Trails and tales : the transformative experience of volunteer trail building trips on Meares Island, B.C.
Cook, Kyera Morgan
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SubjectEnvironmental Leadership; Old growth forest; Trail building; Transformative Learning; Tribal Park; Volunteer
This study explored the experience of volunteering on a Wilderness Committee trail building trip in the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park. The research aimed to discover the effect of trail building trips on long-term commitment to environmental social movements, as well as to examine how participants’ perception might have been altered as a result of the trail building trip. This study was informed by phenomenology and employed qualitative in-depth interviews. Data was recorded, transcribed, and analyzed through a phenomenological approach of highlighting significant statements and thematically coding responses in order to create a detailed reflection for five unique themes. The interviews showed that trail building shifted participant perspectives of themselves, their connection to Meares Island, their relationship with First Nations people, their sense of community, and their contribution to the environmental movement. These perspective shifts have contributed to the participants’ commitment to further action supporting protecting of old-growth forests.
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