The ENRICH Project takes a participatory action research (PAR) approach that involves researchers and communities working in partnership in ways that enable power to be shared between all participants and that facilitate action for change.
PAR requires that community members are involved at every stage of the research process, including research design, data collection and analysis and knowledge dissemination and mobilization.
The main thrust of the ENRICH Project is to explore both the socio-economic outcomes and health effects associated with toxic industries and waste dumps in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities.
At the same time, the ENRICH Project seeks to acknowledge and validate the histories, cultures and local contexts of Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities by integrating Mi’kmaq and African-centered knowledge, traditions and learning approaches into all Project activities.
In so doing, it will build upon the research knowledge, skills and expertise of Mi’kmaq and African Canadian/Nova Scotian scholars and community members. The Project seeks to improve the flow of research benefits to these communities by ensuring that these activities serve as a platform to investigate, while potentially informing provincial regulatory requirements for environmental justice and access to clean resources in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities in Nova Scotia.
Through community engagement, relationship-building, interactive dialogue, media, social action research, and innovative knowledge sharing methods, the ENRICH Project intends to support community efforts for mobilizing on the effects of toxic industries in their communities.
Community ownership is an integral aspect of the ENRICH Project. The Project recognizes that community-based projects involving marginalized communities must be premised on equitable power sharing with respect to how communities are engaged, how projects are conducted, and how knowledge and resources resulting from these projects are shared with community members.
For the purposes of the ENRICH project, community ownership will involve the ownership by the community of all data, knowledge and resources resulting from the research study, workshops and other engagement activities.