Spring 2017 Research Update


Things have really been picking up! We have many community and research projects getting started and the Research Committee just approved four more. Here they are.

Mapping Geographically and Spatially Northern Manitoba Hydro-Impacted Indigenous Communities’ Traditional Environmental Knowledge $16,687 

Victoria Grima, Graduate Student with advisor Stef McLachlan

The current understanding of environmental changes caused by hydroelectric development is limited because the scientific world has ignored, not consulted or inadequately incorporated Indigenous Traditional Environmental Knowledge in their research. The aim of this research project is to combine Western technology and knowledge with Traditional Environmental Knowledge to fully comprehend the effects of hydro development on the shorelines and tributaries of the Great River and Nelson River, as well as the direct lifestyle changes of Indigenous communities because of these physical changes.

The proposal lays out four specific objectives: 1) identification and documentation of changes through time of hydro-related environmental impacts; 2) spatial documentation on the effects of hydro developments on indigenous traditional cultural land-use and harvesting practices; 3) research on adaptations of traditional land-use and harvesting practices; and 4) analysis of geographical correlations.

Sagkeeng & Peguis High School Land Based Education $16,361 

Allan Courchene, Educator

Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School and Peguis Central School are joining forces for a week of land-based education at Nutimik Lake in Whiteshell Park Provincial Park in late May 2017. They are bringing together 30 students from each school to teach their youth about the impacts of the seven dams built in their territory along Lake Winnipeg. They will learn about fish ladders and elevators and the impacts of sturgeon spawning areas. They will also participate in learning their cultural heritage and land-based skills such as medicine picking, bannock making, fish filleting, etc… Hikes, swimming, and games are also going to be part of the outdoor adventure.

Sundance and Manitoba Hydro’s (Re)settlement Regime $14,500 

Jonathan Peyton (U of Manitoba) and Matt Dyce (U of Winnipeg)

This is an archival research project that examines the social, economic, and environmental effects of Manitoba Hydro company towns and abandoned landscapes, with an initial focus the abandoned town of Sundance. Sundance was built in the mid-1970s for housing labour and infrastructure of the Limestone Dam. Three objectives of the research are the: 1) development of a historical record of company towns built by Manitoba Hydro; 2) use archival materials to develop further case studies on other abandoned towns; and 3) development of community partnerships. The aim of the project is to show that the management of water in Manitoba has been as much about the management and production of a wet landscape as it has been about the management of people, populations and land.

Archival and Oral History Research Project: Cross Lake, South Indian Lake, Grand Rapids, and Easterville $10,943 

Erin Yaremko, Graduate Student with advisor Jarvis Brownlie

This research project plans to build a collection of oral history, focusing on merging traditional Cree storytelling practices with oral history techniques and technology. The project will work with four communities in Northern Manitoba: Cross Lake (Natimik, Wapak and Saggitawak), South Indian Lake (O-Pipon-Na-Piwin), Grand Rapids (Misipawistik), and Easterville (Chemawawin). The research will explore how life story interviews can be incorporated into community healing processes through the use of a community archive centre. This research will be used as part of a graduate thesis and assisting the four communities in creating or expanding their community archive centres.

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