Gillian Austin has been the Research Coordinator of the AAEDIRP since 2007. She helped develop this unique research program, working with Atlantic region Aboriginal communities and universities to build it to the stage where nine research projects related to Aboriginal economic development have been completed. Her focus over the years has been working on projects initiated by Aboriginal people working to protect their culture and natural environment. She has 14 years experience as a consultant; providing coordination, research and writing, communication and organizational skills mainly to environmental and Native non-profit organizations. Gillian completed a Master of Environmental Studies at York University in 1996 focusing on Aboriginal and cultural issues. Gillian has traveled and worked in Asia, teaching English as a Second Language in Taiwan and working in with Hmong hilltribe refugees bound for resettlement in the U.S. in the Phanat Nikhom Refugee Camp in Thailand. Gillian’s love of travel also took her to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) where she lived for four years, working with the Haida and with environmental groups to protect forests and wildlife.