Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Susan James

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The closure of the east coast cod fishery in 1992 resulted in the largest industry lay-off in the country, stripping 35,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians of their source of livelihood--l2,000 of whom were women, employed predominately in the processing sector. While the impacts upon Newfoundland women have been the subject of considerable research (e.g., CMHA, 1994), little to no information has been gathered about Labrador women displaced by the closure of fishery. This is a serious gap in the literature--one which the present study attempts to address. The present study examined how senior women fish plant workers in the Labrador Métis community of Black Tickle were impacted by the cod moratorium and the subsequent closure of the local fish plant. Impacts upon the families of these women and the community in general were also investigated. Using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, participants and key stakeholders were involved throughout the research process. Personal, familial and communal impacts were discussed during in-depth qualitative interviews with seven senior women plant workers. Health and community key informants were also interviewed for their expert opinions regarding the health and well-being of these women in general, their families and the community. A key finding was that the plant workers and their families are holding together well and that the women have developed several effective coping strategies which protect their health and well-being. This contrasts with the findings of several Newfoundland studies (e.g., CMHA, 1994; Robinson, 1994). However, the plant workers and key informants identified several negative community impacts, most relating to escalating poverty, which has led to increased drinking. In a focus group meeting with the plant workers, several alternatives for community-based economic development were identified and deserve further study.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season