Prof. Hadley Friedland co-authors article on reclaiming Indigenous economic development

Case study examines the impact of participatory, gender-sensitive research methods on shaping community goals

Carmen Rojas - 11 January 2022

Professor Hadley Friedland of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law has co-authored a new article detailing the findings of a community-led collaboration with the government of the Toquaht Nation on Vancouver Island.

Reclaiming Indigenous Economic Development Through Participatory Action Research” is co-authored by Astrid V. Pérez Piñán, Judith Sayers and Matt Murphy. It appears in the most recent issue of Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

The article introduces Friedland’s “Making Connections” research activity, which was used to facilitate discussions about economic development through Toquaht women’s circles.

This new activity, also known as “the Tully Wheel,” is based on the work of political philosopher James Tully. It provides a structure for guided conversations which, in this case, contributes to a framework for economic development that honours community values and perspectives.

The authors observed that it enabled an “epistemic rupture” that allowed the women to break their silence about painful issues of colonization and to gain confidence in themselves to collectively alter unjust conditions and structures in their lives.

“The themes and concerns emerging from the women’s circles speak of a richer and more expansive notion of economic development that puts comprehensive well-being at the heart of economic development,” they write.