Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 345

345         Arctic Yearbook 2014 to our climate-changed future. Instead, versatile new tools will be needed to address the unexpected, urgent and immediate problems once guarded against through risk assessments and incremental policy course corrections. Yet, like resilience, the idea of adaptation is fraught with the potential for misuse amid the power imbalances of many environmental management contexts. Faced with the need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, Canada’s indigenous communities are experiencing considerable pressure and incentive to reformulate the way they perceive, value and act toward their environment and the resources it contains. Much as they have for the past 200 years, southern society, science and technology are continuing to reshape indigenous epistemologies and self-perceptions as an implicit exercise of colonial conquest (Douglas 2007; Latour 1993). Douglas (2007) has addressed the many forces that have promoted the separation of nature from subsistence-based communities – a process he describes as “enormously beneficial, as it allows modern societies to treat nature as an objective, manipulatible sphere that is separate and distinct from humanity”(215). Latour (1993) has shown how early nineteenth century programs of European scientific inquiry used the ‘rhetoric of inclusion’ to exploit Inuit knowledge and abilities in scientific expeditions and resource exploitation while fundamentally disregarding and marginalizing indigenous interests and concerns. Through the lens of history, these examples provide greater insight into the ongoing concern over the postcolonial inequities of Arctic environmental change. These concerns are commonplace in many resource management debates and can be seen in everything from Haalboom & Natcher’s (2012) unease over the potential consequences of labeling climate-impacted indigenous communities “vulnerable” to calls by Veland et al. (2013) for researchers and policy-makers to do a better job of epistemologically ground-proofing risk assessments. It is within this evolving and polarized worldview that Canada’s coastal communities now contend with the everyday use of their environment’s ocean resources. Agrawal (2006) has discussed how limiting governance tools to the representation of a small set of desirable features within an environment – for example, funding just enough science to estimate the quantity of oil and gas in the ocean seabed – can result in the devaluation of the day-to-day use of resources by local residents in management calculations (61). Agrawal’s work, which focuses on the evolution of forestry practices under a colonial regime, speaks to the social conflicts that emerge from management classification systems developed out of and in support of colonial rule. The Canadian settlement history of indigenous landscapes as well as the current reformulation of natural resource policies to better serve the needs of the current conservative agenda share many characteristics with this colonial narrative – not least, the underlying reality that people’s lives fundamentally depend on the quality of their environment and their ongoing access to and safe use of the renewable resources those environments produce. How then are these fractures in the ideals of integrated ocean management, the move to shrink science and the consolidation of decision-making playing out in regard to the ability of Canadians to safely depend on ocean resources at provincial and local scales? One way to answer this question may be found in Canada’s capacity to address the problem of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The New Insecurities of Canadian Integrated Ocean Management