Written by Vivienne Steele
Today was Day One of two of the Preparing, Partnering and Participating in Fieldwork Workshop at McGill University in Montreal. Together with students from Dr. Harper’s, Dr. Berrang-Ford and Dr. Ford’s labs, we spent a full day sharing experiences, lessons and suggestions for working with communities in research. In a group setting, we generated definitions for global citizenship, privilege, and positionality in the context of research within IHACC’s partner communities. Many students had visited, or are planning to work in one or more of IHACC’s partner regions, and this provided a great platform and opportunity to share general pre-departure and arrival tips, for both urban and rural settings. The conversation generated excellent examples of the importance of building and maintaining relationships in communities, and being prepared to maintain these relationships when you return home. Budgeting, safety, contingency planning and solution-oriented problem solving in the context of international or different cultural situations were the discussion topics for the afternoon. We concluded the day with a series of “sharing circles.” Today’s rich discussion was a great way to talk about the challenges and value of fieldwork, and we look forward to day two!