Hiding In Plain Site
Anthropologists, psychologists and criminologists are intrigued with a Doctoral Dissertation published in the Journal of Human Behaviour. The researcher is Catherine Mollohan. She is an adjunct professor at FDC University at Mount Pleasant, Faculty of Geography. Her work is the history of a Mid-Western city including settlement patterns, economic development, governance and demographics. Findings have attracted many inquiries throughout the scientific world.
Ms. Mollohan set out to map the evolution of a community from a small start in the mid eighteen fifties to the present. Sponsored by the FDC School of Public Policy the objective is to glean from history the policies of the day and their influence on economics, political and social development.
Early archival material indicates the settlement started at the junction of two rivers with the establishment of a trading post. Indigenous peoples arrived with furs in exchange for foods, tools, weapons and cloth. From an economic point of view all parties’ benefited, social interaction was cordial and cultures blended well. Signs of decline showed up because of a shortage of furs due to excessive animal harvesting. The indigenous population suffered accordingly as the fur trading industry shrank, eventually disappearing altogether.
Simultaneously the area around the shuttered trading post was undergoing significant changes. Homesteaders arrived from the “Old World”, partly inspired by government policies dedicated to rapid settlement of the vast, seemingly unoccupied, territory.
This marked the beginning of permanent colonial settlements. Farming and ranching were the economic drivers. The hamlet expanded as services developed to meet the demands of a larger, more diverse economy. Schools, a university, churches, medical facilities, and a governing structure evolved. The community became a commercial and transportation hub.
A journey around the city’s perimeter demonstrates the extent to which manufacturing and service industries were gaining in significance. Domestic and export focuses provide proof of a sophisticated and competitive urban centre.
Newcomers arrived from around the world bringing a diversity of skills and cultures. Immigration policies changed to accommodate refugees from around the world. Demographics represent a broader and varied base of new citizens.
Catherine Mollohan’s research is broadly based, capturing the essential metrics of a community including, health, education, demographics, employment, income, crime, poverty, ethnicity belonging and diversity. These are all vital signs that provide bases for policy making, progress on problem solving and comparisons with other communities.
Students and professionals alike are drawn to the unexpected findings of her research. These include the absence of ethnicity based conflicts has resulted in significantly significant lower rates of violence compared to like jurisdictions. Diversity indicators show civic, philanthropic and corporate board memberships are gender and ethnically diverse compared to national statistics. Qualitatively citizens expressed universal satisfaction with their senses of community belonging, inclusion and diversity.
Identifying the reasons for such pronounced variations are now front and centre. How is it that this Mid-Western community should differ in so many important metrics?
Research intensified on all fronts as demographers, human geographers, sociologists, dieticians and doctors all converged. Studies such as medical, diets, exercise habits, careers, family history and education were undertaken. Focus groups became the leading source of entertainment.
Catherine Mullohan reviewed the studies but was unable to identify why the results were not different from those present in similar communities. Researchers are perplexed. If the lifestyles are the same, why does this city remain relatively conflict free?
Coincidentally high school graduations were happening across the city. Valedictories proliferated as graduates took turns with passionate oratorical splendour. Anita Glasgow is one valedictorian of note. Her selection was a result of winning her school’s composition contest. The Glasgow family originates from Trinidad and active in many city wide philanthropic initiatives. Anita referenced Catherine Mullohan’s research, expressing a profound sense of gratitude for the cities environment of belonging, diversity and inclusion. She concluded by saying….perhaps all my fellow citizens are colour blind.