ReSDA in the News
July 31, 2018 Memorial University gazette
Community-led housing can improve Arctic homelessness, says CRC
By Janet Harron
…….A cultural geographer who studies how places have meaning — and how some places acquire meaning relative to other places — Dr. Christensen’s current research focus is Arctic homelessness and urbanization.
As rural northern communities grow and develop, housing has become a fundamental social justice issue. In harsh environments, proper housing can mean the difference between life and death.
Historically, northern housing stock has mimicked the materials and architecture found in the south, which results in inappropriate housing for the North. Increasingly, residents of northern communities are doubling up and multiple people are sharing small homes. Northern housing is also unlikely to appreciate in value, unlike homes in the south……
……..In Yellowknife, Dr. Christensen is working on a collaborative Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council-funded project for Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSA).
Along with her collaborators, Dr. Lisa Freeman of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and social justice coalition Alternatives North, she is developing a visual research tool that can be used by housing advocates and service providers to bring awareness to housing insecurity and offer tangible recommendations.
Read full article at https://gazette.mun.ca/research/housing-insecurity/
October 17, 2017
Collaborative approach to research with Indigenous communities highlighted at ReSDA Workshop – Yukon College
WHITEHORSE—Since 2015, Jen Jones—a Trudeau Foundation Scholar, PhD candidate and long-time Yukon resident—has been working alongside Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation (LSCFN) to research how major development projects, such as mines, impact the health and wellbeing of LSCFN citizens.
“We’re in a real period of flux—Carmacks is known as the hub of the Yukon, and there appears to be a lot of interest in resource development around us,” said Alan Steel, LSCFN Executive Director. “Our citizens want to make sure the resources are used with respect, and they want to minimize negative effects on our community.”
Through the course of her research Jones has spent considerable time in Carmacks, attending community events and hosting training and knowledge-sharing workshops. She has also hired citizens to collaborate in developing and conducting surveys.
October 22, 2017 CBC North.
Fly-in work and family stress: Researchers explore the pitfalls for remote workers
‘There’s very similar issues that come up wherever you are … when it comes to rotational shift work’
CBC News Posted: Oct 22, 2017 8:00 AM CTLast Updated: Oct 22, 2017 8:00 AM CT
Trailers at the now-closed Wolverine Mine, near Watson Lake. The authors of ‘The Mobile Workers Guide’ spent time at the Wolverine camp as part of their research. (CBC)
It’s called “FIFO” or “DIDO” work — and it can mess up your life even while providing a livelihood. But a new guidebook devised in the North aims to help workers avoid the pitfalls.
FIFO refers to “fly-in/fly-out” rotational shift work, while DIDO refers to “drive-in/drive-out” — in other words, the sort of work arrangements typical at remote mining sites in the North.
“There’s very similar issues that come up wherever you are across the globe, when it comes to rotational shift work,” said Susanna Gartler, an Austrian PhD student who co-authored “The Mobile Workers Guide.”
“Two weeks on, two weeks off, or three weeks on, one week off, or whatever your shift roster is — the issues are very similar.”
Susanna Gartler and Gertude Saxinger with their guide.
Workers at remote sites ‘should know what comes up, and think about it,’ Saxinger said. (Sandi Coleman/CBC)
Gartler and co-author Gertude Saxinger — also from the University of Vienna — wrote the guide with the help and support of the Yukon’s Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation.
Many First Nation members have worked at remote mining and exploration camps in the region, and even more will, as new mines open — such as Victoria Gold’s Eagle Gold project near Mayo. The two researchers travelled to communities across Yukon, gathering stories and perspectives from people who work or have worked at remote camps. Saxinger has also studied fly-in/fly-out work in Siberia. The guide is largely intended for young workers who may be new to rotational shifts, said Saxinger. “They should know what comes up, and think about it,” she said. “The older you get, the more experienced you get — you have figured things out.”
No fussing on the phone
The biggest issue for most workers, Saxinger says, is family life. “You have to discuss with your family, also with your kids — how shall we reorganize our family life? “Be ready not to get involved in the micro-business at home. That’s so important — not to fuss over the phone,” Saxinger said. Gartler agrees, and says it’s especially important for workers away at a job site to focus on work, not home. “If you get too involved, then you might be thinking about stuff that might be going on at home while you are at work, and that can be dangerous — because mine sites are dangerous places.” The guide includes testimonials from workers, and their partners, who have learned the lessons first-hand.
“If you are having a lot of drama back home, your camp life is going to be really miserable. Trust me,” a worker named Brady is quoted saying. “If your home is stable it is much easier and safer.” “If you trust each other, then mining is good for families. If you have a toxic relationship, then good luck,” says another quote from a worker named Jeremy.
