Community Based Participatory Research as a Long-Term Process: Reflections on Becoming Partners in Understanding Social Dimensions of Mining in the Yukon




Community Based Participatory Research, Yukon, Mining, Labour, Fly in fly out, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun


The Northern Review 47 (2018): 187–207

North American Indigenous communities increasingly demand a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to social and natural sciences research undertaken on their traditional territories. This article outlines key principles of CBPR, reflecting on the “social licence to research” and how research in anthropology and other social sciences has been practised in the past. The article illustrates elements of establishing partnerships, knowledge sharing, knowledge co-production, and data and research-product ownership. It also stresses the need for long-term relationships in a research partnership in order to build trust between the involved parties and to provide meaningful outcomes. It highlights benefits and also the challenges that come along with CBPR practice and argues that time is the essential asset in a successful CBPR project. The article is based on experiences in the research project LACE—Labour Mobility and Community Participation in the Extractive Industries, Yukon—hosted from 2014 to 2018 by the community of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, the “Big River People,” in Mayo, Yukon, Canada.

Author Biographies

Gertrude Saxinger, University of Vienna

Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, and faculty member, Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)

First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun, Yukon

Big River People, Mayo, Yukon






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