We are so grateful for our staff and we are going to be featuring their stories more often. Tania Salerno has been a contract regulatory and IBA researcher with us for a while and she was recently promoted to a full-time staff member.

We feel honoured to have Tania as a member of our team and wanted to share her journey to Firelight. Here is her story in her own words:

“For over ten years, I have had the opportunity to work with communities around the world, examining Indigenous rights, food sovereignty, land rights, agro-ecology, and more.
Before coming to Firelight, I completed a PhD at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a lecturer in their anthropology department. During that time, I spent a lot of time in the field, conducting research in communities across Indonesia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, I travelled around the country visiting government offices, exploring oil palm plantations, visiting Indigenous families that have lost their lands to oil palm expansion, and discovering the beauty of some of the last remaining orangutan territories left in Kalimantan. In the Philippines, I explored farming cooperatives around Mindanao, visited large-scale banana plantations around the country, conducted focus groups in jeepneys on route to protests, stayed with Indigenous communities, and more.


I then decided to shift my focus to the Canadian context, bringing me to Firelight. I started working with Firelight as a contractor in 2018, supporting in Impact and Benefit Agreements research and negotiation work. More recently, I moved in to regulatory and environmental assessment research and support work. I now provide support to clients in impact assessment coordination, research, policy analysis and more.

I really appreciate the dedication of Firelight staff to their clients and the excellent work Firelight produces. I am excited to be joining the team full-time and to bring with me an interdisciplinary approach to Indigenous rights, inspired by grassroots movements.”