Bridging the gap : a collaborative inquiry into the experience of cross-cultural environmental initiatives
Williams, Jennifer Marie
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The history of colonial settlement and the resulting inequality between First Nations and Euro-Canadian populations in British Columbia, Canada, has cultivated an “us” and “them” mentality that fosters and perpetuates mistrust, misunderstandings, and deeply rooted stereotypes. However, currently there is a desire and necessity for collaboration between these two populations in environmental initiatives. This is a collaborative study that uses an ethnographic lens and decolonizing methodologies to engage individuals with a First Nations background and those with a Euro-Canadian background as coresearchers and explores their ecological identities and personal experiences working on cross-cultural environmental initiatives in British Columbia. Findings focus on views of the current political systems, and cultural literacy in terms of relationships and respect. Based on the findings, recommendations were co-created in an online forum and offer guidelines for future environmental cross-cultural collaborative processes including both personal and systemic level suggestions.