This week, Julie Fortin, PhD Candidate at Université Laval is answering our questions.
Subject of my thesis:
My PhD dissertation focus on the social impacts of mining projects during the exploration phase. I am also interested in the communities’ capacity to voice their concerns and to provide a free, prior and informed consent to mining projects.
My postdoctoral project will focus on the impacts of mining projects on community health and wellbeing. I aim to develop a model in order to improve the consideration of mining projects impacts on the social determinants of health in Nunavik. The model will draw inspiration from Australia, which has a longer experience in mine development, evaluation and impacts mitigation on Aboriginal health and well-being. I will also use the data from the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey - Quanuilirpitaa 2017, which will allow me to base the model on an Inuit perspective of health and well-being.
Why this subject is interesting to me and to the community:
We know from academic literature that mining impacts on indigenous health and wellbeing are seldom considered in impacts assessments processes. However, little is done to improve the situation. In Canada, the adoption of the new federal law on impact assessment in 2019 might be an incentive to better consider those dimensions and to work in collaboration with communities and regional institutions to develop some guidelines for its implementation. I find it very motivating trying to improve consultation processes so they better take into account the communities social and cultural realities and I hope that my project will be a step in this direction.
What the network brought you as a researcher:
The MinErAL network provided me the opportunity to expand my understanding of the relation between mining and indigenous peoples by meeting and exchanging with peoples from indigenous communities, regional organizations and researchers from various disciplinary fields. I also had the chance to participate in fieldworks, seminars and workshops which allowed me to apply theoretical knowledge to practice.