Confronting risk: A case study of Aboriginal peoples’ participation in environmental governance of uranium mining, Saskatchewan


Author's Abstract, 276:

"While the number of non-regulatory environmental governance arrangements overseeing mining has been growing in Canada, there remains limited research critically examining Aboriginal peoples’ experiences in these emerging institutions. This is especially notable with respect to the sharing of techno-scientific information, often used as a means of enabling Aboriginal peoples’ participation and engendering their trust. A qualitative case study of the Northern Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Committee oversight of uranium mining, this research explores how techno-scientific information in the form of risk assessments was socially constructed and discursively employed by government and industry, and how Aboriginal participants responded. Findings illustrate that risk assessments were presented in ways that rendered development as controllable and inevitable, which facilitated dominant political economic agendas and capitalist practices. Aboriginal participants, however, introduced alternative interpretations of risk and sought to claim spaces within this governance institution through underscoring absent uncertainties, and asserting knowledges of global technological failures and local conditions that contradicted scientific reassurances. Aboriginal participants also highlighted the social injustices of development processes in Saskatchewan’s north, which shaped their interpretations of risk, raising important questions about the value of these alternative governance institutions for Aboriginal peoples and their environments." (276).

Publication Information

Haalboom, Bethany. “Confronting Risk: A Case Study of Aboriginal Peoples’ Participation in Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining, Saskatchewan.” The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe Canadien 58 (3) (2014): 276–90.

Haalboom, Bethany
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