Exploring the meanings and cultural landscapes of elder residents in two Saskatchewan rural communities
Everts, Lee Kenna Malitza
Using ethnomethodology and influenced by ethnography, the purpose of this research has been to explore the meanings that elder residents in and around Hafford, SK and Val Marie, SK derive from their relationship with and confer upon their cultural landscapes. Hence, for a month and a half, I lived in Hafford and then Val Marie in order to speak with elder residents (age 60 or over) who have lived and worked in or around these areas for at least twenty years.The meanings of elder residents hinge on their memories of growing up and making a living when younger. Their meanings also resonate with the ideas and perspectives that these individuals have formed regarding the changes in their cultural landscape. Changes include those to agriculture; service provision; and the formation of the Grasslands National Park for which Val Marie is the gateway community and Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve in which Hafford is located. The broad themes of connections, separation, and continuity that I distilled in the narratives of elder residents have guided the identification of the meanings. To this end, the cultural landscape concept has provided an ideal framework. Including the different and diverse meanings of elder residents is integral to our conception of the cultural landscape as a whole, a characteristic that assists in guiding change and development in these communities. In particular, elder residents contribute to an ethical landscape infused with meanings engendered by sentiments of connections, separation, and continuity and ones that hearken to their ethics. Such meanings can have a substantive impact on the decisions influencing these areas. Furthermore, as part of intangible cultural heritage, elder residents offer the meanings they have forged as well as their ethics, the ongoing result of having lived and worked in their cultural landscape. This research has helped to bring relief to the meanings of elder residents in Hafford and Val Marie. Such meanings are necessary in the overall identity of the cultural landscape. The meanings that elder residents derive from their cultural landscape are a valuable asset for communities seeking to maintain their social and economic viability and sustainability.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeNatcher, David; Montbriand, Muriel; Khanenko-Friesen, Natalia; Garvin, Theresa; Akkerman, Abraham; Peters, Evelyn
rural community - Saskatchewan
parks and protected areas