Standing up for sputc: the Nuxalk Sputc Project, eulachon management and well-being

dc.contributor.authorBeveridge, Rachelle
dc.contributor.supervisorPauly, Bernie
dc.contributor.supervisorMurray, Grant D. Social Dimensions of Healthen_US of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe coastal landscape currently known as British Columbia, Canada represents a complex and rapidly evolving site of collaboration, negotiation, and conflict in environmental management, with important implications for Indigenous community well-being. I ground this work in the understanding that settler-colonialism and its remedies, resurgence and self-determination, are the fundamental determinants of Indigenous health and related inequities. Through a case study of eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) in Nuxalk territory, I take interest in systemic mechanisms of dispossession and resurgent practices of (re)connection and knowledge renewal as mediators of the relationship between environmental management and Indigenous health and well-being. This work is based in four years of observation, participation, and leadership in the Nuxalk Sputc (Eulachon) Project, a community-directed process that aimed to document and articulate Nuxalk knowledges about eulachon. Functionally extirpated from the region since 1999, these valued fish provide an example of contested management jurisdiction and resurgent Indigenous environmental practice. As a resurgent research and management process, the Sputc Project re-centered Nuxalk knowledges, voices, priorities, and leadership while advocating Indigenous leadership in environmental management. This case study was conducted within the context of the Sputc Project, aiming to share substantive and methodological learnings gleaned from the project, which served as an ideal focal point for the interrogation of relationships between Indigenous well-being, research methodologies, engagement and representation of Indigenous knowledges, and environmental management. Applying a critical, decolonising, community-engaged approach, this work comprises four papers, each drawing on a particular thread of the knowledge generated through this work. In Paper 1, I seek to establish the connection of eulachon and their management to Nuxalk health and well-being. Detailing three stages of this relationship (abundance, collapse, and renewal), I show how the effects of environmental management, and resulting dispossession or reconnection, are mediated by cultural knowledges, practices, responsibilities, and relationships. Turning to research methodology in Paper 2, I examine how Nuxalk people and knowledges guided the Sputc Project process, interrogating the role of critical, decolonising, and Indigenous theories in the elaboration of Indigenous research methods in environmental management and beyond. In Paper 3, I consider how the Sputc Project respectfully articulated and represented Nuxalk knowledges in order to retain relational accountability and strengthen Nuxalk management authority, while promoting values, practices, and relationships essential to Nuxalk well-being. In Paper 4, I demonstrate how the Sputc Project strengthened Nuxalk management authority from the ground up, detailing the practical management priorities that arose through the project process, including those related to interjurisdictional engagement of Indigenous leadership. I end with a reflection on this work’s implications for decolonising health equity and environmental impact assessment frameworks. Highlighting how Indigenous health and well-being is supported by ancestral knowledges and reconnecting relationships, including those involving people, places, and practices related to environmental management, I emphasize the importance of Indigenous leadership (vs. knowledge integration) in environmental management research and practice. A final section seeks to inform decolonising community-engaged research, sharing limitations and learnings related to appropriate engagement, articulation, and representation of Indigenous knowledges.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectIndigenous healthen_US
dc.subjecthealth determinantsen_US
dc.subjectIndigenous knowledgeen_US
dc.subjectresearch methodologyen_US
dc.subjectIndigenous methodologiesen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental managementen_US
dc.titleStanding up for sputc: the Nuxalk Sputc Project, eulachon management and well-beingen_US


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