IRES Seminar Series
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)
Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall
(Note: Sophia Murphy will not be presenting because she is sick.)
Indigenous Erasure in BC’s Environmental Assessment Process
Due to changes in Canadian case law, there is a growing focus on making space for Indigenous rights and interests in BC’s environmental assessment process. However, despite this increased attention, First Nations are continuing to report that their interests are poorly represented in evaluations of project effects. This disconnect is the focus of my thesis research, and in this talk, I discuss findings from a review of fifteen EA certificate applications approved by the provincial government between 2011 and 2016. I found that evaluations of the extent and significance of potential impacts on Indigenous rights and interests are now central (and required) components of every EA. However, the methods most commonly used to carry out such analyses tend to rely on settler-colonial assumptions about culture and value that often invalidate or obscure issues of critical concern to First Nations. Moreover, this negation is so commonplace that my evaluation revealed a consistent set of precise mechanisms through which project proponents systematically exclude Indigenous interests in such applications. In my research, I refer to these patterns as “strategies of exclusion”, and for the purposes of this presentation, I will identify five of the most common and describe two.
RES MA student
Holly Andrews is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield and Dr. Michael Meitner. At present, her research interests include land use and resource management, issues concerning Indigenous land and governance rights, intersections between cultural and environmental values, and environmental justice. Her thesis work explores the representation of Indigenous interests in environmental assessment processes, and the systematic erasure of such interests in proponent certificate applications specifically.
In addition to pursuing graduate studies, Holly also has four years’ experience as a planning associate at EcoPlan International (EPI), a Vancouver-based consulting firm that specializes in community planning and values-based decision making. Holly’s research is supported by SSHRC, Mitacs, and EPI. She holds a BA in political science, also from the University of British Columbia.
Photo credit: Julian S. Yates