“The Disease that Knowledge Must Cure”? Sites of Uncertainty and Imagined Futures of Baker Lake, Nunavut
MetadataShow full item record
After nearly eight years of formal environmental review, in July 2016, the Canadian federal government rejected the French multinational AREVA’s proposal to construct a uranium mine 80 kilometers west of Qamani’tuaq/Baker Lake, a small inland and mainly Inuit hamlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The decision not to grant a license for resource development was based on a technical uncertainty, that is, AREVA was not able to provide a start-date for the mining project due to the depressed uranium market. Yet, as this thesis will demonstrate, this controversy underlies a far more complex and ongoing negotiation with uncertainty. In order to explore diverging engagements with uncertainty, this thesis develops the concept of sites of uncertainty, which are spaces —physical, temporal, emotional, material, discursive and so on—that are occupied by a “state of not knowing” (Cameron, 2015: 34). Drawing on qualitative fieldwork conducted in Baker Lake in November and December of 2016, this thesis will identify key sites of uncertainty where AREVA, government officials, Inuit organizations, and community residents constructed, negotiated, expressed, transformed, experienced, and responded to uncertainty. The analysis of these sites reveals diverse, dynamic, and conflicting conceptualizations of self-sufficiency, well-being, and ultimately identity, which, this thesis argues, led to muddy responses to AREVA’s proposal as well as imagined futures of Baker Lake. Moreover, this thesis explains how local residents’ calls for improvements in education are reflective of an intermeshing of Inuit and western epistemologies. While Inuit ways of knowing and being have persisted, flourished, and creatively adapted to contemporary resource development controversies, they do so largely by conforming to western norms and knowledge systems.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/25449
Request an alternative formatIf you require this document in an alternate, accessible format, please contact the Queen's Adaptive Technology Centre
The following license files are associated with this item: