University of Oulu

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.

Exploring the term “resilience” in Arctic health and well-being using a sharing circle as a community-centered approach : insights from a conference workshop

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Author: Akearok, Gwen Healey1; Cueva, Katie2; Stoor, Jon Petter A.3;
Organizations: 1Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0, Canada
2Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
3Sámi Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Finnmark CountyHospital Trust, 9730 Karasjok, Norway
4National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
5Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
6North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, Utqiavik, AK 99723, USA
7Thule Institute and University of Arctic, University of Oulu, Oulu 90014, Finland
8Southcentral Foundation Research Department, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-08


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.

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Series: Social sciences
ISSN: 2076-0760
ISSN-E: 2076-0760
ISSN-L: 2076-0760
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
Article number: 45
DOI: 10.3390/socsci8020045
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 5141 Sociology
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This project was supported by a Fulbright Program grant sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (