outstanding, and his contribution to the indigenization of the curriculum is timely and relevant,” said Booth.


Michele Young,
University Relations, Strategic Communications
250-828-5361 |


Backgrounder for Dr. Courtney Mason

Highlighted achievements during his first five-year term:

1) Supervision: Supervised over 30 undergraduate student projects and 18 masters, doctorate, and postdoctoral theses.

2) Publications: Published a co-edited university press book and over 35 chapters and journal articles; presented findings at 20 national and international conferences, including five keynote addresses.

3) Funding: Accessed grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Networks of Centres of Excellence, Sport Canada, the Canadian Mountain Network and BC Parks.

4) Public Engagement: Mason’s research has been widely disseminated, including interviews with and research referenced in National Geographic, National Audubon Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, The Walrus, Montréal Gazette, National Post, Deutschlandradio, National German Public Radio and the CBC.