The Community Readiness Initiative in Kugluktuk, Nunavut: The Challenge of Adapting an Indigenous Community-Based Participatory Framework to a Multi-Stakeholder, Government- Designed Project Environment
Keywords:Nunavut, resource development, community-based participatory research, collaborative research, capacity building, capacity exchange, academic consultants
In April 2014, McMaster University and Carleton University collaborated with Kugluktuk, an Inuit community in Nunavut to survey community views on resource development and produce a larger community report. This was part of a Community Readiness Initiative (CRI) piloted by the Canadian Northern Development Agency (CanNor) to assess the socio-economic needs of communities across the North prior to mine development. Kugluktuk is the first of seven communities across Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon to produce their final report. Universities have started to play an important role in developing a ‘third mission’ whereby researchers are encouraged to collaborate with non-academic organizations. This collaborative approach can include contract research and consulting, as well as informal activities like providing ad hoc advice and networking with practitioners. Working as an academic in this environment can create tensions, but it can also create opportunities to foster and ensure meaningful input and consultation from a variety of stakeholders. This paper focuses in depth on the collaborative nature of the CRI process that began in April 2014 and ended in August 2015 with an emphasis on the community-based participatory research approach that we took. With insights that apply equally well outside of the Kugluktuk context, the approach that we took also provides a useful model for engaging with issues on mining and resource development opportunities.
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