Marena Brinkhurst

I am a community planner and researcher focused on empowering community land protection and management. My work uses participatory land-use planning, community land registration, reform of land policies and laws, and review of land tenure systems to reduce conflicts over land and support sustainable and equitable use of land and resources, especially for Indigenous and marginalized peoples.

Studying land rights and land management abroad and with First Nations communities in Canada sparked my interests in land tenure and management systems. I am committed to applying my research and work to assist communities to document, protect, design, and implement their land and resource rights and management systems.

I am currently the Program Associate for the Community Land Protection Program at Namati, a non-profit organization dedicated to global legal empowerment ( I have a Masters of Resource Management (Planning) from the School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University and a B.Sc (Environment) in Environmental Economics and Policy, with a focus on land resources, from the University of Guelph.

My masters research, in partnership with the Penticton Indian Band in Canada, investigated the history, institutions, and land management impacts of the on-reserve land tenure system created by the federal Indian Act, particularly individual land-holdings on reserves. My research report is available at:

I am interested in connecting with others in fields of land policy, land reform, land rights, land tenure and management systems, Indigenous lands, sustainable community development, and community capacity building.

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
– Goethe