Making money and managing loneliness
The guide also looks beyond family life, though, and touches on other stresses and challenges workers can face — loneliness, substance abuse, and managing money. “Probably everyone has heard about mine workers who blew up all their money, which is kind of sad because they work hard, they earn their money, and then sometimes it is all gone, and they’re left with nothing,” Gartler said. There’s also day-to-day camp life to get used to — everybody working, eating and sleeping in a sort of “enclosed” environment. Being social can help stave loneliness, but Saxinger says workers also have to learn to “not be bored by yourself.” “You also have to have a good balance … how much you get involved in other people’s business, or be by yourself,” said Saxinger. The guide also makes clear that camp life can be particularly challenging for women, who are typically in the minority. Discrimination and sexual harassment can make for a toxic environment.
“I had a few incidences of sexual harassment myself, but I tend to be outspoken and not very shy. So I dealt with them pretty well. I told those people straight to their face that their behaviour is not appropriate and if I wanted to I could get them kicked out of here,” says a quote from a worker named Veronica.
The guide advises that there are laws and company rules to protect women from harassment and discrimination on the job, and victims should never be afraid to speak up. The guide is not meant to discourage people from rotational shift work, though. Many testimonials describe how rewarding it can be, if you have the right approach and perspective. Saxinger also notes that many Indigenous workers like rotational shift work because it allows them to maintain some aspects of a traditional lifestyle, even while pursuing wages. Being off for weeks at a time makes it easier to go out on the land, she said. Saxinger and Gartler are now in the middle of a “presentation tour” in Yukon, visiting communities to talk about the guide and hand out copies. They’ll visit Watson Lake on Monday, Ross River on Tuesday, and Carmacks on Wednesday.
Copies of the guide are available online, or from the Yukon Chamber of Mines.
With files from Sandi Coleman
April 13, 2017 Yukon News article by Ashley Joannou, Shovel-ready: Researchers to publish guide on work-life balance for prospective miners, This article provides a summary of the Labour Mobility project of Gertrude Saxinger
March 23, 2017. CBC Yukon Radio interview with Gertrude Saxinger and Susanna Gartler on their ReSDA research project. Listen to the recording at https://soundcloud.com/cbcyukon/mining-labour-relationships-big-and-small Mining labour relationships, big and small – Researchers look at relationships, develop booklet with tips on successful ones in mineral industries.
October 25, 2016 Nunatsiaq Online
Let’s make a deal: empowering Arctic peoples to negotiate mining benefits
Conference this week in Ottawa brings together community development research
OTTAWA—Mining in Nunavut might have slowed down a bit, but what better time to talk about how communities can maximize resource deal benefits and minimize the impacts on themselves and their communities when those companies start sniffing around again.
So says a network of researchers who work with communities across Canada’s North.
Members of Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, or ReSDA, are meeting in Ottawa this week to discuss how community empowerment can influence the nature of resource development with the hope of influencing federal policy makers….
May 30, 2016
Media Advisory: Natan Obed to speak about resource development in Canada’s north at UCalgary on May 31
CALGARY, ALBERTA – May 30, 2016 – A 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences public event features a panel of experts that examines under what conditions resource exploitation can be a source of economic and social sustainability for northern communities drawing on experiences from Canada’s north.
WHAT: Resource Development and Northern Communities: New Relationships and New Possibilities
WHEN: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 from 13:30 to 15:30
WHERE: Science Theatre 148, University of Calgary campus
More information at http://www.ideas-idees.ca/media/media-releases/media-advisory-natan-obed-speak-about-resource-development-canadas-north
April 18, 2016 – Whitehorse, YT – Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
Government of Canada Supports Arctic Innovation
Yukon College pioneers access to resource development information in the North
Minister Navdeep Bains today announced an investment of $202,258 to support the creation of an online Atlas of Arctic Resource Development, the first of its kind in the Canadian North and scheduled to launch April 2016.
Developed through the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic network (ReSDA), located at Yukon College, the online Atlas is a sharing tool will make resource development in Yukon more transparent, enabling public access to relevant environmental, scientific, and socio-economic information on major resource development projects in the North….
