Generating prosperity, creating crisis: impacts of resource development on diverse groups in northern communities

Generating prosperity, creating crisis: impacts of resource development on diverse groups in... Abstract Northern Canada illustrates the contradictory dynamics in resource development – at once generating prosperity and inclusion within some communities and for some people, and creating or perpetuating crisis in some communities and exclusion for some people. Existing literature related to resource extraction and development focuses on the impacts on the environment and government regulatory mechanisms. Few authors or policy makers pay attention to how multiple and diverse groups within communities are affected by resource development. Building from research in a community-university research alliance, the authors argue that these competing dynamics are initiated and sustained through resource development projects and have disproportionate effects on historically marginalized groups within northern communities. This article presents the results of a comprehensive scoping review of the literature related to the social and economic impacts of resource extraction in Northern Canada. Some of the impacts of resource extraction clearly generate prosperity, while others can move communities towards crises and some do both. Using intersectionality, we argue that policy makers, especially those responsible for community development and regulating resource development projects, require a multilayered analysis to understand and redress the unequal effects of resource development on northern communities. Introduction Northern Canada illustrates several contradictory dynamics in resource development – at once generating prosperity and inclusion within some communities and for some people, and creating or perpetuating crisis and exclusion within some communities and for some people. Much of the literature related to resource extraction and development focuses on the impacts on the environment and government regulatory mechanisms. Few scholars or policy makers pay attention to the complexities of how diverse groups within communities are affected by resource development. Building from the Feminist Northern Network (FemNorthNet), a community-university research alliance, we argue these complex dynamics are initiated and sustained through resource development projects and have disproportionate effects on some groups within northern communities. The negative socio-economic and community impacts of resource development are most strongly felt by historically marginalized community members, including women and girls, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, seniors and recent immigrants. Yet resource development projects have also provided significant benefits and some prosperity to some groups, including some Indigenous nations, and communities. These complex effects require a theoretical approach that can address the multifaceted nature of the issues without reducing the implications to a dualistic ‘either/or.’ Using intersectionality, we argue that policy makers, especially those responsible for community development and regulating resource development projects, require a multilayered analysis to understand and redress the unequal effects of resource development on northern communities. Intersectionality and resource development Intersectionality offers a valuable theoretical lens when considering effects of resource development on marginalized groups within communities and helps to make visible some systems of power that have shaped the unequal distribution of costs and benefits. First used by Kimberlé Crenshaw, and widely used to understand the complexities of the lives of women of colour (Cho, Crenshaw and McCall, 2013), it has also been developed as a tool for policy analysis (Dhamoon, 2011; Hankivsky and Cormier, 2011). Hankivsky (2014) defines the core premises: Intersectionality promotes an understanding of human beings as shaped by the interaction of different social locations (e.g. ‘race’/ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, age, disability/ability…). These interactions occur within a context of connected systems and structures of power (e.g. laws, policies, state governments and other political and economic unions…). Through such processes, interdependent forms of privilege and oppression shaped by colonialism, imperialism, racism, homophobia, ableism and patriarchy [and others] are created (p. 2). Intersectionality understands power as operating within and through what Patricia Hill Collins (2002) calls a ‘matrix of domination’ (p. 227) – the ‘overall social organization within which intersecting oppressions originate, develop, and are contained’ (p. 228). Relationships within the matrix of domination are dynamic and affect individuals occupying different social locations in differentiated ways. Theorizing power as the product of interlocking systems of privilege and oppression makes way for complex understandings of issues, relations and identities that move beyond an ‘either/or’ approach and embrace a ‘both/and’ perspective (Chun, Lipsitz and Shin, 2013). Aiming to make power relations visible, intersectionality is particularly well-suited to analysing the competing dynamics of resource extraction. It makes space for understanding how individuals, groups and communities may experience oppressions, or disadvantages, in some areas of their lives or in particular contexts; and privileges, or advantages, in other areas and contexts (Smooth, 