Women and Youth of Wekweeti Reveal the Impacts of the Diamond Mines in the Tlicho Region
Principal Investigator: Cleveland, Victoria (1)
Licence Number: 14284
Organization: University of Northern British Columbia (student)
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Feb 15, 2008
Project Team: Madeline Judas (Prospective Research Assistant, Resident of Wekweeti), Nora Simpson (Prospective Research Assistant, Resident of Wekweeti), Doris Kotchilea (Prospective Research Assistant, Resident of Wekweeti)

Objective(s): The purpose of this research is to better understand the view of Wekweeti women and youth in how the diamond mines socially, economically and culturally impact their community.

Project Description: The purpose of this research is to better understand the view of Wekweeti women and youth in how the diamond mines socially, economically and culturally impact their community. Other goals of this study are to advance knowledge for other communities considering major economic development projects, to identify the impacts in order to initiate policy changes, and to create public awareness in order to lobby government for increased support.

Six weeks will be spent in the community. The project will include 3 local researcher assistants and anyone else wanting to participate. A Participatory Action approach will be used to work collaboratively with the community. Two methods of collecting data will be used: talking circles will be held weekly with women to collect views on the impacts of the diamond mines, and 8 interested women (18 or older) who have personal experience with the impacts of the diamond mines will be interviewed. Each interview will be audio-taped. Open-ended questions will be used to engage the participants in a flexible manner. Research assistants will explain the purpose of the research, aid in obtaining informed consent, and assist with translation needs.

Presentations describing the purpose of the project and weekly updates will be given. Further educational presentations will be given at the community's request (i.e. family violence, substance abuse, and setting healthy boundaries for youth). Community events are scheduled: children, youth, and elder weekend culture camp, movie nights, community walking program, parent and youth sports events, a community cookout, and hopefully elders will speak about the changes they have seen as a result of mining. A feast and drumdance with handgames will close the project.
Research findings will be returned to Wekweeti. A copy of the thesis will be given to the Aurora Research Institute, and the communities of Behcho'ko and Wekweeti. Findings will be published in newspapers if the community feels it appropriate. The diamond mines and all levels of government will be notified if the findings determine policy changes are needed.
Fieldwork will be conducted from February 29th to December 31, 2008 in and around Wekweeti, NWT.