Read more at: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1052979
February 2016. CBC Yukon Radio Interview. Yukoner studies mines and impacts in northern Quebec Jeanette Carney shared details of the research that she has been doing looking at the history and impacts of mining in the North. You can listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/cbcyukon/yukoner-studies-mines-and-impacts-in-northern-quebec
Information from January 16, 2016 http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/
Memorial University Masters student Jeanette Carney poses with Mark Kadjulik, one of the many residents of Salluit she interviewed last summer as part of her research into the history and legacy of the Asbestos Hill mine — Nunavik’s first mining operation, which operated from 1972 to 1984. Through a series of interviews with former mine employees, their families and community leaders, Carney’s research looks at how the operation led to major social, cultural and economic changes in the region. Read more later at NunatsiaqOnline.ca. https://twitter.com/nunatsiaqnews/status/687617340138065920 (PHOTO COURTESY OF J. CARNEY)
From the Institute of Political Economy: News
As part of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Founders Seminar series, Suzanne Mills, Associate Professor of Labour Studies and Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University did a presentation November 6, 2015 on Place-based rights and mobile jobs: the new political economy of work in northern resource development.
More details at http://carleton.ca/politicaleconomy/2015/visiting-scholar-suzanne-mills-talk-on-political-economy-of-work-in-northern-resource-development/
Oct. 2, 2014. Executive Council. Newfoundland and Labrador news release.
Media Advisory: Minister to Welcome Delegates to the Fourth Annual Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic Workshop
The Honourable Keith Russell, Minister of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, will speak delegates at the Fourth Annual Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic workshop (ReSDA). The minister will speak tomorrow (Friday, October 3) at 8:30 a.m. at Hotel North Two in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
The workshop takes place from Friday, October 3, to Saturday October 4. The ReSDA project was established in 2011 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to assist northern communities in seeking solutions for benefits from natural resource developments while mitigating negative impacts.
October 21, 2013. Written by Arviat TV Arviat Research and Media projects were presented at the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic annual workshop at the Frobisher Inn from Oct. 8-10 in Iqaluit. Social Sciences researchers came from across Canada, the
United States and the circumpolar world to participate.
WHITEHORSE – Yukon College is hosting 70 researchers in Whitehorse this week to discuss ways of reducing the social costs to communities of resource development in the North. The second annual workshop of the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) research network is being held in Whitehorse, November 22 and 23 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. The main focus of ReSDA’s research is on finding ways to ensure that a larger share of the benefits of resource development stay in the egion with fewer costs to communities….
Nunatsiaq Online. News Iqaluit. September 21, 2012 Circumpolar project will research “best practices” in Arctic resource development.
New project will try to “give people a choice of tools that will help” Throughout the North, but especially in northern Canada, resource development has often proven to be devastating for Arctic peoples and communities. Take Yukon’s gold rush, which saw 100,000 people to travel to the Klondike region between 1897 and 1899 to prospect for gold. That influx of people that caused devastating effects on the indigenous peoples, said Chris Soutcott of Lakehead University during a Sept. 19 presentation at the Nunavut Research Institute in Iqaluit. Soutcott spoke about a project called RESDA, short for “Resources and Sustainable Development of Resources in the Arctic.” The project will try to provide communities with information so they can avoid the kinds of problems caused by the gold rush or by the whaling industry based on Hershel Island in the beginning of the 20th century. The huge northern research project, which involves 60 researchers across the circumpolar world, hopes to help communities in Nunavut get more out of resource development, Soutcott said. The international team of researchers will present their findings to the communities they study after the project wraps up, he said. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., a partner in this project, plans to advise the researchers on “the types of good research in their region.” These could include looking at communities where mining takes place so “we would know the best ways of doing that mine and the mining benefits to them,” he said. The RESDA project’s overall goal is to make sure northern communities can better manage development…….
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada recently announced funding for a new Northern research project called Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA). The main focus of ReSDA’s research will be on finding ways to ensure that a larger share of the benefits of resource development stay in the region with fewer costs to communities.
The Network will mobilize researchers around the questions of finding out how to maximize benefits of resource development to northern regions and communities and minimize the social, economic, cultural, and environmental costs.
Announcement of program made at Lakehead University on February 25th, 2011
View the short video message from some of the partners involved in the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) project that is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and many other agencies. http://vimeo.com/20377780 or read the announcement on the Lakehead University website at http://communications.lakeheadu.ca/news/?display=news&nid=798&unitid=1
SSHRC Press Release – Investment will strengthen economy and improve quality of life of Northerners (THUNDER BAY, Ontario, February 25, 2011) – New research will examine how Canadians living in northern communities can benefit from the sustainable development of Arctic natural resources in a manner that improves northerner’s health and wellbeing, while preserving the region’s unique environment. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement while speaking at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay….. Read more at http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/press_releases-communiques/2011/MCRI-eng.aspx
ReSDA partners on Docs North film workshop (Wawatay News, October 14, 2011) – from October 2nd to 6th a video production workshop was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was organized through the Flash Frame Film and Video Network, in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada, Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute and ReSDA. Read more at http://wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2011/10/14/docs-north-film-workshop-awesome-experience_21946