Indigenous Knowledge

Metrics that Matter: Award Winning Poster by Alexandra Sawatzky

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In our series on award winning posters, we are pleased to share another poster created and presented by the talented Dr. Alex Sawatzky. In this poster, Alex presents research that she conducted in collaboration with Rigolet Inuit to examine Inuit-identified metrics for monitoring and responding to climate change in the Circumpolar North.

Alex presented this poster at the 2018 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, and won the poster prize - for the third year in a row!

Congratulations Alex!

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Award Winning Poster

2018 ArcticNet ASM

Award Winning Poster: David Borish

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This summer, we are profiling award winning posters presented at research conferences. At the 2016 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, David Borish won the poster presentation competition, for his work on using participatory film to examine the relationships between caribou and Inuit in Labrador.

Award Winning Poster

2016 ArcticNet ASM

New Publication! Using Whiteboard Videos for Health Promotion

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Citation

Saini, M., Roche, S., Papadopoulos, A., Markwick, N., Shiwak, I., Flowers, C., Wood, M., Edge, V., Ford, J., Rigolet Inuit Community Government, Nunatsiavut Government, IHACC Research Team, Wright, C., Harper, S. (2019). Promoting Inuit health through a participatory whiteboard video. Can J Public Health. doi: 10.17269/s41997-019-00189-1

Abstract

Setting: The Inuit community of Rigolet experiences greater rates of self-reported acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) compared to southern Canada.

Intervention: A whiteboard video tool was collaboratively developed by Rigolet youth, community members, the research team and key regional stakeholders to share public health recommendations for reducing the risk of AGI. The video debuted in Rigolet at a community event in August 2016 and was later provided online for community members and local and regional health departments. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to evaluate the ability of the video to communicate public health information to community members in Rigolet.

Outcomes: Community and government viewers reported that the whiteboard video was novel and engaging. Evaluation participants believed the video was suitable for promoting Inuit health because of the use of locally relevant visuals and narrative, which reflect Inuit art and storytelling traditions. Furthermore, participants indicated that the video co-development process was critical to ensuring community relevance of the video. Short-term outcome results suggest the video can reinforce health knowledge and potentially encourage behavioural change.

Implications: The results suggest this whiteboard video was an effective tool to share information and could increase intention to change behaviours to reduce the risk of AGI in Rigolet. While tools like the whiteboard video are gaining popularity, the participatory approach was used to develop the video, and its use in an Inuit context illustrates its innovation and novelty. This tool may be a useful health promotion tool among Indigenous communities in Canada.

Award Winning Poster: Manpreet Saini

As a part of our “Award Winning Poster” series, this post celebrates Manpreet's presentation success at the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting in 2015. At this meeting, Manpreet won one of the poster prizes for her work in collaboration with the Rigolet Inuit Community Government and the Nunatsiavut Government that evaluated the collaborative development of a whiteboard video for health promotion.

Congratulations Manpreet!

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Award Winning Poster

ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting 2015

Award Winning Poster: Jacqueline Middleton

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Congratulations to Jacqueline Middleton for winning the poster prize at the Labrador Research Forum in Happy Valley - Goose Bay in May 2019!

In Jacquie’s poster, she explores the role of community-identified metrics and modifiers that matter in a changing climate.

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Award Winning Poster

Labrador Research Forum 2019

How do non-climatic factors reinforce maladaptation trajectories? Check out this new publication to find out.

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Congratulations to Dr. Carol Zaveleta for her recent publication in PLoS One.  Her participatory, community-based study was conducted in collaboration with Shawi communities. Together, they worked to characterize the food system of the Shawi in the Peruvian Amazon, climatic and non-climatic drivers of their food security vulnerability to climate change, and identify potential maladaptation trajectories. They found that transformational food security adaptation should include consideration of Indigenous perceptions and priorities, and should be part of Peruvian food and socioeconomic development policies.  Click here for free article (open access).

Citation:

Zavaleta, C., Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A., Carcamo, C., Ross, N., Lancha, G., Sherman, M., Harper, S.L., IHACC Research Team. (2018) Multiple non-climatic drivers of food insecurity reinforce climate change maladaptation trajectories among Peruvian Indigenous Shawi in the Amazon. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205714. Click here for free article (open access).

