The Impact of Participation in the Wage Economy on Traditional Harvesting, Dietary Patterns and Social Networks in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: social sciences, traditional food, socio-economics, employment, economy, food sharing

Principal Investigator: Todd, Zoe SC (4)
Licence Number: 14489
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2009 2008
Issued: Mar 16, 2009
Project Team: Dr. Brenda Parlee (Supervisor (Principal Investigator), University of Alberta), Mr. Bill Ruben (Research Assistant, Hamlet of Paulatuk)

Objective(s): The project purpose is to gain a better understanding of how participation in the wage economy impacts the amount, value, and structure of time spent on the land; dietary patterns and the consumption of country foods; and social networks utilized for the sharing and distribution of country foods.

Project Description: The project purpose is to gain a better understanding of how participation in the wage economy impacts the amount, value, and structure of time spent on the land; dietary patterns and the consumption of country foods; and social networks utilized for the sharing and distribution of country foods. The project findings will be utilized by the communities in the development and implementation of community-based projects to address the social impacts of resource development in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

The researchers aim to make both practical and academic contributions by studying:
How do different forms and patterns of employment (e.g. part-time, full-time, seasonal, local/fly-in, rotational, other) influence the amount, value, and structure of time spent on the land; social networks utilized for harvesting, sharing and distributing country foods; and dietary patterns / health?

The work will improve the understanding of the interactions between the northern social economy and the formal (wage) economy in a region facing increasing resource development.

The researcher will conduct a half day workshop with a strategic sample of 8-10 members of the community. The research will be carried out in collaboration with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Hamlet of Paulatuk; as such the project aims to meet guidelines and goals set out by each partner. The half day food security workshop will be conducted in addition to the 22 semi-directed interviews with men and women from the community of Paulatuk that were conducted in April-May 2008. Controls will be employed for education, age, gender, and length of time residing in the community. The workshop will be audio- recorded with a digital recorder.

It is anticipated that the research will provide useful documentation about the effects of resource development that may help the partners in addressing changes in traditional harvesting, promotion of country foods, and regional planning and management initiatives. More specific needs and benefits will accumulate from: (a) day to day knowledge transfer between the researcher and a local researcher / trainee; (b) creation of plain language reports and/or educational materials for the community including local school; (c) creation of policy and planning tools and materials. For example, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has expressed interest in expanding the research to other communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

The research results will be communicated through contact with research partners (IRC, Hamlet of Paulatuk). A poster detailing the work in progress was delivered to the community in July 2008; another poster with research findings will be prepared to share results with community. An oral report will also be prepared to share with the community once results are compiled. A copy of the student research thesis will be given to the community.

In addition, the researchers would aim to complete three deliverables by July 2009: (a) A plain language report for partners; (b) A Technical Report for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation; (c) One academic deliverable in progress (e.g. a peer-reviewed publication).

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 17 to May 31, 2009, in Paulatuk.