Inheritors of the Future: Community-Driven Voices of Youth Contemplating Resource Extraction in Northern British Columbia, Canada

Authors: Vanessa Sloan Morgan*, University of Northern British Columbia
Topics: Environmental Perception
Keywords: youth, resource development, settler colonialism, Canada, British Columbia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Youth engagement in community and service planning and decision-making tends to ignore rural and remote youth perspectives, focusing instead on urban contexts. Large-scale resource extractive industries (e.g., mining, forestry, oil and gas) are fixtures in many rural and remote northern and Indigenous communities in the settler colonial context of Canada however, shaping youths’ perceived options for social and economic ventures when they are looking towards their futures. Working in and with northern and Indigenous communities in British Columbia (BC), the goal of the ‘Inheritors of the Future’ project is to explore how rural and remote northern and Indigenous youth perspectives can be incorporated into community engagement and decision-making to shape more environmentally, economically, and socially desirable futures. In this presentation, I discuss how a youth-led participatory action research methodology will seek to centre youth perspectives in research design and analysis by asking: How can youth visions transform community decision-making to create desired futures? What do these desired futures entail? And how can these desired futures be achieved? The proposed research questions are situated in debates within literature on settler colonialism and critical geographies, both in relation to lived realities and decision-making in settler colonial contexts and amid large-scale resource extraction.

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