People, Land, and Pipelines: Perspectives of Resource Decision-Making Processes in the Sahtu Region, Northwest Territories

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, resource development, decision making

Principal Investigator: McLafferty, Carly A (4)
Licence Number: 14250
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Sep 14, 2007

Objective(s): The objective of this research is to examine resource decision-making processes associated with proposals for the Mackenzie Gas Project and resource development in the Sahtu region, and the ways in which people in the Sahtu region are engaged in consultation, regulation, and environmental assessment processes.

Project Description: The objective of this research is to examine resource decision-making processes associated with proposals for the Mackenzie Gas Project. In particular, the researcher would like to explore local experiences of resource development in the Sahtu region, and the ways in which people in the Sahtu region are engaged in consultation, regulation, and environmental assessment processes. It is the investigator’s hope that this research will lead to an improved understanding of the effectiveness of current regulatory, participatory, and resource decision-making processes generally.

A main objective of this study is an exploration of the effectiveness of consultation and environmental assessment processes in addressing the values and needs of Sahtu communities. Thus, this research will focus on local community experiences of oil and gas and other extractive industries, conceptions of environmental impacts, consultation, and environmental assessment, as well as outside influences such as regulatory institutions and practices, and consultation strategies employed by governments and industry. The researcher has been in Deline (2006) and Tulita (2007) as part of the same research project.

The main research methods will include participant observation and interviews with community members. If possible, the researcher would also like to organize focus groups so that people can brainstorm and communicate ideas in a group setting. She would also like to work with a consultant from the community of Colville Lake. In this way, she hopes to be able to co-create the research so that it might be more reflective of community needs and values. In addition, working with a consultant from Colville Lake should assist in knowledge sharing both during and after project completion. Formal interviews and focus groups will be
recorded and transcribed (with participant's consent), and copies of the recordings will be provided to interview and/or focus group participants. Data collected as a result of participant observation activities will be logged in a field journal, and may be photographed on occasion. The research equipment will include a computer, a tape recorder, a field journal, and a camera.

All research participants will have an opportunity to be informed about the objectives and design of the research at the commencement of research activities, and consent for research will be obtained from acknowledged community officials, and community members at that time. The researcher will also obtain consent prior to any formal interview or focus group. Interview and focus group participants will be provided with any recordings collected. Copies of any reports or publications written as a result of this research will be provided to the administrative bodies in the community. She will make every effort to ensure that any report or publication is available to research participants. Results of this research will also be provided to communities for use in any future projects requiring consultation or environmental assessment.

Fieldwork will be conducted from September 20 to December 31, 2007 within the community of Colville Lake.