Lori Bradford


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Monitoring, Managing, and Communicating Risk of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Recreational Resources across Canada
Hamidreza Rashidi, Helen M. Baulch, Arshdeep Gill, Lalita Bharadwaj, Lori Bradford
Environmental Health Insights, Volume 15

Globally, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are on the rise, as is evidence of their toxicity. The impacts associated with blooms, however, vary across Nation states, as do the strategies and protocols to assess, monitor, and manage their occurrence. In Canada, water quality guidelines are standardized nationally, but the management strategies for HABs are not. Here, we explore current strategies to understand how to better communicate risks associated with HABs to the public. Our team conducted an environmental scan on provincial and territorial government agency protocols around HABs. Results suggest that there are variations in the monitoring, managing, and communicating of risk to the public: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Quebec have well-established inter-agency protocols, and most provinces report following federal guidelines for water quality. Notably, 3 northern territories have no HABs monitoring or management protocols in place. More populous provinces use a variety of information venues (websites, social media, on site postings, and radio) to communicate risks associated with HABs, whereas others’ communications are limited. To induce more collaboration on HABs monitoring and management and reduce the associated risks, creating a coherent system with consistent messaging and inter-agency communication is suggested.


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Sowing a way towards revitalizing Indigenous agriculture: creating meaning from a forum discussion in Saskatchewan, Canada
Melissa M. Arcand, Lori Bradford, Dale F. Worme, Graham Strickert, Ken Bear, Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston, Sheldon M. Wuttunee, Alfred Gamble, Debra Shewfelt
FACETS, Volume 5, Issue 1

Agriculture is practiced on 3–4 million acres of First Nations reserve lands in the Saskatchewan Prairies—predominantly by non-Indigenous farmers. A confluence of factors including an increase in agricultural land holdings on reserve and greater autonomy in land management have renewed conversations on how First Nations can realize the full economic benefits and exert greater control over agricultural activities that affect the reserve land base. We hosted a Forum on Indigenous Agriculture to share current knowledge on the contemporary status of Indigenous agriculture and to co-formulate research, capacity building, and policy priorities. First Nations’ roles in agriculture are diverse and were categorized in three broad contexts: as farmers, relying on traditional Indigenous or western practice, or a synergy of both; as landlords negotiating lease agreements; and as agribusiness entrepreneurs. Five themes emerged from the forum: centring Indigenous knowledge and traditional relationships to the land, capacity building, building respectful partnerships and relationships, financing farming and equitable economies, and translating research to policy and legislation. The forum provided foundational data to inform research and capacity building to meet community-defined goals in agriculture on reserve lands and by First Nations people.

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A quantitative analysis of drinking water advisories in Saskatchewan Indigenous and rural communities 2012–2016
Lianne McLeod, Lalita Bharadwaj, Joanne Daigle, Cheryl Waldner, Lori Bradford
Canadian Water Resources Journal / Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques, Volume 45, Issue 4

This study complements the existing literature on disparities associated with Indigenous and non-Indigenous small drinking water systems. The team took a quantitative approach and assessed relationships between seasonality, location, and type of community against the number of drinking water advisories in Saskatchewan for a 4-year period from 2012 to 2016. Generalised estimating equations were used to determine significant factors contributing to the likelihood of drinking water advisories comparing Indigenous to non-Indigenous communities of similar sizes. Results indicated that the season and the interaction between community type and region (north vs. south) were significant in the model for counts of advisories. Reserve communities in the north had a drinking water advisory count that was 5.19 times greater than those of reserves in the south, 2.63 times greater than counts for towns in the south and 4.94 times greater than those of villages in the south. Additional comparisons indicated that reserves in the north had 2.43 times as many advisories as villages in the north, but towns situated in the south part of the province had 1.98 times as many advisories as reserves in the south, and 1.88 times as many advisories as villages in the south. The work confirms heightened risk among northern Indigenous communities and suggests that increased attention to, and investment in, securing water resources is necessary in rural Saskatchewan and globally.


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Incorporating social dimensions in hydrological and water quality modeling to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural beneficial management practices in a Prairie River Basin
Lori Bradford, Anuja Thapa, A. P. Duffy, Elmira Hassanzadeh, Graham Strickert, Bram Noble, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 27, Issue 13

There is growing interest to develop processes for creating user-informed watershed scale models of hydrology and water quality and to assist in decision-making for balanced policies for managing watersheds. Watershed models can be enhanced with the incorporation of social dimensions of watershed management as brought forward by participants such as the perspectives, values, and norms of people that depend on the land, water, and ecosystems for sustenance, economies, and overall wellbeing. In this work, we explore the value of combining both qualitative and quantitative methods and social science data to enhance salience and legitimacy of watershed models so that end-users are more engaged. We discuss pilot testing and engagement workshops for building and testing a systems dynamics model of the Qu'Appelle Valley to gather insights from local farmers and understand their perceptions of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs). Mixed-method workshops with agricultural producers in the Qu'Appelle Watershed gathered feedback on the developing model and the incorporation of social determinants affecting decision-making. Analysis of focus groups and factor analysis of Q-sorts were used to identify the desired components of the model, and whether it supported farmers' understanding of the potential effects of BMPs on water quality. We explored farmers' engagement with models testing BMPs and the potential of incorporating their decision processes within the model itself. Finally, we discuss the reception of the process and the practicality of the approach in providing legitimate and credible decision support tools for a community of farmers.

