Exploring water insecurity situation in Canadian indigenous communities: the efforts of the Flat Bay Indian Band to resolve its water challenges

Omosule, Ayotunde (2017) Exploring water insecurity situation in Canadian indigenous communities: the efforts of the Flat Bay Indian Band to resolve its water challenges. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Despite generating national concern in recent years, the state of water insecurity in Indigenous communities across Canada remains alarming¹. This continuing challenge permeates Indigenous communities across the country and is deep-rooted in the colonial history that has brought about a state of disconnectedness among many Indigenous people, their water and its governance. In recognition that little is known about how some Indigenous communities are resolving their water challenges and to address this existing scholarship deficit, this research sought to understand the efforts of one of such community, a Mi’kmaw community, the Flat Bay Indian Band, Newfoundland. This study employed an environmental justice theoretical framework and critical, interpretivist paradigm to explore the historical narratives, culture and actions of the residents of Flat Bay with respect to their water situation. In examining the water security challenges in Flat Bay, this study drew on a qualitative single case study approach and ethnographic research methods, including document review, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. This study had three main objectives which were: (1) to understand the nature of the water challenges Flat Bay has experienced and the factors that have contributed to these challenges; (2) to understand how Flat Bay has responded to and/or resolved the water challenge(s) it has faced; and (3) to investigate the application of the concept of environmental justice to the Flat Bay water situation. The data from the study were analyzed via content analysis, developing themes and codes. The developed themes were discussed in relation to the three interrelated elements of environmental justice and each of the research questions. For the challenges to water security in Flat Bay to be fully addressed, this study emphasizes the need for local capacity to be enhanced, recognition of the Indigenous status of the community under the Indian Act and the boosting of the limited participation by Flat Bay in decision making processes relating to water. The potential limitations of the study including the difficulty of generalization were also identified. ¹ Indigenous is the terminology that includes First Nations, Inuit, and Metis in Canada. Globally, it is used to identify those who are Indigenous to their homelands, and not settlers

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13089
Item ID: 13089
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-97).
Keywords: Water Insecurity, Indigenous communities, Flat Bay Indian Band
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: December 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Water security--Newfoundland and Labrador; Indigenous peoples--Newfoundland and Labrador; Environmental justice--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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