The Social Cost of Disaster : Indigenous Systemic Oppression through Emergency Management in Canada

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202007093688
Title: The Social Cost of Disaster : Indigenous Systemic Oppression through Emergency Management in Canada
Author: Liu, Xuefei Christina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202007093688
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/317636
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Globaalin politiikan ja kommunikaation maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication
Magisterprogrammet i global politik och kommunikation
Specialisation: Governance, Organizations and Communication
Governance, Organizations and Communication
Governance, Organizations and Communication
Abstract: There is a saying in the disaster management field that all disasters are inherently local. Regardless of where the support originates or which body governs the emergency management, relief efforts are conducted locally to support communities in the vicinity. It follows that local and indigenous knowledge should be at the core of all disaster relief methods as indigenous people have observed and learned from their lands for thousands of years. They have studied various attributes of their environments and have passed down intimate knowledge of their surroundings. It is curious and even irresponsible therefore, that the international disaster management field largely fails to recognize the benefits of indigenous knowledge. This thesis examines the formation of government and media perception of indigenous emergency management through a post-colonial lens, applying Edward Said’s theory of orientalism. Through a comparative content analysis of legislation from both Canada and New Zealand, government produced documents and news articles, it is evident that existing models of governance and unintentional legislative oppression facilitate the inherent structures that work to marginalize vulnerable communities and keep them vulnerable. These structures are rooted in each country’s colonialist foundation and fail to adequately provide for the countries’ indigenous populations.


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