The Ulukhaktok Community Corporation (UCC) in partnership with Dr. Tristan Pearce has been awarded funding from Health Canada for research on adaptation to the health effects of climate change. The ‘Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land’ project seeks to identify and describe the role and importance of Inuit traditional knowledge in adaptation to the health effects of climate change and opportunities to facilitate knowledge transmission among generations. Specifically, the project brings together young Inuit with experienced hunters and sewers to hone their knowledge and skills for traveling on the sea ice and hunting seals in the winter, how to prepare seal skins for sewing, and how to sew traditional seal skin items. The community aims to revive participation in winter seal hunting and traditional sewing skills, and in doing so enhance food security and health during a period of rapid societal and climatic change.
Indigenous Land Management in Urban and Peri-Urban Landscapes
Funders:USC Fellowship Grant, Vice Chancellor's Honours Scholarship and HDR Output Grant
Partners: Kerry Jones, Sean Fleischfresser and Genevieve Jones (Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation)
Project Lead:Rachele Wilson (Honours Candidate)
Researchers:Dr Tristan Pearce
Location:Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
This research examined the roles, challenges and opportunities for Indigenous land management in urban and peri-urban landscapes through a case study of Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation (BBCAC) on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. The study is distinct in that it documents the work of Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi) Traditional Owners, Australian South Sea Islanders, and historically-connected Aboriginal people in a setting that is peri-urban and urban in location and land use, and where native title has yet to be determined. This is in contrast to previous ILM research in Australia that tends to focus on rural or remote locations with large natural areas and protected lands. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, participant observation (e.g. during monitoring activities) and analysis of secondary sources (e.g. organisational documents) between 2014 and 2015. The data shows that Indigenous land managers in urban and peri-urban landscapes work in a variety of roles, particularly when partnering with other land user groups to manage complex environmental issues. Significant challenges to their work include the effects of urban development and population growth/change, poor cross-cultural engagement with decision-makers, a growing gap for work opportunities between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous organisations, and barriers to appropriate, long-term funding and resources. There are several opportunities to overcome these challenges through existing programs such as the Indigenous Ranger Program, decolonised decision-making tools (i.e. “boundary objects”) and sustainable enterprises that draw on public, private, and customary economies (e.g. eco-cultural tourism). The research highlights the need for bottom-up, Indigenous-driven approaches to ILM on the Sunshine Coast to address land management issues in a way that delivers socio-economic and cultural co-benefits to local Aboriginal peoples.
Researchers:Dr. Tristan Pearce (Advisor), Tracey Kanayok (Research Assistant); Jennifer Dickson (educator and researcher)
Location:Ulukhaktok, NWT, Canada
The research examined perceptions of learning success among Inuit and southern educators in a case study of Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and pile sorts with southern educators (n= 7), Inuit educators (n=3), Inuit community members (n=8) and Inuit students (grades 9-12) (n= 19) at Helen Kalvak Elihakvik (school) in Ulukhaktok. The data shows that southern educators perceive learning success differently than Inuit. Southern educators perceived learning success as individual means of accomplishment, their responses included examples such as learning literacy skills, working towards a personal objective or building a career. Inuit on the other hand perceived learning success as collective, or contributing to the common good (e.g. family and/or community). Inuit for example, considered success to be a tilguyuk meaning a great person, helping the community prosper, hunting and trapping, and encouraging others to pursue happiness. The research confirms discrepancies between southern educators’ and Inuit traditional perceptions of learning success. The data suggests that current methods for evaluating Inuit student success, individual standardized testing, are in conflict with Inuit perceptions of learning success.
TUMIVUT: In the Tracks of Our Ancestors
Project Leads:Dr. Tristan Pearce, Ulukhaktok Community Corporation (UCC)
Local Coordinators:Palvik Kagyut and Victoria Akhiatak (project coordinators); Donna Akhiatak (sewing); Jasmine Klengenberg (oral history); Emily Kudlak (language)
Location:Ulukhaktok, NWT, Canada
The TUMIVUT project builds on the NUNAMIN ILLIHAKVIA project and seeks to promote health in a rapidly changing climate through the transfer of Inuit traditional knowledge, skill sets and values (TEK). Objectives are: (i) to support adaptation to climate-related risks that affect travel safety and success by facilitating the transmission of TEK related to traveling during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall), and (ii) to enhance women’s health in a changing climate by facilitating the transmission of TEK for sewing traditional clothing and food preparation.
Is Sustainable Tourism Realistic for Cambodia?
Funder:Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast
Researchers:Dr. Tristan Pearce, Dr. Bill Carter, Vicky O’Rourke
We examine trends and themes related to sustainable tourism in Cambodia over the last twenty years using a systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature. Analysis of 77 documents revealed themes and challenges relating to: (i) an emphasis on nature based tourism (ecotourism); (ii) calls for greater community engagement for sustainable outcomes; (iii) stakeholder perceptions and values as drivers of tourism success; (iv) cultural heritage as a key tourism attraction; and (v) foreign investment shaping Cambodia’s tourism future. We found unequal emphasis given to key government policies for tourism development and limited practical guidance on how to realise a vision of sustainable tourism. There is a lack of consideration of how the socio-economic and cultural context affects sustainable tourism. The evidence suggests that sustainable tourism in Cambodia is questionable until fundamental economic, social capacity and policy issues are addressed, along with greater emphasis given to the demand side of the tourism system.
Public awareness and knowledge in sea turtle conservation on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Project Lead:Jenna Brown (BSc. Honours)
Advisor: Dr. Tristan Pearce
Location:Sunshine Coast, Qld. Australia
The research examines what role, if any does public awareness and knowledge play in the valuation and conservation of sea turtles (Superfamily Chelonioidea) on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia? Public awareness, knowledge and valuation of wildlife, especially through eco-tourism and public education campaigns, are recognized as important factors in species conservation. In the case of sea turtle conservation in Queensland (QLD), some beach areas (e.g. Bundaberg) have established eco-tourism programs, which actively promote awareness and knowledge of sea turtle habitat and life cycles. However, in other areas such as the Sunshine Coast, a different approach to sea turtle conservation is taken. Rather than promoting awareness and knowledge of sea turtles, conservation programs operate with limited, if any, engagement with the public beyond conservation volunteers. Our current understanding of the relationships among public awareness, knowledge, and valuation in sea turtle conservation is limited at best. The Sunshine Coast is an ideal case study due to the likelihood of increased human-turtle conflicts as a result of human populations growth, particularly in coastal zones, and the future likelihood of the Sunshine Coast becoming a key nesting ground for turtles (due to changes in climate associated with global climate change).