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Shades of Green: the social nature of Yukon forests

  • Author / Creator
    Asselin, Jodie D
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3D41B
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Palmer, Andie (Anthropology)
    • Menzies, Charles (Anthropology)
    • Supernant, Kisha (Anthropology)
    • Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
    • Krogman, Naomi (Resource Econ and Environmental Sociology),