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“Spirit, Safety, and a Stand-off ”: The Research-Creation Process and Its Roles in Relationality and Reconciliation among Researcher and Indigenous Co-Learners in Saskatchewan, Canada
Myron Neapetung, Lori Bradford, Lalita Bharadwaj
Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, Volume 5, Issue 2

Provision of safe water on reserves is an ongoing problem in Canada that can be addressed by mobilizing water knowledge across diverse platforms to a variety of audiences. A participatory artistic animation video on the lived experiences of Elderswith water in Yellow Quill First Nation, Treaty Four territory, was created to mobilize knowledge beyond conventional peer-review channels. Research findings from interviews with 22 Elders were translated through a collaborative process into a video with a storytelling format that harmonized narratives, visual arts, music, and meaningful symbols. Three themes emerged which centered on the spirituality of water, the survival need for water, and standoffs in water management. The translation process, engagement and video output were evaluated using an autoethnographic approach with two members of the research team. We demonstrate how the collaborative research process and co-created video enhance community-based participatory knowledge translation and sharing. We also express how the video augments First Nations community ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) of research information that aligns with their storytelling traditions and does so in a youth-friendly, e-compatible form. Through the evaluative process we share lessons learned about the value and effectiveness of the video as a tool for fostering partnerships, and reconciliation. The benefits and positive impacts of the video for the Yellow Quill community and for community members are discussed.

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“Garbage in, Garbage Out” Does Not Hold True for Indigenous Community Flood Extent Modeling in the Prairie Pothole Region
Anuja Thapa, Lori Bradford, Graham Strickert, Xiaolei Yu, Anthony Johnston, Kelsey Watson-Daniels
Water, Volume 11, Issue 12

Extensive land use changes and uncertainties arising from climate change in recent years have contributed to increased flood magnitudes in the Canadian Prairies and threatened the vulnerabilities of many small and indigenous communities. There is, thus, a need to create modernized flood risk management tools to support small and rural communities’ preparations for future extreme events. In this study, we developed spatial flood information for an indigenous community in Central Saskatchewan using LiDAR based DEM and a spatial modeling tool, the wetland DEM ponding model (WDPM). A crucial element of flood mapping in this study was community engagement in data collection, scenario description for WDPM, and flood map validation. Community feedback was also used to evaluate the utility of the modelled flood outputs. The results showed the accuracy of WDPM outputs could be improved not only with the quality of DEM but also with additional community-held information on contributing areas (watershed information). Based on community feedback, this accessible, spatially-focused modeling approach can provide relevant information for community spatial planning and developing risk management strategies. Our study found community engagement to be valuable in flood modeling and mapping by: providing necessary data, validating input data through lived experiences, and providing alternate scenarios to be used in future work. This research demonstrates the suitability and utility of LiDAR and WDPM complemented by community participation for improving flood mapping in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). The approach used in the study also serves as an important guide for applying transdisciplinary tools and methods for establishing good practice in research and helping build resilient communities in the Prairies.


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Co-design of water services and infrastructure for Indigenous Canada: A scoping review
Lori Bradford, Tim Vogel, Karl–Erich Lindenschmidt, Kerry N. McPhedran, Graham Strickert, Terrance A. Fonstad, Lalita Bharadwaj
FACETS, Volume 3, Issue 1

There is movement in engineering fields and in Indigenous communities for enhancement of local participation in the design of community infrastructure. Inclusion of community priorities and unique cultural, spiritual, and traditional values harmonize the appearance, location, and functionality of developments with the social and cultural context in which they are built and contribute to holistic wellness. However, co-design processes that align community values and the technical needs of water facilities are difficult to find. A scoping review was conducted to explore the state of knowledge on co-design of water infrastructure in Indigenous Canada to build a knowledge base from which practices and processes could emerge. The scoping results revealed that articles and reports emerged only in recent years, contained case studies and meta-reviews with primary (qualitative) data, and involved community members in various capacities. Overall, 13 articles were reviewed that contributed to understanding co-design for water infrastructure in Indigenous Canada. Barriers to co-design included funding models for Indigenous community infrastructure, difficulties in engineers and designers understanding Indigenous worldviews and paradigms, and a lack of cooperation among stakeholders that contribute to ongoing design failures. A working definition of co-design for Indigenous water infrastructure is presented.


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DIY meteorology: Use of citizen science to monitor snow dynamics in a data-sparse city
Willemijn M. Appels, Lori Bradford, Kwok Pan Chun, Anna Coles, Graham Strickert
FACETS, Volume 2, Issue 2

Cities are under pressure to operate their services effectively and project costs of operations across various timeframes. In high-latitude and high-altitude urban centers, snow management is one of the larger unknowns and has both operational and budgetary limitations. Snowfall and snow depth observations within urban environments are important to plan snow clearing and prepare for the effects of spring runoff on cities’ drainage systems. In-house research functions are expensive, but one way to overcome that expense and still produce effective data is through citizen science. In this paper, we examine the potential to use citizen science for snowfall data collection in urban environments. A group of volunteers measured daily snowfall and snow depth at an urban site in Saskatoon (Canada) during two winters. Reliability was assessed with a statistical consistency analysis and a comparison with other data sets collected around Saskatoon. We found that citizen-science-derived data were more reliable and relevant for many urban management stakeholders. Feedback from the participants demonstrated reflexivity about social learning and a renewed sense of community built around generating reliable and useful data. We conclude that citizen science holds great potential to improve data provision for effective and sustainable city planning and greater social learning benefits overall.