Public Discourse on Industrial Development in the Canadian North during Environmental Impact Assessment Processes
Principal Investigator: Mueller, Thea (1)
Licence Number: 14021
Organization: Freie Universitaet Berlin
Licenced Year(s): 2006
Issued: Jul 08, 2006

Project Description: The research aims to understand First Nations’ perspectives of large-scale industrial projects, such as the Mackenzie Gas Project. The three objectives of the research project centre on discovering: how people talk about development projects in the public and private spheres; if and how thinking about industrialization in the North varies between different social groups (e.g., by age, employment status, etc.); and how First Nations’ participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment process has affected decision-making at the project management level.

Participant observation will form the main method of gathering information. The researcher will attend the public hearings concerning the Mackenzie Gas Project, scheduled in July and August, in Yellowknife, and will take notes and audio record public statements made at the hearing. In addition, the researcher will attempt to arrange informal meetings with members of the public to gain insight into individual feelings about large-scale industrial development, particularly in terms of the hopes and fears experienced with regards to industrial development and community well-being. The researcher will tape-record and take notes during these meetings. Consent will be obtained from research participants, and all responses will be kept confidential and anonymous.

The results of the study will be publicly available through the project website, “Aboriginal Voice in Environmental Impact Assessment”, maintained by Dr. Christopher Fletcher, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta. A preliminary report will also be available to interested parties at the end of 2006.
The study will be conducted from August 14 to September 15, 2006 within the municipal bounds of Yellowknife.