2013). This helps to explain how some communities and some people within communities gain benefits from resource extraction, while others experience costs, consequences or crises, and others still experience both costs and benefits. Understanding both crisis and prosperity is important to explaining the impacts of resource development. Resource extraction projects can sometimes create crisis or intensify existing crisis for some people and some communities. Stienstra (2015) describes a crisis as ‘a moment in time when what is understood or practiced as the status quo is threatened and at risk of destruction’ (p. 633). For Northern communities experiencing resource extraction, the emergence or deepening of a crisis often indicates a lack of resources, infrastructure and/or capacity to deal with the changes and strains that come with the development of a new project. Intersectionality is a key tool for understanding how crises on the local level are shaped by wider historical, social, political and economic forces. While some Northern communities might newly experience a crisis, others might be considered a ‘community in crisis,’ where ‘crises may be chronic and cumulative and a crisis situation may become a ‘normal’ way of life’ (Stienstra, 2015, p. 633). This may be, as Levac et al. (2016) suggest, the result of the full life cycle of resource extraction projects, or the effects of multiple projects over time. Using the lens of intersectionality, and its multilayered analysis, can aid in better understanding the complexities of local crises and identify strategic areas where redress or redistribution might allow a community or groups within a community to begin a path towards prosperity. Prosperity in resource extraction is often described in the economic sense of individuals finding jobs and receiving incomes that help them to meet their needs and enjoy a good quality of life. However, we argue that a more comprehensive and temporal definition of prosperity is required to understand the situation of resource development in communities. The Legatum Institute (2016), which produces an annual prosperity index, writes that ‘Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future.’ The Institute identifies nine ‘pillars of prosperity’: (1) economic quality, including opportunities for individuals to participate in the economy, (2) business environment, (3) governance, including political participation, (4) education, (5) health, including mental health and infrastructure, (6) safety and security, (7) personal freedom, including tolerance of diversity, (8) social capital, and (9) natural environment, including environmental sustainability. These pillars provide a good starting point for considering what prosperity in the context of resource extraction might look like. In development studies, White (2010) argues for a locally-grounded conceptualization of wellbeing as part of understanding a community’s development and prosperity. This aligns with ongoing research focused on tracking community vitality in resource communities from the perspective of diverse women (Levac et al., forthcoming), and helps to highlight the dynamic nature of prosperity. In other words, prosperity and its effects, like wellbeing, change over time (White, 2010). Roseland (2000) also identifies social equity as a part of prosperous, sustainable development. For Indigenous peoples, Kuokkanen (2011) points to the participation in cultural and traditional practices, particularly through subsistence activities, as important to Indigenous identity and an essential element of prosperity. Roseland (2000) writes that ultimately, ‘for people to prosper anywhere they must participate as competent citizens in the decisions and processes that affect their lives’ (p. 105). This reaffirms that deliberative democracy or the involvement of citizens in decisions about their lives, is essential to redress the impacts of resource development as Levac et al. (2016) suggest. Crisis and prosperity offer important indicators of the effects of resource development on communities and individuals. Together with intersectionality, they illustrate questions to ask and signs to look for when examining impacts of resource development, including important critical questions about power in the context of resource extraction (Manning, 2014). How are the costs and benefits of resource extraction experienced and distributed within and among communities? What relationships of power might be implicated in the differential impacts experienced by historically marginalized groups within communities? Who is involved in the consultation and negotiation processes and why is that the case? What types of knowledge and experiences are included and considered valid in policy, assessment and decision-making processes? What types of impacts and consequences have been considered in the assessment and decision-making processes and do they reflect the actual costs and consequences experienced by diverse community members? This type of in-depth and multifaceted analysis is essential when trying to understand the reasons why some communities find prosperity while others experience crisis as a result of resource extraction projects. Without this breadth and depth of analysis, crucial pieces of the puzzle relating to resource extraction in Northern Canada, including the effects of complex legacies of colonization and the cumulative impacts from previous industrial development or resource projects, may not be addressed. Methodology Informed by intersectionality, we