Valérie Courtois is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning. She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Courtois holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton. She has served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation, and as a consultant in Aboriginal forestry. Courtois has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013. In addition to her work in conservation and planning, Courtois is an avid photographer. She lives in Happy Valley—Goose Bay, Labrador.