ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research Phase II

Phase 3 (2011-2014)

Adaptation, industrial development and Arctic communities


Project Leader(s)

Keeling, Arn

Mining has become a complex and still poorly understood driver of both economic and socio-cultural change in the Eastern Arctic. This project has engaged 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 explored 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 and other collaborators, this project identified issues of importance in relation to mining development and community change, and explored community reactions and 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. Survey and ethnographic research in Arctic communities revealed a complex mixture of both positive and negative experiences with large-scale mineral development amongst Inuit. These impacts often have strongly gender-specific effects.