SISARD

Social Innovation for Sustainable Arctic Resource Development (SISARD)

Background

This project builds on the growing body of social science and humanities research dealing with extractive industry impacts in the Arctic by focusing on how communities can best ensure that any short-term benefits of extractive resource development can be transformed into long-term sustainable activities. It builds on the successes of our existing network of partners and academics created around the theme of the northern social economy (SERNNoCa 2006-2011) and which later focused on extractive resource development (ReSDA 2011 – 2018).   These networks produced a large number of academic publications as well as practical outcomes and networking opportunities for northerners.  Although much was learned from this work, there are many more issues of social, economic, cultural and environmental significance that require research. Our northern partners still struggle with many complex questions about the sustainability of their communities and economies.

The proposed project would address these gaps and questions through the lens of social innovation. For our purposes, social innovation is seen as a process of developing new social practices to better meet human needs that are currently being unmet with an emphasis on empowering communities. It is an extension of terms such as social economy and social enterprise. Recent research has pointed to the usefulness of this concept for regional and community development.

Over the past year, the research team has met with territorial and regional Aboriginal governments, concerned communities and research institutes and colleges in northern Canada. These partners, along with many researchers in a range of disciplines, have developed a series of research questions which fall along four (4) main challenge areas:

  1. managing impacts on northern communities;
  2. food security, subsistence, and culture;
  3. enhancing community well-being; and
  4. building capacity and diversifying the economy.

Read the summary with potential questions/topics for each area.

Draft – Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) Network Research Agreement for the proposed SISARD project.

If you are interested in participating in this next phase of ReSDA please contact us or send your ideas/suggestions for what might be included. You can reach Chris Southcott by email at csouthco@lakeheadu.ca or contact Valoree Walker at vwalker@yukoncollege.yk.ca