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Repairing Mining Landscapes and Healing Relationships in Northern Canada

Professor Arn Keeling of Memorial University of Newfoundland
Professor Arn Keeling

Professor Arn Keeling of Memorial University of Newfoundland, will speak about Remediation, Reconciliation and Redress for northern Indigenous communities, as a result of large-scale resource developments on 26 March 2018, 4pm to 5.30pm. Admission FREE, no booking required.

This talk is part of the Energy Seminar Series at the Aberdeen Centre for Energy Law

Abstract

Growing legal, regulatory, and scientific concern with the environmental legacies of past extractive industrial activities seeks to address and mitigate the often long-term consequences of such developments.

Cleaning up and mitigating environmental damage may be seen as positive, yet remediation efforts can be controversial for local communities—especially for those, like Indigenous communities, negatively affected by extractive developments.  

Indigenous law scholar Rebecca Tsosie argues that an ethics of remediation of environmental damage from mineral development must also account for the injustices suffered by Indigenous communities whose lands and bodies were damaged by historic mining. Collaborative community research into the toxic legacies of gold mining at Giant Mine in Yellowknife, NWT, provides similar critical insights into how remediation planning—typically understood as a technical exercise around waste engineering, environmental reclamation, and risk assessment—can incorporate Indigenous community values, knowledge, and experience.

The Giant case also points to the critical importance of both acknowledging and redressing the historical injustices associated with extractive development as a precursor to community healing and reconciliation.

Further Information:

Professor Keeling's research and publications focus on the environmental-historical geography of Western and Northern Canada. In recent years, his research has explored the historical and contemporary encounters of northern Indigenous communities with large-scale resource developments. He was co-investigator on a multi-site, multi-year SSHRC project examining abandoned mines in Northern Canada and leads a new SSHRC project investigating the historical-geography of pollution and contaminants in Northern Canada. He is also interested in historical-geographical approaches to environmental science, political ecology and environmental justice. Previously he has written on topics including domestic and industrial pollution, environmental politics, and the history of the conservation/environmental movement. He also serves as co-editor of the journal, Historical Geography (2015-20).

 

 


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