Oil and gas companies now recognize that industrial projects in the Canadian North can only succeed if Aboriginal communities are involved in decision-making processes. Where the Rivers Meet is an ethnographic account of Sahtu Dene involvement in the environmental assessment of the Mackenzie Gas Project, a massive pipeline that, if completed, would have unprecedented effects on Aboriginal communities in the North. Where the Rivers Meet reveals that while there has been some progress in establishing avenues for Dene participation in decision-making, the ultimate assessment of such projects remains rooted in non-local beliefs about the nature of the environment, the commodification of land, and the inevitability of a hydrocarbon-based economy.
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Carly A. Dokis is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Nipissing University. She has worked with communities in northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories with a broad focus on the social, economic, and political consequences of participatory environmental management.