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In the Same Boat? Exploring Treaty Rights, Resource Privatization, Community Resistance,and Mi’kmaq / non-native Solidarity in Bear River First Nation,through Video-based Participatory Research

Title:

In the Same Boat? Exploring Treaty Rights, Resource Privatization, Community Resistance,and Mi’kmaq / non-native Solidarity in Bear River First Nation,through Video-based Participatory Research

Stiegman, Martha (2011) In the Same Boat? Exploring Treaty Rights, Resource Privatization, Community Resistance,and Mi’kmaq / non-native Solidarity in Bear River First Nation,through Video-based Participatory Research. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This research/creation explores alliances between social movements resisting neo-liberal globalization, and Indigenous peoples’ struggles for self-determination. This is done by examining dynamics in and around the Mi’kmaq community of Bear River First Nation (BRFN) through video-based participatory action research. The thesis includes an introduction; three chapters previously published in academic anthologies, two of which were co-written with Sherry Pictou, a community leader in BRFN; and a video documentary on DVD.
This thesis examines BRFN’s position with regards to the recognition and exercise of their treaty right to fish, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s R. v. Marshall (1999). It also details BRFN’s strategy for defending those rights - with a particular emphasis on the conflict resolution and alliance building with neighboring non-Indigenous fishers that has been central to their strategy. These intersections are analyzed in three different contexts: within the movement to build community-based fisheries management as a means of asserting inherent treaty rights and as strategy of resistance against resource privatization and rationalization of the fishing industry; within the knowledge and cultural production integral to BRFN’s strategy of solidarity building, and of asserting the Mi’kmaq concept of Netuklimuk; and within the current process of treaty right implementation that is intensifying colonial and neo-liberal dynamics. The

experiences of BRFN and neighbouring fishers are also presented through the video documentary, In the Same Boat?
Neo-liberal transformations, as they intensify both colonial and capitalist dynamics, have proven an interesting site for alliance building in BRFN’s traditional territory of Kespuwick (Southwest Nova Scotia). Undoubtedly, it is the political ground won by the Mi’kmaq through R. v. Marshall that forced open such a dialogue. Also important are the dynamics of resistance: both groups emphasize local, direct-democratic governance, guided by a critical analysis of neo-liberal globalization and a desire to preserve subsistence livelihoods. While the dynamics of resistance within BRFN and non-native fishers are unique, and the lessons we can draw from this case study are not universally applicable, it has much to teach us about the ways colonial and capitalist dynamics intersect in resource dependent communities in Canada, the challenges facing Indigenous peoples’ self-determination struggles in the context of neo-liberal globalization, the limits of Crown/First Nation negotiations within the current context, and of the need for social movements resisting neo-liberal globalization to learn from and ally themselves with the self-determination struggles of First Nations.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Stiegman, Martha
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Special Individualized Program
Date:11 March 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shragge, Eric and Choudry, Aziz and Miller, Eilzabeth and Salée, Daniel
Keywords:Aboriginal and Treaty Rights; Mi'kmaq; Sustainable Resource Management; Environmental Studies; Decolonizing Research Methods; Participatory Video Documentary; Indigenous/ non-Indigenous Solidarity
ID Code:7401
Deposited By:MARTHA STIEGMAN
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 11:11
Last Modified:13 Jun 2011 11:11
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