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Articulating Indigenous Futures: Using Target Seeking Scenario Planning in Support of Inuit-led Fisheries Governance

Rachael Cadman, Jamie Snook, Todd Broomfield, Jim Goudie, Ron Johnson, Keith Watts, Aaron Dale, Megan Bailey

2023 Canada

Futures thinking is an increasingly popular approach to solving complex environmental problems because it offers a framework to consider potential and desirable futures. It is also possible to create highly participatory future planning processes that incorporate the perspectives, beliefs, and values of resource users. In 2019, a group of fisheries stakeholders in Nunatsiavut, an Inuit land claim region in northern Labrador, began a target seeking scenario planning process to help them create a vision for the future of commercial fisheries in the region. Through this process, the group hoped to not only create a vision of Inuit-led fisheries but also to advance communication, collaboration, and learning for the group. In this paper, we reflect on the process we underwent over the past few years, including the research design, data collection and analysis, and the results of the project to broadly consider the strengths and weaknesses of participatory scenario planning for Indigenous governance. Reflecting on the process that we undertook provides important, experience-based knowledge for future projects. The elevation of Inuit voices makes this vision specific to the region and reframes fisheries as a tool for cultural and political rejuvenation in the region.