Spatial analysis of community observations of environmental change in North West River, Labrador

Wood, Bryn F. (2018) Spatial analysis of community observations of environmental change in North West River, Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation (SICC) is funded by the Nunatsiavut Government to represent North West River (NWR) residents who are beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. In 2010, they began work on a community driven, participatory research project that was aimed at addressing community concerns regarding the ongoing effects of climate change on local resource use. This resulted in the completion of forty-nine surveys by resident land use experts. These semi-directed surveys were completed in conjunction with a spatial component and were designed to collect traditional ecological knowledge related to the local effects of climate change. This thesis examines this knowledge using grounded theory and spatial analysis to identify and describe thematic patterns. The spatial extent of environmental change is described through the use of kernel density analysis (KDA) maps illustrating concentrations of environmental change. The regions identified denote commonly referenced areas that, in many cases, are highlighted in multiple survey categories. Through this analysis it is clear that local environmental change is influenced by many factors. Climate change is one such factor but other major drivers of environmental change include weather events, harvesting pressure, infrastructure development, accessibility, and habitat quality. In the face of ongoing environmental change, residents of NWR employ a number of adaptation strategies to maintain their strong connection to the land. This thesis examines aspects of these adaptation efforts in light of a number of technological, societal and political factors.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13415
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 160-173).
Keywords: Spatial Analysis, Indigenous Knowledge, North West River, Labrador, Grounded Theory
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Traditional ecological knowledge -- Newfoundland and Labrador -- Northwest River -- Climatic factors

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