From colonialism to climate, indigenous people in the Arctic continue to experience threats to their overall survival and sustainability and must continually innovate and adopt new strategies for social persistence, adaptation and transformation in the face of global change. In order to facilitate the human capacity to navigate through environmental and social catastrophes, it is important to understand and evaluate available socio-cultural resources and frameworks that activate adaptive and resilient responses to a range of critical situations that involve environmental risk and socio-economic disruption. The goal of the project is to elicit indigenous patterns of adaptive and resilient responses to critical situations through an exchange of knowledge between members of two arctic communities in Siberia and Alaska.
The project aims to: 1) develop and implement a fieldwork course and knowledge exchange with indigenous youth, community members and leaders from Siberia and Alaska; 2) conduct two fieldwork exchanges in Siberia and Alaska with indigenous community collaborators; 3) develop a comparative model of social resilience and community sustainability that describes how diverse communities in the Arctic are coping, adapting and transforming as a result of changing social and environmental conditions; and 4) and establish an innovative methodology for engaging arctic indigenous community members in collaborative research. The study will be the first to engage indigenous community members from Siberia and Alaska in a collaborative exchange and discovery process carried out in multiple contexts and as part of a research design utilizing innovative indigenous research methodologies. The study adds a critically new perspective to resilience theory taking into account the transformative capacity of indigenous peoples and communities. The proposed study aims to impact the international indigenous and scientific communities by broadening the inclusion of underrepresented minorities in research, and more effectively engaging indigenous communities and peoples as part of research collaborations.
National Science Foundation, NSF 1424042