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Geography and Environmental Studies


The integration of local community and Indigenous Knowledge in disaster planning and management has the potential to increase resilience in rural and Aboriginal communities across Ontario. This research incorporates findings from a literature review, and builds on the existing gaps within community-based participatory action research, through a case study of the 2012 Wawa-Michipicoten First Nation flooding event. Ten local citizen community participants from Wawa, Ontario and the Michipicoten First Nations were involved in a photovoice project to visually document their experiences and understandings of the flooding event. This research project seeks to document community perceptions and understandings to the flooding’s impact on critical infrastructure, by integrating their perceptions regarding the disaster response, their capacity to deal with the event and any ongoing problems. Draft themes were modified through researcher facilitation, and analyzed for further findings in order to help enhance overall resilience and reduce vulnerabilities in a disaster situation. Following best practices, feedback will occur after the photovoice project, through a follow-up workshop and photo exhibit.