From Narrative to Evidence: Resource Development in Remote Inuit Communities of Canada

Lead Author Thierry, Rodon
Institution Contact Université Laval Département de science politique, Pavillon Charles-De Koninck, Université Laval 1030 Avenue des Sciences-Humaines Québec QC G1V 0A6 Canada 1 418 656 2131 ext. 5244
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.2 Resource development and building capacity in Arctic communities
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text In Canada, resource development is often portrayed as a means to improving the well-being and the quality of life in Northern Aboriginal communities. This narrative makes the assumption that the benefits from employment, the creation of local businesses and resource revenue distribution will improve the social circumstances in these communities. However, little research has been conducted on the socio-economic impacts of mining on remote Inuit communities.
In this communication, using data from Statistics Canada, health surveys and interviews conducted in both regions, we will analyse the socio-economic impact of two nickel mines, Raglan and Voisey’s Bay on the neighbouring Inuit communities. The Raglan Mine located in Nunavik, Northern Québec, has been in operation since 1997 following the signature of the first Canadian IBA. Voisey’s bay, located in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, started its operation in 2005, following the signature of an IBA with the Nunatsiavut government that was created in the same year. In spite, of these similarities, it appears that the Nunatsiavut government and Inuit communities from Nunatsiavut have been able to capture a more important share of the mining benefits than the Inuit communities of Nunavik.
In order to explain, the important differences between the two regions in their capacity to capture the benefits from the mining development, we apply the analytical framework developed by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and test the applicability of these findings in case of remote Arctic communities.
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