Implementing the Future: Ethnography of a Land Corp

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: social sciences, dene culture, ethnography, youth, land use management, Metis

Principal Investigator: Smart, Miles S. (1)
Licence Number: 15161
Organization: Sociology and Anthropology Department, Concordia University
Licenced Year(s): 2012
Issued: Oct 31, 2012

Objective(s): To examine the Norman Wells Dene and Métis vision regarding research project themes (including but not limited to self-government, development, and land use).

Project Description: To examine the Norman Wells Dene and Métis vision regarding research project themes (including but not limited to self-government, development, and land use).

This research will employ ethnographic methods centered on interviews and to a lesser extent observation. These interviews will be open-ended and not follow a strict set of questions. Rather they would present the research themes and allow the participants to direct the content. The intended participants would be Norman Wells Land Corporation board members and employees as well as any interested community members. The total participants interviewed would likely be less than twenty. Participants would be interviewed for a total of 4-5 hours each over a few sessions. Follow-up interviews may take place after the research period over the phone. If consent is given, the interviews will be recorded on a digital audio device and portions would be transcribed. Notes would also be taken. Pending project approval from the Norman Wells Land Corporation (NWLC), participation consent will be sought on an individual basis. The interviews would likely take place in the NWLC offices.

As part of an effort to create a collaborative research relationship, I have suggested to the Norman Wells Land Corporation Chief Operating Officer to hire one or more local students as research assistants. Pending project approval from the NWLC review board, this possibility will be organized and arranged following NWLC standards and goals as part of their youth initiative program. It is hoped that this research project will enable any chosen student assistants to learn about and become involved with the NWLC and its' many functions. In this way, the project may serve an educational role in engaging community youth with the land corporation.

The final thesis will be made available to the NWLC and any other community members who request it. Additionally, as part of the research/writing process, individual participants will be able to review their interview responses and edit/retract any comments before they are used. In an effort to make this project collaborative, participants will be encouraged to provide input on drafts of the final thesis. If local student research assistants can be used, their involvement may include presenting findings and experiences to other community youth as part of NWLC youth initiatives.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from November 1, 2012 to December 14, 2012.