The Political Ecology of Sustainable Livelihoods in Kakisa, NWT: Fish Waste Composting for Enhancing Soil Productivity and Waste Management Capacity in Northern Indigenous Communities

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Snider, Erin Alexandra




Climate change and inadequate waste management capacity disproportionately impact northern Indigenous communities, exacerbating existing food insecurity in the Northwest Territories. Climate change simultaneously reduces the accessibility and availability of traditionally harvested or hunted foods and promotes agricultural expansion farther North. In response to these challenges, the Ka'a'gee Tu First Nation (KTFN), Kakisa, NWT, identifies fish waste composting to increase agricultural productivity and waste management capacity. This thesis explores the community-driven fish composting project led by the KTFN, using participatory action research as a guiding methodology. It couples a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) to generate practical recommendations to strengthen community assets, with a political ecology framework to explore underlying meaning and discursive constructions. Results indicate the KTFN perceive various practical benefits for composting fish waste. The KTFN's worldviews and epistemologies articulate the perceived practical benefits through lenses of deeper significance including health, taking care of the land, self-sufficiency, and traditional knowledge.


Economics - Agricultural
Native American Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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