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Title: "You never go hungry" : fish pluralities, human-fish relationships, indigenous legal orders and colonialism in Paulatuuq, Canada
Author: Todd, Zoe S. C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 8765
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines human-fish relations as an under-theorised site of colonial engagement in the Inuvialuit hamlet of Paulatuuq, Northwest Territories in arctic Canada. By exploring the various articulations of human-fish relations in the community, I investigate how this particular interface serves as a locus for local expressions of an Indigenous legal order, one that enmeshes humans and fish in relationships that are asserted by Paulatuuqmiut (Paulatuuq people), in dynamic and complex ways, as what I gloss as fish pluralities. I argue that fish are agents who are impacted by, who bear witness and are responsive to, and in some cases, even shape aspects of colonialism in northern Canada. I demonstrate that Paulatuuqmiut employ a legal order that incorporates and acknowledges an understanding of fish as sentient beings, to address everyday challenges brought to them by relationships of colonialism, environmental change (ie: climate change), and resource exploration. Through the notion of fish pluralities, I argue, Paulatuuqmiut express a local legal order, kinship and cosmology, and simultaneously engage with and challenge Western preconceptions about (and preoccupations with) Indigenous knowledge systems as fundamentally incompatible with Western epistemologies and ontologies. Fish pluralities enact instead dynamic in situ local logics that enable people and fish, together, to respond to and shape human-environmental relations as realities embedded in ongoing colonialism in Canada. They do this on their own terms and as necessary. By negotiating 'sameness' and 'difference' within, across and between different ontologies, legal orders, and cosmologies, in the context of colonialism and environmental change, Paulatuuqmiut assert ongoing and reciprocal relations to fish that inform diverse and important aspects of community life, refracting colonial and environmental pressures in order to articulate and enact strategies that best meet the needs of people and fish alike.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fishes ; Paulatuk (Inuit community)