UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Environment, development, trust, and well-being in the Tsawwassen First Nation Takasaki, Allison Ashley Kumiko


On December 6, 2007, the Tsawwassen First Nation became the second First Nation in British Columbia to sign a modern treaty with the BC Provincial and Canadian Federal governments. Given the small number of Modern treaties in BC and how recent many of them are, little systematic attention has focused on outcomes or the effects of Aboriginal self-governance on well-being. Additionally, no research to date has focused on well-being and self-governance in the three modern treaty Nations in BC. To fill this gap in their own community, the Tsawwassen First Nation commissioned a survey measuring multiple aspects of well-being. The two chapters of this thesis are based on the qualitative and quantitative data collected for this survey over the summer of 2012, and as a whole, represent baseline analyses of well-being in the Tsawwassen community. The thesis utilizes a well-being framework based on a standard Personal Well-being Index. It undertakes both quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey results focusing on the influence of Tsawwassen Members’ satisfaction with the health of the local environment on self-reported well-being, and finds that satisfaction with the health of the local environment is a highly statistically significant predictor of overall well-being in the Tsawwassen community. The thesis also analyzes two seemingly paradoxical perspectives held in the community: that the health of the natural environment is important to the well-being of the community; and that development of Tsawwassen lands for commercial purposes will benefit the community. As these perspectives are often seen as at odds with each other, this thesis examines trust in the Tsawwassen Government, following the hypothesis that trust relationships in the community, particularly trust in the Tsawwassen Government, acts as a mediator of the two perspectives. This analysis concludes that satisfaction with the health of the local environment along with trust, both generalized and institutional, positively influences well-being in the community.

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