If only they had accessed the data: Governmental failure to monitor pulp mill impacts on human health in Pictou Landing First Nation.

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From: Social Science & Medicine(Vol. 288)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 442 words

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Keywords Canada; Indigenous; First Nation; Environment; Health; Pulp mill; Impacts Highlights * Indicators of Indigenous epistemology and ontology overlooked in research. * Etuaptmumk guides the inclusion of appropriate environment health indicators. * Environmental regulatory bodies continue to put Indigenous peoples in harm's way. * Indigenous-developed frameworks can assess health impacts more appropriately. Abstract For over fifty years, Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN), a small Mi'kmaw community on the northern shore of mainland Nova Scotia, Canada, has been told by a Joint Environmental Health Monitoring Committee (JEHMC) mandated to oversee the health of the community that their health has not been impacted by exposure to 85 million litres of pulp mill effluent dumped every day into what was once a culturally significant body of water bordering their community. Yet, based on lived experience, the community knows otherwise, and despite countless dollars spent on government and industry-sponsored research, their concerns have not gone away. Using biopolitical theory, we explore why JEHMC never fully implemented its mandate. We will use a Mi'kmaw environmental 'theoretical' framework to demonstrate that indicators of a relational epistemology and ontology that have been consistently and persistently overlooked in Indigenous environmental health research demands that Indigenous connections to the air, land and water must be taken into consideration to get a full understanding of environmental health impacts. Guided by the principle of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing), which brings together the strengths of both western and Indigenous knowledge, and employing a community-based participatory research approach, we use data that could have been accessed by the JEHMC that might have signaled that human health studies were warranted. Further, we developed an environmental health survey that more appropriately assesses the impacts on the community. Finally, we will discuss how an Indigenous-developed framework can adequately assess the impacts of land displacement and environmental dispossession on the health of Indigenous communities and illustrate how our framework can serve as a guide to others when exploring Indigenous environmental health more broadly. Author Affiliation: (a) Western University, 1151 Richmond Street, Room 3213, Social Science Centre, London, ON, N6A 5C2, Canada (b) Pictou Landing Native Women's Group, Pictou Landing First Nation, 6533 Pictou Landing Rd #6, Trenton, NS B0K 1X0, Canada (c) Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities, Queen's University, Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room E330, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada (d) Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Room 1128, Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada * Corresponding author. Article History: Revised 9 June 2020; Accepted 30 June 2020 Byline: Diana Lewis [diana.lewis@uwo.ca] (a,*), Sheila Francis [sheilaf@pictoulandingschool.ca] (b), Kim Francis-Strickland [chrislexalex@hotmail.com] (b), Heather Castleden [heather.castleden@queensu.ca] (c), Richard Apostle [richard.apostle@dal.ca] (d)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679455821