Online Event: Growing [with] Muskeg: Oil Sands Reclamation and Healing

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Growing [with] Muskeg: Oil Sands Reclamation and Healing

Public Talk: Anthropology in Our Backyards

Online Event – 26 November 2020 – 1:00pm-2:30pm PST

Dr. Tara Joly

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology, University of Northern British Columbia

Background: Oil sands companies in northern Alberta are required to reclaim land disturbed by their extractive activities. Reclaimed land is meant to resemble a naturally-occurring boreal forest, but reclamation has been criticized for ‘desertifying’ a landscape that, prior to extraction, consisted largely of muskeg (peatlands).

What is the social and cultural context for the creation of these landscapes? Of what value is muskeg, anyways? And, importantly, what does land reclamation mean for Indigenous rights and land use? This talk will consider these questions by examining ways that muskeg and its reclamation appear in Indigenous, government, and scientific discourses.

Poster for Growing [with] Muskeg: Oil Sands Reclamation and Healing

Feature Photo: ‘SquigglyCreek Pond Peace,’ Pat Earley, 2012, Alberta, Flickr Commons.

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Dr. Tara Joly is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Northern British Columbia. She is an environmental anthropologist specializing in applied and community-based research with Indigenous peoples in northern Canada, and, more recently, studying gendered field safety in the social sciences. Prior to joining UNBC, Dr. Joly was a Research Director with Willow Springs Strategic Solutions, Inc., a social science research consulting firm based in Cochrane, Alberta. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan, working with Dr. Clinton Westman. She received her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2017.

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