Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Vanessa Sloan Morgan interacts with School District 91 students at a recent workshop. Photo submitted

Local youth lead discussions on resource extraction for UNBC researcher

20 students from SD91 travelled to UNBC campus to engage with award-winning researcher

A post-doctoral researcher at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George last week engaged local students from Vanderhoof, Fort St. James and Burns Lake in a workshop on resource extraction, and what it means environmentally, socially and economically.

Dr. Vanessa Sloan Morgan’s project, entitled Inheritors of the Future: Community-Driven Voices of Youth Contemplating Resource Extraction of Indigenous and Northern Geographies in British Columbia, will examine how youth visions can address the long-term and cumulative impacts of resource extraction on rural and northern communities.

Sloan Morgan is the recipient of a 2017-18 Banting Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The award provides $70,000 a year in funding for up to two years of research. Sloan Morgan’s award is one of only 70 Banting Fellowships awarded across Canada. She is the third UNBC postdoctoral researcher to receive one.

Last Friday, 20 Grade 10, 11 and 12 students from School District 91 travelled to the UNBC campus in Prince George to engage in the workshop. Sloan Morgan said the day included a roundtable format with all the students, plus smaller group activities, guest speakers and youth-directed conversations in break-out groups. Sloan Morgan said students were encouraged to choose the topics up for discussion.

“We had everything from keen environmental interests, to people who want to work in resource extraction sector but want to do it in respectful ways, people that want to work in the health sector with communities, people who are keen on First Nations rights and titles… they all come from different backgrounds with different ideas.

“Everyone was linking it back to what they are seeing in their communities not only environmentally, but socially and economically. Youth are connecting it to the broader challenges that are facing the communities,” said Sloan Morgan.

The attendees were approached by School District 91 teachers, she explained, and came from a variety of backgrounds.

“The teachers are the ones that really know the students and are the ones doing the shoulder tapping, asking if people would like to take part, and also selecting students who may not usually self select for an extra-curricular project. These students might be interested in these topics, or want to learn outside of the classroom and in a university setting.”

Sloan Morgan said she also presented to SD91’s First Nations Education Council in order to engage Indigenous youth.

She said one of the goals of the project is to support youth in having their perspectives heard.

“I think that creating spaces for youth to be heard is really important. Looking at youth perspectives is really valid and important and rich and inspirational. Youth notice everything that is going on in their communities, and often those perspectives aren’t valued, because of maybe their age or they are too shy to speak in public. I enjoy bringing that out and helping youth to share their voices.”

Sloan Morgan will be compiling a report from what the students came up with during the workshop, and the students have directed her in who they would like to receive the report.

“I want to highlight how amazing the youth were and the perspectives that were shared, and how supportive UNBC and SD91 have been in ensuring we can have these workshops,” said Sloan Morgan.

The researcher said she has plans to conduct another workshop in the winter, and collected surveys from the students on what resource extraction topics they’d like covered in the future, and what format they prefer.

“The work that Dr. Sloan Morgan is pursuing with Northern youth from Indigenous and rural areas will not only have an impact on communities in our region but also across the country and around the world,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks in a press release.

READ MORE: Kids talk social media, the web and slang words



newsroom@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Vanderhoof eligible for up to $6M in provincial infrastructure funding

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Over 2,000 people used the pool in the first 2-weeks

Lifeguard training course needs a minimum of six people to register before Feb. 21

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read