How People Live with the Land: Cultural and Environmental Integrity in the Déline Dene Landscape

Our research relationship with the community of D?line began in October 2002 and has developed into a collaborative research program for the recovery and redeployment of Dene land-based knowledge as a ground for self-determination, environmental monitoring and community well-being. A collaborative and multidisciplinary research team is looking at the social, cultural and epistemological aspects of the Dene community?s persisting relationship with the land in the context of industrial development, social and cultural change. The research bridges social and natural sciences through a program that addresses the Dene cultural experience in context of a modern community seeking to re-establish local control and capacity through institutional and educational development.

The research team is presently applying for Community University Research Alliance (CURA) funding to explore the challenges of characterizing and integrating multiple perspectives to inform social and economic processes. The objectives are to contribute to an understanding of environmental change within different knowledge traditions, the various and different values associated with the landscape, and the role of cultural process in shaping those today. The CURA proposal is a part of larger research movement within the community that originated with the D?line Uranium Team in 2001. The D?line research team has developed a monthly newsletter used to communicate research outcomes to the local community as well as to encourage uptake of the model they have developed in other communities who are preparing for research initiatives. The research partners have also participated in a number of national conferences in presenting their research process and vision.

Active since 2002