When I first started as the Senior Research Associate for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies, I had a lot of ground to cover to get up to speed. It isn't so much that there is an expansive body of literature devoted to the topic of Aboriginal economic development, but with a background in folklore, ethnomusicology, and historical musicology, the only segment I had enountered for the most part was that devoted to cultural tourism.
That I was still reading in November and December became a bit of a joke around the department. "What's Janice doing today?" "Reading." "Janice, what do you have to report at our weekly meeting?" "That I've been reading and plan to continue reading this week."
The truth is that a researcher will always have more to read. One never finds the end of the literature trail, since every article and book has a bibliography that leads you to another source. And if you ever run out of articles and books, there are primary materials to fill the gap! And then there's reading around the topic — all those related areas that inform one's thinking.
So I thought it appropriate that today I post a photographic update on my reading.
This is what I've been doing, or at least part of what I've been doing.
The four inch binders contain materials related to Membertou's approach to economic development, Aborginal economic development more generally, best practices in Aboriginal economic development, human capacity development in the Aboriginal context, leadership in Aboriginal communities and businesses, and case studies of other successful First Nations. Missing from this photo are two binders devoted to business partnerships and the Unama'ki economic partnership in particular. They were all sparsely filled when I arrived and are now overflowing.
I've also been compiling materials on cultural tourism, especially as they relate to Mi'kma'ki (the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq). I'll be presenting a paper at the Small Islands conference in June that looks at community means of maintaining the integrity of their culture while developing it for tourism purposes. It will soon be time to move from collecting to reading and contemplating.
What's next on my reading list? A report titled Examining Partnership Arrangements Between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Businesses prepared by Lori Ann Roness Consulting with co-researcher Mary Collier for the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Resaerch Program (AAEDIRP). As I turn from work focussed on the Membertou model for economic development and best practices in Aboriginal economic development, to work on the Unama'ki economic partnership and the Tar Ponds remediation, this seems like a good place to start to establish context.
But beneath it on my desk are another seven reports/articles in the reading queue.