Modern treaties, increased self-government, new environmental assessment rules, co-management bodies, and increased recognition and respect of Indigenous rights make it possible for northern communities to exert some control over extractive industries. Whether these industries can increase the well-being and sustainability of Canada’s Arctic communities, however, is still open to question.
Extractive Industry and the Sustainability of Canada’s Arctic Communities delves into the final research findings of the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic project which attempted to determine what was required for extractive industry to benefit northern communities. Drawing on case studies, this book explores how northern communities can capture and distribute a fairer share of financial benefits, how they can use extractive activities for business development, the problems and possibilities of employment and training opportunities, and the impacts on gender relations. It also considers fly-in fly-out work patterns, subsistence activities, housing, post-mine clean-up activities, waste management, and ways of monitoring positive and negative impacts. While extractive industries could potentially help improve the sustainability of Canada’s Arctic, many issues stand in the way, most notably power imbalances that limit the ability of Indigenous Peoples to equitably participate in their governance.
Extractive Industry and the Sustainability of Canada’s Arctic Communities emphasizes the general need to determine how new institutions and processes, which are largely imported from the south, can be adapted to allow for a more authentic participation from the Indigenous Peoples of Canada’s Arctic.
About the authors
Chris Southcott has been involved in community-based research in the circumpolar north for over 26 years. He has published over 100 scientific reports, books, chapters, and articles dealing with social and economic change in Northern Canada and the rest of the circumpolar world.
Frances Abele is Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration and Academic Director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, both at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Dave Natcher is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan.
Brenda Parlee, former Canada Research Chair, is a professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta.
“This well-written volume addresses challenges common to many Arctic communities with a timely focus on Arctic resource development and Indigenous lands. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” Anne Merrild Hansen, Aalborg University and co-editor of Collaborative Research Methods in the Arctic: Experiences from Greenland