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Neebee Miseew aa Aiispitaskimka chaastchee aa Kiniwaptoomk / Water Ethics: Exploring Cree youth’s relationship with water in Eeyou Istchee


Neebee Miseew aa Aiispitaskimka chaastchee aa Kiniwaptoomk / Water Ethics: Exploring Cree youth’s relationship with water in Eeyou Istchee

Franks, Kristy (2016) Neebee Miseew aa Aiispitaskimka chaastchee aa Kiniwaptoomk / Water Ethics: Exploring Cree youth’s relationship with water in Eeyou Istchee. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This study explores the question ‘What characterizes the relationship that Cree youth in Eeyou Istchee (Eastern James Bay, Northern Quebec) have with water?’ The research process followed an ecosystem approach as well as a case study methodology, and was guided by the principles of Indigenous methodologies. Methods included my participation in Cree youth activities related to water, a canoe expedition, and conducting semi-structured interviews and video elicitation exercises with 17 Cree youth aged 15 to 24 from the community of Wemindji. Five adults working with youth and/or with water in the community were also interviewed. Findings show that the relationship Cree youth have with water is rooted in a complex web of influences coming from a hybrid-narrative of cultural references from both traditional Cree codes and Western institutions, infrastructures and technologies. Notably, the rapid change resulting from colonial history and residential school impacts has influenced the interactions Cree youth have with the natural world, including with water. The findings point to the following seven key dimensions that shape their relationship with water: physical interactions with water; Cree culture; Western-laden institutions; technology and indoor comforts; contemporary youth culture; the pan-Indigenous movement; and perceptions related to Cree youth. The discussion presents the concept of an integrative water ethic, applied to Cree youth. With adequate supports that address challenges of lost stories, splitting and disengagement by nurturing cultural pride and positive self-identity for Cree youth, their integrative water ethics could contribute to the development of a more sustainable mainstream water ethic in Canada.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Franks, Kristy
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:23 June 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Blanchet-Cohen, Natasha and Mulrennan, Monica and Linds, Warren
Keywords:water ethics, Indigenous youth, Crees of Eeyou Istchee / Eastern James Bay Cree
ID Code:981343
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 18:03
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52


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