Abstract:

Background: Climate change is affecting food systems globally, with implications for food security, nutrition, and the health of human populations. There are limited data characterizing the current and future consequences of climate change on local food security for populations already experiencing poor nutritional indicators. Indigenous Amazonian populations have a high reported prevalence of nutritional deficiencies. This paper characterizes the food system of the Shawi of the Peruvian Amazon, climatic and non-climatic drivers of their food security vulnerability to climate change, and identifies potential maladaptation trajectories.

Methods and findings: Semi-structured interviews with key informants (n = 24), three photovoice workshops (n = 17 individuals), transect walks (n = 2), a food calendar exercise, and two community dissemination meetings (n = 30 individuals), were conducted within two Shawi communities in Balsapuerto District in the Peruvian Loreto region between June and September of 2014. The Shawi food system was based on three main food sub-systems (forest, farming and externally-sourced). Shawi reported collective, gendered, and emotional notions related to their food system activities. Climatic and non-climatic drivers of food security vulnerability among Shawi participants acted at proximal and distal levels, and mutually reinforced key maladaptation trajectories, including: 1) a growing population and natural resource degradation coupled with limited opportunities to increase incomes, and 2) a desire for education and deforestation reinforced by governmental social and food interventions.

Conclusion: A series of maladaptive trajectories have the potential to increase social and nutritional inequities for the Shawi. Transformational food security adaptation should include consideration of Indigenous perceptions and priorities, and should be part of Peruvian food and socioeconomic development policies.

David leads a National Geographic Student Expedition in Alaska

Written by David Borish, PhD Student Over the past two weeks I was incredibly fortunate to co-lead a National Geographic Student Expeditions (NGSE) trip in Alaska. NGSE offers photo and video-oriented programs for High School and Middle School students worldwide. Hired as the video-focused trip leader, my role was to provide guidance and support to six students from various parts of the US and China who were interested in producing some form of video for their final “on assignment” project.

I wore many hats during my time in Alaska. I planned day activities, organized events, facilitated a positive environment for all levels of learning, drove over 1,500kms, cooked, listened when students needed someone to talk to, dealt with both positive and negative group dynamics, and, most importantly, became a friend and mentor to some amazing, smart, and passionate youth.

Simply put, the trip was a blast. We hiked in Denali National Park, went on an Arctic wildlife safari, ice climbed, trekked on the Matanuska Glacier, kayaked in Kachemak Bay, went tide pooling, interacted with a National Geographic wildlife-tracking expert, and visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center, among other things.

Relating to my personal PhD research, I had an opportunity to see and photograph Alaskan caribou in Denali National Park. I also received some insight into the diverse connections between caribou and Alaskan Natives across the state, from Inupiat to Aleut. I hope to learn more about these connections in Alaska as they can inform my research moving forward.

Photo credits: David Borish

Participatory Scenario Planning for Climate Change - New Publication!

Congratulations to Melanie Flynn, for her recent publication in Environmental Science & Policy!  Melanie conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify and evaluate how participatory scenario planning has been used in the Arctic.

Citation:

Flynn, M., Ford, J., Pearce, T., and Harper, S.L. (2018). Participatory scenario planning and climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability research in the Arctic. Environmental Science & Policy. 79:45–53.

Abstract:

Participatory scenario planning (PSP) approaches are increasingly being used in research on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV). We identify and evaluate how PSP has been used in IAV studies in the Arctic, reviewing work published in the peer-reviewed and grey literature (n = 43). Studies utilizing PSP commonly follow the stages recognized as ‘best practice’ in the general literature in scenario planning, engaging with multiple ways of knowing including western science and traditional knowledge, and are employed in a diversity of sectors. Community participation, however, varies between studies, and climate projections are only utilized in just over half of the studies reviewed, raising concern that important future drivers of change are not fully captured. The time required to conduct PSP, involving extensive community engagement, was consistently reported as a challenge, and for application in Indigenous communities requires careful consideration of local culture, values, and belief systems on what it means to prepare for future climate impacts.