Environment, Commerce, and Science in Western Arctic History

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, environmental change, history, resource development

Principal Investigator: Stuhl, Andrew T (3)
Licence Number: 14786
Organization: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2010
Issued: Aug 09, 2010

Objective(s): To reach a greater understanding of the broad patterns of scientific research, natural resource development, and environmental change in the Beaufort-Delta from 1889 until today.

Project Description: The goal of this research is to reach a greater understanding of the broad patterns of scientific research, natural resource development, and environmental change in the Beaufort-Delta from 1889 until today.

The core of this research will be carried out in public governmental and non-governmental archives in Inuvik and Yellowknife, as well as in Winnipeg, Ottawa, and several archives in the United States. These archives contain information of the economic records, personal diaries, legislative actions, scientific publications, and more from the Pacific Steam Whaling Company, the Hudson's Bay Company (and other independent fur trading groups), the Berger Inquiry, and the myriad scientific, commercial, activist, and administrative bodies that formed throughout the history of the Beaufort-Delta.

Interviews will be very important to this research. Participation in interviews will be completely voluntary. Potential interviewees will be identified by beginning with "key informants," members of the current Delta communities who hold leadership positions in natural resource development and scientific research. These informants can be identified through conversations in town or through the publicly available websites of major community and territorial organizations.

There are many possible opportunities for local involvement. The researcher intends to conduct interviews with locals in Inuvik, Aklavik, and Tuktoyaktuk. While the nature of interviews involves locals as interviewees, the researcher also hopes to work with college-age youth (students, 18 years or older, from Samuel Hearne Secondary School, or Aurora College) to help record, transcribe, and analyze interviews. These students would gain valuable experiences in historical research techniques and the technologies used to record, transcribe, and analyze the material. In addition, with permission granted from interviewees--these interviews will be preserved at the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Center.

The researcher is open to community input into research communication. Written publications as a result of this research will be provided to each community for local libraries. The video and audio recordings of Inuvialuit residents may be preserved at Inuvik's Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Center.



The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 8, 2010 to December 31, 2010.