My latest project examines how small-scale, rural
village-level sustainability both depends on
and at the same time acts against simple household
reproduction.That is, I am interested in how
“making a community” and “making a family”
come to find themselves in opposition, such
that “successful” communities continue to shed
significant numbers of people, even during economically
and politically “good times”. The research
for this project takes place in Labrador,
Canada, in predominantly Inuit coastal villages
and neighboring, not-predominantly-Aboriginal
cities. Since the 1960s, coastal villages have
seen considerable numbers of residents leave.
At the conclusion of the most recent land settlement,
one-third of Labrador’s Inuit population
was living in Goose Bay, site of a large NATO air
base created during World War II, where they
make up more than one-fifth of the total population.
If other nearby cities are included—St.
John’s in Newfoundland, Halifax in Nova Scotia,
or Quebec City and Montreal in Quebec
Province—more than half of the Labrador Inuit
now live somewhere other than the villages with
which they most closely identify.
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