Accepted Paper:

Climate Change and Environmental Issues : experiences and perceptions of nature in Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada  


Nakeyah Giroux-Works (Université Laval)

Paper short abstract:

In the wake of anthropological studies investigating climate change as a discursive construction, this presentation explores how fishermen and farmers in the Magdalen Islands are experiencing knowledge and environmental phenomena associated with this contemporary issue.

Paper long abstract:

Climatic changes have significant consequences in coastal areas, as is the case of Magdalen Islands, particularly with erosion. The landscape of the archipelago is perceived by inhabitants as an entity in constant transformation, shaped as much by human hands as by natural elements. For fishermen and farmers, individuals who daily contend with climate-related factors, the problematic of climate changes is strongly dependent on the political will of governments. Individual actions of environmental protection and energy transition are mostly considered ineffective to remedy to it. Fishermen and farmers avoid using only the scientific and environmentalist discourse of climate changes to explain the unpleasant natural transformations they experience in their activities (fish migrations, loss of ice cover, drought, torrential rain, etc.), focusing instead on multifactorial causes and thus moving away from globalizing formulas that do not reflect the complexity of their reality. Using local knowledge and scientific facts, the concept of climate change is still very much used in the speeches of these Madelinots to support perceptions of environmental transformations in their daily activities. From the perspective of political ecology and environmental history, this paper explores Madelinots' social strategies aimed at making sustainable activities of nature exploitation, regarding local energy consumption and ecological issues they associate to climatic deterioration stories.

Panel LL-AS07
The scope of the anthropology of risk and disaster