Community Self-Report Cards: Using Action Research to Inform Dog Management Strategies in First Nations


Janice Hannah, Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Adriana Pisano Beaumont MSc, Graduate Researcher, International Fund for Animal Welfare

This approach requires an acknowledgment of the potential for undue harm that may come to communities in an already politically-charged animal welfare milieu. Dog management strategies in one community are not necessarily generalizable to others, so it becomes necessary to develop a framework that allows an honest sharing of information that describes the unique landscape of human-dog relationships and attitudes for each community.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a decolonizing approach that is based on the sharing of power and resources and which, at its heart, is aimed at producing beneficial outcomes for both humans and dogs within these communities. Given the importance of oral tradition in First Nations communities, using conversations as a primary form of knowledge-gathering mobilizes local indigenous knowledge and encourages reciprocal and collaborative engagement. The information shared through conversations can be organized into community profiles or 'report cards' that help us to better understand local relationships with dogs, what is working well and what the community feels may require attention. Together, it then becomes possible to develop responsive humane education initiatives that address the needs of each community.


  1. The value of Community-Based Participatory Research in First Nations Communities.
  2. Diversity among First Nations communities creates diversity in dog management strategies.
  3. Conversations are crucial in developing community 'report cards' where members share what they feel is working well, as well as areas for improvement.


In her dual role as Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, Janice Hannah is responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s companion animal projects in Canada and providing guidance for IFAW’s education initiatives both in Canada and internationally. In her twenty years at IFAW, Jan has worked in numerous program areas, including marine mammal science and education, Animal Action Education, emergency relief, policy and wildlife trade.

Jan’s focus on companion animal welfare merges her long-term interest in working with animals and communities with the objective of building humane and sustainable programs that improve the health and welfare of animals through education and community engagement. Outreach, advice, community development and service provision are cornerstones to IFAW’s work, which provides contextual and culturally-relevant solutions to local issues.

Jan develops and manages community projects on the ground, as well as advising and working on companion animal policy, programming and issues internationally. 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. Jan holds an Honours BSc in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph, and a Master's in Education and Teaching Certificate from Niagara University.

Read our interview with Janice Hannah here.

Adriana Pisano Beaumont completed 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, her thesis work explored the complex relationships between dogs and humans in First Nations communities. Adriana is currently a professor in the Faculty of Continuing Education at Seneca College where she teaches Anatomy and Physiology for nursing students.