For Profit or Print: Reflecting on How to be a Useful Ethnobiologist

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 10:30
, Janelle - McGill University; Athabasca University

In this paper, I will reflect on my experience as an applied ethnobiologist and as a doctoral researcher in Alberta’s oil sands region. My inspiration for doctoral research was to dedicate the time, resources, and networks available through academia to investigate First Nations perspectives on wild food contamination; a topic being neglected in consultation and applied research. As I complete my PhD, I ask how my skills are best dedicated to meet the needs of the communities who house my work. I compare working on applied research projects that have the potential to support court cases and policy change with academic research and writing. I will examine who ultimately funds applied and academic research and whether any of this work could be valuable or useful to First Nations allies or whether it perpetuate imbalances in well-being and power. I conclude that relations of respect and reciprocity are of upmost importance.