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PhD Studentship : Building an Arts-based and Indigenous-led Understanding of How to Harness Indigenous Principles in Support of Water and Human Health

University of Greenwich - Natural Resource Institute Engineering and Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Kent, Medway
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: See advert for details
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th February 2024
Closes: 17th March 2024
Reference: VCS-FES-NRI-01-23
 

There is currently only sparse evidence of the pathways linking water justice and Indigenous water governance with mental health outcomes. The psychosocial and environmental impacts of ongoing colonial legacies are complex, collective, cumulative, and intergenerational. As a result, the practical demonstration of the role of art to build mental health resilience and act as a marker of water governance structures and territorial heritage has global importance. This doctoral project comprises an in-depth analysis of the linkages between Indigenous Peoples’ mental health resilience and water justice and the roles of art, youth and colonialism in determining these linkages. The research will leverage data to be collected under the AHRC-funded NRI-led project “Water justice & youth mental health resilience: co-creating art-based solutions with Alaskan Native and Awajun communities”. The proposed primary supervisor is PI of this project and the co-supervisor is Co-I.  This project aims to provide critical evidence of the potential for Indigenous youth's knowledge, creativity, and innovation to play a vital role in responding to water injustice and adverse mental health outcomes. This represents a major scientific contribution, as there is currently only sparse evidence of the pathways linking water justice and Indigenous water governance with mental health outcomes. Thus, an interdisciplinary approach combining social science, natural resource governance, and population health will yield community-level, academic, and evidence-based policy impact.

 The PhD candidate will:

  • (i) Use published literature to: (a) develop a conceptual framework of mental health resilience from Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives, including the role of water justice on mental health outcomes; (b) examine the assumptions of colonial water governance in the territory and the implications of Indigenous water ontologies for alternate modes of governing water and; (c) examine the role of traditional art and storytelling in the transmission of culture and as a source of knowledge, wisdom, and healing and the role of contemporary art expressions as research methods to inform culturally safe strategies, policies and programs.
  • (ii) Contribute to the development of protocols for the implementation of arts-based community workshops and photovoice activities to explore the linkages between mental health and water and the challenges of equity and justice in water governance in Indigenous communities. The candidate may be involved in the facilitation of community workshops and the organisation of local and regional art exhibitions and conduct their own data collection.
  • (iii) Assess the conceptual framework developed in (i) by exploring the relationships between mental health resilience and the different dimensions of water justice with evidence gathered under (ii) and illustrate the ongoing impacts of water colonialism and the role of arts in the case study areas.

 

 

 

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