“Framing” Negotiation: the process of agreement making between multinational corporations and Indigenous communities’ in the resource extraction context

Regions: Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, socio-economics, resource extraction

Principal Investigator: Lightfoot, Sheryl (1)
Licence Number: 16057
Organization: The University of British Columbia
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Feb 17, 2017
Project Team: Ms. Stephanie Patricia Smtih (Student Researcher, The Unviersity of Melbourne/The Unviersity of British Columbia), Assoc. Professor Sheryl Lightfoot (Local Supervisor, The University of British Columbia), Assoc. Professor Sarah Maddison (Supervisor (home institution), The Unviersity of Melbourne)

Objective(s): To generate a better understanding of agreement making in the resource extraction context.

Project Description: The main objective of this research is to generate a better understanding of agreement making in the resource extraction context. It will focus on negotiation as a critical component; existing work tends to emphasize agreement outcomes. Arguably the negotiation preceding agreement making requires further analysis. For example, how factors in this process impact upon or shape the agreement created and its subsequent outcomes. The research is particularly interested in how indigenous communities/parties to the agreement perceive and experience this process. The objective is also therefore to explore indigenous perspectives on this phenomenon which has significant impacts on their communities and ways of life. It also aims to investigate commonalities and divergences between these experiences in Canada and Australia.

The methods of this study are participant interviews of between 30-60 minutes in length. These will be semi-structured - meaning there will be a general script of interview themes/questions but these will allow answers in greater detail than simple yes or no. It will also mean the participant can lead the discussion in whatever direction they choose. Interviews will be one-on-one with the Principal Investigator and the student researcher, audio recorded with consent provided either orally or via signed consent form as the participant prefers. Recruitment will focus on those individuals who participated in agreement negotiations in a professional capacity, as representatives of their community. This will make use of contact details on public record, however recruitment is open and any person wishing to contribute to this research will be encouraged. To this end, notifications outlining research objectives, interview themes and researcher contact details will be posted publically.

The recruitment process for interviews is open to encourage individuals to become involved, to voice their opinions and relay their experiences in relation to the research topic which has potentially significant social, cultural and economic effects upon their communities.

Transcripts of individual interviews will be made available to participants for review/redaction as required. Finalized transcripts and the published thesis will also be available to participants if requested. Reports will be submitted to the relevant Indigenous organizations as fieldwork progresses, The Principal Investigator will be available and welcome any feedback during the process of data collection


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 1, 2017 to September 1, 2017.