ReSDA researchers and partners have been extremely active over the period since the last newsletter. As required by SSHRC, we had to undergo a mid-term review in the fall of 2014 in order to continue to receive funding. The review was a time-consuming task but it did allow us to look back at what we have been doing and see what changes we could make to improve our work. We were extremely pleased that the reviewers gave us top marks for our work so far. What was most interesting from their observations was how the project has benefitted from good working relationships and a high degree of trust among participating individuals and groups.
Their suggestion for a more systematic approach to knowledge dissemination highlights issues raised in our knowledge sharing workshop in Iqaluit in 2013. On one hand, researchers in the north need to bring their findings back to communities so these communities can use these results. Yet what are the best techniques for doing this? How can we adapt our knowledge transfer to the oral traditions so important in northern communities?
On the other hand, knowledge about resource development impacts needs to flow not only from researchers to communities but also from communities to researchers. Knowledge needs to be not only “transferred” or “disseminated” but also shared. How best can communities share their knowledge with researchers so that their priorities and their perspectives are used to influence research directions? This is especially important for ReSDA as determining the best ways to deal with resource development depends largely on the interests of the people living in the north.
We are in the process of finalizing our “Knowledge Sharing Toolbox”, a selection of knowledge sharing techniques extracted from the findings of our workshop in Iqaluit. We hope this will help community organizations ensure that their perspectives are effectively integrated into research and that researchers pass on information.
Elsewhere in this newsletter you can find information on some of the other recent activities of ReSDA including our workshop in Labrador and on-going research. Based on the suggestions coming from our mid-term review we will be actively looking at ways to ensure the continuation of ReSDA research after 2018. Please don’t hesitate to contact either myself or Val if you have any questions about these activities.