A Critical Exploration of Attitudes Towards Dogs in First Nations Communities

SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 11:15AM-12:00PM

Adriana Pisano Beaumont, MSc (cand) , Canisius College of Buffalo, MSc Anthrozoology Graduate Research
Janice Hannah, BSc, MEd, Senior Educator and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

A critical, qualitative exploration of residents' attitudes towards dogs in five First Nations communities in northern Quebec and Ontario was undertaken between June and October 2016. The resulting narratives provided valuable insights about attachment, the changing role of dogs in modern on-reserve families and how owned and unowned dogs are viewed within each community. The analysis, in turn, provides meaningful information for programs that address the welfare of both canine and human citizens and seeks to promote a mutual flourishing within each community.

Three Key Learnings:
1. The intersection of human and non-human animal welfare and mutual flourishing
2. Community-based participatory research as a decolonizing research framework
3. The role of personal narratives (storytelling) in research

Adriana Pisano Beaumont received her BSc in Biology from University of Toronto, her MSc in Anthrozoology from Canisius College and has more than 25 years of healthcare experience in Genetics and Complementary Medicine. Her research critically examines our entangled relationships with other animals and how they shape issues at the intersection of human and non-human animal welfare. In partnership with IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project, she is exploring dog-human relationships in First Nations communities. She is currently a professor in the Faculty of Continuing Education at Seneca College and teaches Anatomy and Physiology for nursing students.

Janice Hannah is the Senior Educator and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). She has been with the organization for 20 years, working on projects such as emergency relief efforts. During the past few years, she has worked on IFAW companion animal population management and rabies eradication projects, as well as in community animal welfare capacity development around the world.