Seminar: Indigenous responses to resource development & property shifts

Deh Cho Dene Elder, Photo: Alan R. Emery

{Photo source}

This seminar will be of interest if you’re researching or are involved with traditional cultures  who are navigating the challenges posed by conventional ‘development’.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities at the University of Essex is organising a seminar on the 30th of April at 4pm. Dr Carol Brown-Leonardi will present on Indigenous Responses To Resource Development And Property Shifts In The Arctic Region

Abstract: The common struggle for many indigenous people world-wide is the recognition of their indigenous rights, economic marginalisation and the political participation and representation for making decisions on their traditional land.  This presentation focuses on the Deh Cho Dene indigenous community in Northern Canada, who are currently negotiating for the control over traditional land and resources with the Canadian government. The presentation is fundamentally concerned with understanding how some underlying political influences and the negotiation for land has transformed the concept of the property for the Deh Cho Dene and what such concept means to the Deh Cho indigenous people.



Some Reflections on the Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Defenders of the Land lead protests to raise awareness of the plight of indigenous people in Canada in 2010. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Tomorrow at the University of Essex, Elizabeth Cassell of the Department of Sociology will deliver a talk hosted by Essex’s Human Rights Centre on the Canadian Land Claims process. The talk will be held from 1-2pm in the Law Department Common Room (Room 5S.6.7 – see here for a guide to room numbering).

Abstract: The Canadian Land Claims process is the product of a series of policies and laws directed at indigenous peoples which both denies them consent over the relinquishing of their lands, and is characterized by a lack of attention to the rights vested in indigenous peoples from colonial precedents. As a result, the contemporary Canadian Land Claims process does not measure up to the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other international human rights protocols. It does not meet even rudimentary standards in regard to providing informed consent, requiring indigenous peoples to extinguish their ownership of their lands, dividing indigenous peoples into configurations that are artificial and diminishing their negotiating power, and creating invidiously asymmetric responsibilities between the state and the indigenous party. This talk in intended to give a feel of what land claims negotiations are like on the ground and to demonstrate that UNDRIP is of the greatest importance to indigenous peoples even in countries who purport to have an exemplary human rights record. It will be useful background to Julian Burger’s session on UNDRIP on Saturday 17th March.

{Photo source here}


Environmental Knowledge in Motion: Ingenuity and Perseverance of Hunters among North Greenland

Dog sleds, North Greenland. Photo: Hayashi Naotaka

Background: This case study examines responses to climate change amongst hunters in Avanersuaq, North Greenland. It highlights how climate change impacts and adaptations interact with social, cultural and economic dimensions. Accordingly, the impact of climate change differs from place to place.  In addition, the perception of climate change varies from the local to the national levels. Just one example of this is that there is a growing expectation that climate change may bring an opportunity to the inhabitants of South Greenland, which makes South Greenland an interesting place to analyze.  This is very different from other places in the Circumpolar North, for example, Nunavut, Canada, where climate change is always thought to bring about a negative impact to the local people.  The study of Greenland always teaches me how the perception of environmental change influences and shapes the future vision of community.

Hayashi Naotaka

About the author: Having earned a B.Agri/Forestry (1995) at the University of Tokyo, Tokyo (ca. 36˚N), Hayashi Naotaka worked for the Government of Hokkaido (ca. 43˚N), the northernmost prefecture in Japan.  As a Forestry and Biological Technologist, he was involved mainly in forest protection, from entomological research to pest control, during 1995-2002.  This professional experience led him to study the social dimension of forest management in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton (ca. 53˚N), Canada.  His MA thesis is about the forest management cooperatively undertaken by a First Nation in northern Alberta (ca. 58˚N), the provincial government, and forest companies.  The study of the Cree people led to a general interest in the Circumpolar North.  Soon after, he moved on to the PhD program and chose to study the communities of North Greenland.