Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationAberdeen, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10304
Approve DateApril 13, 2022
Project TitleGoyhenex, Laura (Aberdeen, U. of) "Following Dene Ch’anié . Roads for Tthëbátthı́ Dënesųłı̨ne to Inhabit Changing Subarctic Landscapes (NWT and Alberta, Canada)"
This research project seeks to investigate life for inhabitants on Smith’s Landing First Nation territories (Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canada) in collaboration with Tthebatthi Dënésułıné living in Fort Smith (Northwest Territories, Canada). Through the lens of Indigenous concepts and narratives of roads and pathways (such as Dene Ch’anié), this project will examine the contemporary relationships with the environment in times of infrastructures expansions. In this perspective, I will explore roads (paths, trails, highways) as metaphors for Tthebatthi Dënésułıné lives and as indicative of cumulative effects of infrastructures on inhabitants, from the dislocations of internal provincial and territorial boundaries, to the deeply disruptive influence of the Bennett Hydroelectric Dam, to the new struggles and opportunities offered by all-weather roads and power transmission lines. Beyond that I will investigate day-to-day roads and pathways evoked in ritual and everyday life activities (working with furs, provisioning a trap-line). In conducting this study, I will analyse aspects of “indigenous critical infrastructure”, Indigenous concepts for roads and pathways, and contention in the provision of industrial infrastructure while documenting the liberating effects of local initiatives.