Building adaptive capacity in an Inuvialuit community: learning to deal with environmental change

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, traditional knowledge, adaptation planning, environmental change

Principal Investigator: Andrachuk, Mark (1)
Licence Number: 14173
Organization: University of Guelph, Department of Geography
Licensed Year(s): 2007
Issued: Jun 12, 2007
Project Team: Tristan Pearce (research associate, University of Guelph, Department of Geography), Derek Armitage (research advisor, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Geograph)

Objective(s): To document strategies that have been successful among the residents of Tuktoyaktuk in dealing with environmental changes, and to identify the ways that the residents have made use of traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge when adapting to environmental changes.

Project Description: The aims of this research project are to document strategies that have been successful among the residents of Tuktoyaktuk in dealing with environmental changes, and to identify the ways that the residents have made use of traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge when adapting to environmental changes.

Upon arrival in Tuktoyaktuk, the research team will discuss the research and identify research assistant candidates with representatives from various community organizations in Tuktoyaktuk. Then, data collection will commence with interviews with individuals. Some interviews may take place in groups of two to five individuals. Research assistants will help with arranging and conducting the interviews. Topics to be covered in the interviews will include:
1)ways that people have been affected by environmental changes; 2) ways that social and economic changes have affected people’s ability to deal with environmental changes; 3) types of information and knowledge that people have used when adapting to environmental changes; and 4) environmental and social changes that people expect to face in the future

It is expected that between 20 and 30 interviews will be conducted. The research team will strive to interview a variety of residents who represent different interests and backgrounds. Interviews will be recorded using voice recorders (if permission is granted). If community participants express interest, there will be an opportunity to use video equipment to record the interviews or document people’s experiences with environmental changes.
The results of this study will be verified with community research partners prior to dissemination in order to confirm proper interpretation of information provided during interviews and to ensure that community members are properly represented. Communication of research results to the community will involve presentations, household visits and written reports to be left in the community in all local dialects (opportunities for research assistants to participate in this process will be provided and will contribute to skills development). A follow-up visit to Tuktoyaktuk in the spring of 2008 will allow the Principal Investigator to communicate results to individuals and community organizations. Research results will be communicated via presentations to organizations, household visits and written reports to be left in the community in all local dialects (in plain language). Research assistants will have the opportunity to participate in this process. Further opportunities to present research results to other Inuvialuit organizations and NWT residents will be identified as research progresses and contacts are established.

Research activities will take place from June 12 to September 1, 2007 within the municipal limits of Tuktoyaktuk.