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Kaitlyn Finner’s Notes from the Field

Category: Rigolet

Photo: Kaitlyn Finner

This week Masters student Kaitlyn Finner and community-based researchers Inez Shiwak and Lisa Palliser-Bennett are meeting with community members in Rigolet, try Nunatsiavut to hear their perspectives on food inventories and photo card interviews that were conducted over the course of a year, from May 2013 to 2014.

The participatory methods were adapted for the Rigolet based project and the research team is working to better understand how the methods can be further adapted for future food related research in Rigolet, and other communities that may be interested.

It’s been a great week so far with lots of interviews and amazing weather, but the real highlight is set to take place this weekend when the 2015 Winter Sports Meet is held at Northern Lights Academy in Rigolet for school teams from along the Northern coast of Labrador!

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Congratulations to Joanna on the completion of the MA thesis

Category: Rigolet

A big congratulations to Joanna Petrasek MacDonald, troche whose MA thesis “From the minds of youth: exploring Inuit youth resilience within a changing climate and applications for climate change adaptation in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada” has been accepted. Joanna would like to thank the community members, academic peers and funding agencies for their collaboration and support that made this thesis possible. Joanna is currently the project coordinator for IK-ADAPT, and you can find her bio here: http://www.jamesford.ca/about#joanna

Abstract: The Canadian North is experiencing rapid social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental change that have direct impacts on the lives of Inuit living in this region, as well as serious implications for the future of the Inuit youth. Essential to facing this challenging context is a resilient youth population with the adaptive capacities and coping skills to respond to multiple stressors and pressures. This thesis considers the question of how to foster youth resilience and support youth protective factors that enhance youth well-being and can help young people deal with change, specifically climate change. To answer this question, a systematic literature review, a community-based, youth-led, cross-cultural participatory video project, and a regional community-based study were undertaken to explore youth-identified protective factors and examine challenges to these factors from youth perspectives and experiences. Specifically, this thesis characterizes the protective factors that influence Circumpolar Indigenous youth mental health resilience to climate change; explores participatory video as a process that can foster protective factors thereby demonstrating potential to be used in adaptation as a way to enhance youth resilience; documents youth-identified protective factors that support mental health and well-being amidst change (i.e. social, cultural, economic, or environmental); and examines how climatic changes and related environmental impacts challenge these factors throughout the region of Nunatsiavut from a youth perspective. The findings from this work highlight the importance of youth voices, perspectives, and involvement within research and practitioner communities, and contributes to the growing body of research on Circumpolar Indigenous youth resilience that can inform climate change adaptation efforts.

Congratulations to Allan Gordon on his MASc.

Category: News Rigolet

Congratulations to Allan Gordon for the completion of his Masters of Applied Science at the University of Guelph! Allan’s work, illness titled “Tools and Strategies to Address Uncertainties and Complexities of Infrastructure Design in Remote Northern Canadian Communities, remedy looked at water infrastructure planning and design processes using an interdisciplinary approach.

Allan completed his MASc. as part of the IK-ADAPT team in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, under the supervision of Dr. Khosrow Farahbakhsh. This research also included the development of a decision-making tool that captures both technical and social information. With this tool, Allan and the rest of the Rigolet team hope to improve community trust and local control over infrastructure planning. Here is the abstract for Allan’s thesis:

“It is becoming increasingly evident that water and wastewater infrastructure in some northern communities is not appropriately designed to suit the local climatic, environmental, financial, or cultural context. This research developed and assessed new tools and strategies to capture the unique complexities of remote northern contexts and help engineers develop more situationally appropriate infrastructure planning and design processes and practices. Water infrastructure planning in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, Canada was used as a case study. Grounded in systems thinking and Post-Normal Science principles, the methods included: identifying and characterizing stocks and flows within the system; conducting document reviews, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, focus groups, and a community questionnaire; and identifying and characterizing constraints and criteria for northern infrastructure development. An infrastructure decision-making tool that captured technical, social and other local information was developed based on consultations with technical experts and community members to increase transparency, community trust and local control.”

Allan’s full thesis is now available online from the University of Guelph.

This research was completed in partnership with The Rigolet Inuit Community Government, The Nunatsiavut Government Department of Lands and Natural Resources, and the IHACC Project. It received additional support from Nunatsiavut’s Government’s SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik (Sustainable Communities) Initiative and The Canadian Water Network.
Congrats Allan!