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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Term “Resilience” in Arctic Health and Well-Being Using a Sharing Circle as a Community-Centered Approach: Insights from a Conference Workshop

Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0, Canada
Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
Sámi Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Finnmark County Hospital Trust, 9730 Karasjok, Norway
National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, Utqiavik, AK 99723, USA
Thule Institute and University of Arctic, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland
Southcentral Foundation Research Department, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 45;
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaged Scholarship for Resilient Communities)
In the field of Arctic health, “resilience” is a term and concept used to describe capacity to recover from difficulties. While the term is widely used in Arctic policy contexts, there is debate at the community level on whether “resilience” is an appropriate term to describe the human dimensions of health and wellness in the Arctic. Further, research methods used to investigate resilience have largely been limited to Western science research methodologies, which emphasize empirical quantitative studies and may not mirror the perspective of the Arctic communities under study. To explore conceptions of resilience in Arctic communities, a Sharing Circle was facilitated at the International Congress on Circumpolar Health in 2018. With participants engaging from seven of the eight Arctic countries, participants shared critiques of the term “resilience,” and their perspectives on key components of thriving communities. Upon reflection, this use of a Sharing Circle suggests that it may be a useful tool for deeper investigations into health-related issues affecting Arctic Peoples. The Sharing Circle may serve as a meaningful methodology for engaging communities using resonant research strategies to decolonize concepts of resilience and highlight new dimensions for promoting thriving communities in Arctic populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Indigenous methodologies; decolonizing methodologies; qualitative; Arctic; resilience Indigenous methodologies; decolonizing methodologies; qualitative; Arctic; resilience
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Healey Akearok, G.; Cueva, K.; Stoor, J.P.A.; Larsen, C.V.L.; Rink, E.; Kanayurak, N.; Emelyanova, A.; Hiratsuka, V.Y. Exploring the Term “Resilience” in Arctic Health and Well-Being Using a Sharing Circle as a Community-Centered Approach: Insights from a Conference Workshop. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 45.

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