Understanding Arctic Communities on the Brink of Self-Governance
Shepard Krech III Lecture
Kirk Dombrowski (CUNY)
Wednesday, February 27
List Arts Center, Room 120, Brown University
64 College Street, Providence
Kirk Dombrowski (Associate Professor of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center and John Jay College CUNY) will discuss the results of research by an anthropology team in the new indigenous autonomous area of Nunatsiavut, located in Labrador, Canada. Roughly the size of Belgium, Nunatsiavut is home to 5 Inuit communities and, most recently, the world's largest nickel mine. The purpose of the research was to document informal networks of exchange, assistance, and social connection/division. While informative on their own, these networks can be analyzed using novel network-analysis techniques. In all, 10 months of fieldwork produced over 830 interviews, and several hundred hours of local people's stories about relocation, Inuit culture, and the transitions that are taking place around them. In this presentation, Dr. Dombrowski will discuss the background of the project, and some of the emerging conclusions about the place of old economic practices in the new economy, informal structures of help that exist side-by-side with formal government programs, and emerging social boundaries that reflect both the history of dislocation in the region, and opportunities lost and found in the new development economy. This research was funded by the Arctic Social Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation. Lecture sponsored by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, ARCUS, and donors to the Shepard Krech III Lecture fund.