Agnes Pawlowska-Mainville completed her Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in the Native Studies Department, where she also did her M.A; she earned her B.A. from McGill University. Her decade-long work with the Asatiwisipe Anishinaabeg examined cultural and natural resource stewardship as a form of community self-determination on the First Nation-led UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination called Pimachiowin Aki, "the land that gives life" in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway language). Agnes has been engaged with activism mainly through her work against diverse non-renewable resource development projects in northern Manitoba, in Grassy Narrows and Couchiching in Ontario, as well as in Tulita NWT.
As part of her grassroots work with the Makeso Sakahican Inninuwak (Fox Lake Cree), Agnes helped lead a group of Elders, resource-users and academics to present evidence at the Clean Environment Commission hearings against the Keeyask and Conawapa dams in Manitoba. Her testimony on intangible cultural heritage included a critique of the current Environmental Impacts Assessments and environmental regulatory processes and their dealings with the severity of impacts on the heritage of local harvesters and knowledge-holders. Her publications include a UNESCO case study on the Poplar River Indigenous Community Conserved Area (ICCA), on the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site Nomination and well as numerous articles in the Canadian Dimension Magazine. A non-Aboriginal woman with knowledge of conversational Anishinaabemowin her research interests include issues in [post]colonial and contemporary theory; identity; UNESCO policies and heritage discourse; food sovereignty and sustainable community planning; Indigenous land and resource stewardship practices; acknowledging carriers of traditional knowledge; recognizing cultural landscapes; the inclusion of cultural and natural heritages in environmental assessment processes and; impacts of resource-extraction and co-management projects Aboriginal rights, practices and stewardship systems.