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Canadian Anthropology Meetings (CASCA)

I’ll be attending the Canadian Anthropology Society meetings (CASCA) next week. I am part of a round-table discussion on practicing (applied) anthropology. From the session abstract:

This roundtable is aimed at sparking a dialogue with/between anthropologists who are practising largely outside academia or within academia but within a largely applied context … The roundtable will provide a space for practicing anthropologists to raise issues, share stories, describe our circumstances and otherwise ethnographically engage each other. This engagement will provide reflexive opportunity on this distinctive anthropological practice, its queries, its practitioners, its ethical stance, its position in relation to the production of knowledge and flow of capital, and the power relations that are wrapped up in these efforts.

I’m planning to talk about the creation of a ‘land and resource use management plan’ for parts of northwestern British Columbia targeted for coal and coal-bed methane extraction. My reflections will consider: 1) the disparate interests of developers and First Nations; 2) the varied perspectives that exist in First Nations communities; and, 3) the decisions around what kinds of information First Nations share with developers and governments.

I intend to describe an ‘ah-hah’ moment when, at a meeting of First Nations representatives and developers, an environmental consultant asked the native people why they could not move their hunting camps out of the way of the explorations. It’s a question that I have been considering for some time (and just begun to discuss publicly as this pdf poster shows). I’m trying to write more formally about these issues and I expect the CASCA session will further my progress towards that goal.

I look forward to seeing many of you at CASCA. Our session convenes on Wednesday morning, June 2, at 9am. I’ll also be tweeting (infrequently) with the hashtag #casca and/or #casca2010. I will also try to use #congress2010.

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