ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research Phase II

Phase 3 (2011-2014)

Adaptation, industrial development and Arctic communities


Project Leader(s)

Keeling, Arn

This project is engaging in community-based, historical, and comparative research into industrial development as a driver of social, cultural and environmental change in the Canadian Arctic. In particular, researchers are exploring the cultural, economic and environmental impacts of past and present mineral exploration and development in several Arctic communities, including: Kugluktuk (Coppermine) in the Kitikmeot region, Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake) and Kangiqiniq (Rankin Inlet) in the Kivalliq region, and Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), site of the Nanisivik mine in the Qikiqtani Region. Research has also been conducted relating to the Polaris mine and the nearby community of Resolute. Working with community researchers, this project intends to identify issues of importance in relation to mining development and community change, and to explore community adaptations to the changes brought by industry. Researchers have collected extensive archival records relating to the history of industrial development in the Arctic, and will relate this history to changing government social and economic policies in the region, such as Inuit resettlement. This research seeks to understand how current debates and controversies over mining development reflect Inuit experiences and knowledge of previous developments. This project will also contribute to the building of both northern and southern research capacity, by providing research experiences for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and community members. In addition, through conferences, workshops and joint publications with European researchers and other Canadian research networks, this project is furthering an international network of scholars interested in environmental, economic and cultural change in the circumpolar Arctic. The results provide a locally relevant, community record of this knowledge and history, as well as information useful for communities and policy makers in assessing the potential benefits and impacts of current development proposals.