Policy & Inuit livelihoods

Labour market policy and Inuit livelihoods in Nunavut

Project Leader: Joshua Gladstone, PhD candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University

Research Supervisor:  Frances Abele, Professor at Carleton University

Since the 1960’s, Inuit in the Eastern Arctic have been largely successful in achieving their demands for collective political and economic recognition. Building on the concept of the mixed economy, this research examines how labour market policy has changed in the wake of multi-level political and economic restructuring, and how these changes have been experienced by those most affected. This research focuses on the idea of the Indigenous “mixed economy”: how it is lived, how it became influential as a way of identifying the diversity of economic forms and social systems that exist in many northern indigenous communities, and how it has evolved more less comfortably with state policies and structures. This work will be done with the community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Research Purpose
The purpose of this proposed research is to explain social policy reforms in the eastern Arctic during the period 1973 – 2012 and to explore how Inuit in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, have experienced them. Specifically, this project will examine the trajectories of change and interactions among three areas of social policy in Nunavut – harvester support, income support, and employment insurance (EI) programs – and their relationship to Inuit livelihoods. Income support and EI programs provide income assistance to the unemployed across Canada, while harvester support programs are measures that support Indigenous harvesting activities in many parts of northern Canada. Although these programs are an important part of the institutional framework within and around which many northern Indigenous people construct their livelihoods, little is known about the way they interact and the experiences of those who rely on them.

For more information contact:
Joshua Gladstone
PhD Candidate and Research Assistant
Carleton University
E-mail: gladstone.joshua@gmail.com

Frances Abele
Professor at Carleton University
5209 River Building
School of Public Policy & Administration
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
613-520-2600 (ext. 2553)
E-mail: frances_abele@carleton.ca