Name: Agata Durkalec
Research Project: Nunatsiavimmiut Land Use, Knowledge and Connection to Place Study: A Response to the Strange Lake Mineral Exploration and Development Project
Current position: Research Assistant
Academic background: BSc Honours in Biology and Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Toronto); MA in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies (Trent University)
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the researcher:
My research interests centre on Indigenous health-environment relationships, including the various processes and factors that influence them; relationships between Indigenous and Western scientific knowledges; community-based methodologies; and qualitative and mixed methods. My work is motivated by a desire to help strengthening health and wellbeing in Inuit communities and control over health decision-making.
I am currently involved in a study led by the Nunatsiavut Government that is exploring Inuit ecological knowledge, land use, and place connections in relation to land that may be affected by a proposed mining and road development in the region. The study aims to help inform decision making in the region relate to the current proposed development and any future developments. I am pleased to be part of a study team made up of local research and land use experts, and other technical experts from Trent University, with various levels of local involvement and guidance. Prior to this study, I completed my MA in 2013, entitled “Understanding the role of environment for Indigenous health: A case study of sea ice as a place of health and risk in the Inuit community of Nain, Nunatsiavut.” I used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach and mixed methods to explore this topic, motivated by concern in the region about increasing injuries and anxiety related to changing ice conditions and impacts on safe winter travel.
Before entering my M.A. at Trent University, I was involved in research in Inuit contexts in Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut related to environmental policy, community-based monitoring, and environmentally-sound municipal wastewater management. Originally, I hail from Szczeciń, Poland, and have spent most of my life living on Anishinaabeg lands in the cities of Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario.