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Shades of Green: the social nature of Yukon forests Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Asselin, Jodie D
Supervisor and department
Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
Examining committee member and department
Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
Supernant, Kisha (Anthropology)
Palmer, Andie (Anthropology)
Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
Krogman, Naomi (Resource Econ and Environmental Sociology),
Menzies, Charles (Anthropology)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation is an exploration of forests as understood and encountered from numerous perspectives in the Yukon Territory. Dealing primarily with non-indigenous Yukon residents who hunt, trap, work, recreate within, and aim to protect Yukon forests, it addresses the origins and implications of diverse forest perspectives in Canada’s north. This work is based primarily off of anthropological fieldwork that took place in the Yukon Territory in 2009. Methods included archival research, interviews and participant observation. As a means of exploring the origin of forest perspectives, the author focuses on four key areas: Yukon forest history and contemporary forest views that invoke forest history, different experiences and knowledge of forests, the implications of regulation and boundaries on the forest experience, and the role imagination plays in forest perception. Forests were approached as multilocal and multivocal place, working from the assumption that forests were experienced and understood differently by residents. As a result, many contradictions became apparent that forest users were living with. For example Yukon forests are experienced as both pristine wilderness and as places of intensive human use, as places of freedom while also being bound by bureaucracy, and as the focus of competing forms of environmentalism. A number of points arise from the examination of such contradictions including the potential for used spaces to once again be experienced as wild, how simplified self-narratives can mask complex human-environment relations, and how the language surrounding forest use and management is not necessarily based on common understandings of forests experience. Rather than focusing on forests as the background to broader social or economic issues, this work examines the multilocal and multivocal nature of forests as a means to better understanding local views, actions and relationships between forest users.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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