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Investigating Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Communities in Hinterland Canada

Research Methodology

In this assignment we need students to undertake an investigation of some communities in “hinterland Canadaâ€Ã‚. Each cluster of communities is drawn from the same region, sometimes very nearby. So they both face similar general issues of remoteness and similar challenges of distance. But one or more communities in the cluster are Indigenous reserve communities or settlements, while others in the cluster have a more mixed population, although they may also have many Indigenous residents. You will probably find though that the Indigenous communities face worse living conditions, and possess infrastructure which is less fit for purpose. The infrastructure they do possess comes through arrangements with the Federal Government, the non-reserve communities come under provincial jurisdiction. The idea is that you would (1) pick a cluster to investigate and (2) research it using any means available to you. CBCA-Complete, which we have mentioned before would be a good starting place. We may post some links to this Moodle site which would also be useful. There will be a large variety of types of information available. You need to look for information which illustrates the differences between Indigenous and non-indigenous experiences in these clusters. What sorts of issues seem to dominate the ways of life in the two sorts of communities. There probably will be a difference in the availability of information. The news sources covering Kenora may never seem to say anything about average housing quality, while the quality of housing may be an ongoing issue in news coverage of nearby Indigenous communities. The census may be more detailed and more accurate for Kenora and much more sketchy in Grassy Narrows. There will be differences in the texture and level of detail available in the information you can research. In some cases, these differences are part of the story. We are interested in what you can find out about living standards and the quality of infrastructure. If the records are silent on some of these points, think about why that might be. As you gather information, you will need to think about how you would make sense of it all, and what sort of analysis you could offer. You might want to play with big bodies of theory, or you might be less ambitious. In any event, your report will need some kind of argument or interpretation or analysis. You should be able to comment on the twin challenges of remoteness and being Indigenous in this cluster. The exercise has been set up so that you should be able to describe and comment on the differences between the lives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in each area. Be aware that the “generalâ€Ã‚ communities in these clusters may be places where there is a sense of racial divide, along Indigenous/non-Indigenous lines. Cluster 1: Lac Seul First Nation/Sioux Lookout ON. Sioux Lookout ON is the community with the ‘general’ population under provincial jurisdiction. Lac Seul FN comprises several villages around the large waterbody of Lac Seul, which was altered by damming in the 1920s. One of the Indigenous communities, Kejik Bay has only just acquired a new water treatment plant to fix long-standing drinking water deficiencies. Cluster 2: Bonaparte First Nation/Cache Creek-Ashcroft BC. These communities are in the BC interior, and all are close to major highways. Bonaparte FN has had long-standing drinking water quality issues. Cache Creek-Ashcroft gets them now and again. Cluster 3: Grassy Narrows First Nation/Kenora ON. Kenora ON functions as a resort community for people from Winnipeg, and for those from the USA. The Safeway supermarket in Kenora has a dock and float plane access. Grassy Narrows, which we have already come across in the course, has had a long-term do-not-consume order on its ‘drinking’ water. Grassy Narrows is a distance out of town, but well within a reasonable drive of Kenora. Two communities, one with a ‘general’ population (and lots of Indigenous residents), and one Indigenous. Cluster 4: Whitedog First Nation/Minaki ON: Minaki is a resort community on the CN rail line, not too far from Kenora ON. Whitedog is an Indigenous community accessible by road, but slightly further inland. The completed project, probably in the form of a report, with subheadings etc., should be something in the range of 8-10 pages. You will need to do research, and must provide a bibliography and citations. You may use any reasonable citation system you wish.

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