Bringing research home: Reclaiming research to tell the story of climate change in the Kluane First Nation Traditional Territory

Bringing research home: Reclaiming research to tell the story of climate change in the Kluane First Nation Traditional Territory

Principal Investigator: Rachael Thom (Kluane First Nation)

Opportunity: This project is centred on the values, knowledge and needs of Kluane First Nation (KFN). We aim to collaboratively study how we can enhance our ability to actively drive and participate in research in our Traditional Territory. There is a strong shared interest in building the capacity to conduct meaningful, collaborative research in our Traditional Territory.

Objectives:
Short-term: (1) To partner with Yukon researchers to develop a mutually beneficial process that will empower us to have greater control over research in our Traditional Territory. (2) To engage our citizens to provide knowledge and guide the expression of our values in a protocol for research in our Traditional Territory.

Long-term: (1) To develop and employ database and mapping tools to facilitate knowledge mobilization of climate change research in the region, with applicability to other contexts. (2) To create opportunities for our citizens to be directly involved in all aspects of current and future research. This includes youth mentorship through employment.

Research Plan: This project emerged from existing relationships between project partners that have developed through collaborative work over the past decade. We are guided by Indigenous methodologies (IM), which foster a research process that is both collaborative in orientation and holds Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing at its core. IM promotes a partnership approach that involves researchers and participants in all aspects of the research process (Kovach 2009; Smith 1999). Partners contribute their expertise and knowledge to address the community-defined issue, which shapes the guiding research questions. In this project, a range of engagement and interview approaches will be combined with the review of historical data. Engagement will allow us to collaboratively collect information and develop and review the research protocol as we progress.

Key Outcomes & Impact: This proposed project will strengthen connections between KFN and multiple Yukon-based research organizations as we work together to develop a KFN-driven research agenda and protocol, it will move the development and usage of tools to understand and share knowledge forward, and it will facilitate knowledge mobilization in a way that empowers KFN to more directly influence and benefit from research and knowledge gathering in our Traditional Territory.

February 2020 Presentation: Bringing Research Home

Other Team Members:
Sonia Wesche (University of Ottawa), Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, Arctic Institute of North America, Carmen Wong (Parks Canada), Brian Horton (Yukon College)