Mental Health and the Natural Environment
Principal Investigator: Johnston, Jennifer L (1)
Licence Number: 14064
Organization: Student
Licenced Year(s): 2005
Issued: Aug 14, 2006

Project Description: This Master’s level research project aims to explore the relationship between mental wellness and the natural environment. As part of exploring this relationship, the research will delve into the significance of 'going out on the land' for Aboriginal people in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Factors such as the erosion of natural landscapes, species endangerment and the continued disconnection of people from the physical environment will be considered in considering how the natural environment influences mental well-being.

The primary method employed in this research will be a descriptive case study, involving interviews. Various people in the helping profession, hunters, elders, and any other adults who have or do spend substantial time going 'out on the land' will be invited for an interview. It is estimated that fourteen adults (seven men and seven women) as well as one Mental Health and Wellness Worker from each community will be interviewed. Interviews will be tape-recorded and then transcribed.

Interview data will be used for the sole purpose of completing a Master’s thesis; at no time will participants’ names be disclosed. As part of maintaining confidentiality in the research, participants’ names will be coded to a number with the names and their corresponding number stored safely in a locked filing cabinet. After the researcher completes her degree, the interview data will be destroyed.

A summary report discussing the results of the research will be provided to all communities involved in the research. A copy of the resulting Master’s thesis will be provided to the Aurora Research Institute Library and the Inuvik Interagency Committee.
Interviews will be conducted from August 14 to December 31, 2006 within the municipal limits of Inuvik, Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Holman.