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Daniel Meagher

Daniel Meagher

FridayJun 8 at 9:23pm

Manage Discussion Entry

Rapid assessment procedures (RAPs) developed from the urgency of certain problems requiring the rapid collection of information directly related to policy solutions (Ervin, 2005). The needs of these Native communities and the effect that the pipeline could have on them can be examined through a series of questions asked to various effected households. Their cultural beliefs and livelihood methods are at risk if the plans of the pipeline follow through. The following questions developed with the RAPs methods can be asked to better understand the impact and find solutions to the conflict:

If you were offered a temporary construction job, working on the proposed pipeline, would you accept the offer?Would the establishment of this pipeline prevent you or people you know from accessing your trapping grounds?What do you believe are the potential negative effects that the pipeline could have on the surrounding environment?What do you believe are the potential positive effects that the pipeline could have on the surrounding environment?What do you believe are the potential negative effects of the pipeline could have on you and your family’s health?What do you believe are the potential positive effects that the pipeline could have on you and your family’s health?Do you believe that the establishment of this pipeline has any potential benefits to your culture, such as tourism created by the construction of a road?Do you feel like the construction of the pipeline will only hinder your culture’s prosperity?

Reference

Ervin, A. M. (2005). Applied anthropology: Tools and perspectives for contemporary practice(2nd ed.). United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

Student 2

gan Johnson

FridayJun 8 at 11:22pmManage Discussion Entry

Discuss how you would apply the Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAPs) methods described in Chapter 14 of Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practices to this hypothetical scenario described on page 259 of the textbook:

As a research consultant how would you use RAPs to examine the needs of the Native communities?

The problems with rapid assessment methods are that so many details get left out and the information gathered is often incomplete (Ervin, 2005). There simply is not time to do thorough research. Considering that this road is going to be built despite any objections, I feel that it would be necessary to get the community involved and to help them find ways in which to participate and make this road work for them. This would require that I develop rapport with the community and perhaps host Q&A sessions in a public location in order to gather a quick understanding of the community’s feeling son the topic. This is not my preferred anthropological method, I would not be a benefactor or a decision-making authority figure, however I could let the community know that I was on their side and that I was working for their interests in relation to the decision-makers involved with building the road. It would also be important to go into the homes of the trappers and perhaps go out on hunting trips with them, in order to understand a little bit about how trapping and subsistence keeps their community afloat. This information could be used to help builders mitigate construction problems and keep environmental disturbance to a minimum. 

Of course, as Ervin (2005) explains concerning RAP’s in agricultural communities, it is probably a good idea to have a team of people observing, talking and reporting back on community lifestyles and their concerns. Though this is not an agricultural community, I feel that informal methods would be best, instead of questionnaires. This way, people would be able to voice their concerns their own way, instead of just answering questions on paper that may not even be relevant. 

Include a list of at least five questions that you would ask in each effected household that would provide information about cultural beliefs and livelihood methods.  

1. Are you worried that the road will cause problems for trappers? Are there solutions to these problems? 

2. Are you worried about tourists, travelers or other traffic from the road coming into your village? 

3. Will this project interfere with your livelihood or provide you with some much needed opportunities? 

4. Do you think the road could help your community in any way? 

5. How do you feel about non-native people living and working in your community for the duration of this project?      Are any of you excited about having visitors? 

6. Does the road pass through any sacred lands? Will it interfere with your religious activities at all? 

7. Do you require any formalities with the road; blessings, prayers, other spiritual concerns? 

8. Are there plants or animals that you feel need to be relocated prior to the building of the road? Are any of your people willing to help with this?  

(As a side note: I ask this last question because in Arizona when roads are built there are protected plants that have to be moved to nursery plots before construction can begin and if the road crew kills the plants they are heavily fined, idk if other places do this or not but it seems like natives to the area might know a bit about caring for their flora especially if they are involved in subsistence activities)

References

Ervin, A. M. (2005). Applied anthropology: Tools and perspectives for contemporary practice (2nd ed.). United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

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