conducted an English-language scoping review to uncover scholarly works between 2006 and 2016, focused on gendered and intersectional implications of resource extraction. We built on our existing FemNorthNet library about women and resource extraction by adding work related to other social identities – men, youth, and people with disabilities. Two distinct, yet related, questions guided the scoping review: What are the implications of resource extraction in Canada’s northern communities from a gendered, intersectional perspective? What policies, tools, and regulations/frameworks address the implications of resource extraction in Canada from a gendered, intersectional perspective? After reviewing the materials available in the original library, we developed a list of search terms and sorted them by groups: (a) the Canadian north; (b) resource extraction; (c) implications of resource extraction; (d) identity/social location; (e) ‘isms’ (systems of power); and (f) policies, tools, and/or frameworks. To answer each question, we conducted searches in nine databases and focused on large-scale, industrial resource extraction activities, such as mining and the development of hydroelectric energy. We included both positive and negative implications and impacts. Articles were only included in Question A searches if they reported specifically on the Canadian North and as part of the Question B searches if they were about Canada more broadly, recognizing that policies, tools or frameworks are likely to be applied across regional and geographic contexts. The search identified 312 peer-reviewed academic articles, graduate theses and reports from research networks and non-governmental organizations that met our inclusion criteria on review of abstracts. Of these, 193 documents were excluded on full review because they did not contain enough information relevant to our research questions. For example, many reported on contexts other than Northern Canada or did not address the social and community effects of resource extraction. Our final sample for analysis included 114 documents. The resulting collection of articles was coded with a system developed from the research questions and search terms. This coding system was continually updated as new themes emerged from the collected articles. The literature was analysed qualitatively for common themes aligned with our understanding of intersectionality, including: the (often uneven) implications of resource extraction projects for communities, particularly focusing on which groups enjoy benefits and/or bear costs; the mechanisms and tools in place to help diverse community members benefit from resource extraction; and the challenges and constraints of using available mechanisms Findings The results of the scoping review corroborated previous findings from the FemNorthNet project: resource development has significant, yet uneven impacts on Northern and remote communities. The specific impacts of resource development for individual communities depend on several contextual factors, including governmental jurisdiction, community infrastructure, and the presence of existing projects. For example, the type of transportation that connects a community with the resource development project, such as a road or plane, can change the socio-economic impacts experienced by a community (Bowes-Lyon, Richards and McGee, 2009). The dominant assertion that socio-economic status in Northern communities improves with the introduction of resource development projects does not always bear out. Communities neighbouring resource development projects can still experience high levels of poverty and face other significant challenges (Haalboom, 2014). Some impacts of resource extraction clearly generate prosperity, while others move communities towards crises; some impacts do both. The impacts are evident in employment, housing, education and training, health, social services and infrastructure, sex work, violence, crime and safety, food security, and culture and traditions and affect diverse groups differently. We also note that the literature does not significantly address several groups including people with disabilities, immigrants, homeless populations, people who identify with LGBTQ or two-spirited1 communities, and men. This may stem from an implicit assumption within the literature that there is no need to articulate diverse identities of people. However, even when diverse identities of community members are overlooked, an intersectional analytical framework helps us think about the possibility of unevenly distributed benefits and consequences experienced by different groups within communities. Prosperity-related impacts Using an intersectional lens and identifying prosperity-related impacts, we ask who receives what benefits and who pays which costs associated with resource development in Canada’s North? Employment Increased employment opportunities are a primary benefit of resource extraction and development. Most workers in resource industries are men, even though many have to migrate for those jobs (Cox and Mills, 2015). Mechanisms such as gender quotas, affirmative action policies, and provisions in Impact and Benefits Agreements have proven effective in increasing the number of women working in resource industries. However, Indigenous women working in the mine at Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, where an Impact and Benefits Agreement is in place to ensure Indigenous women have employment opportunities, report that they feel as if co-workers perceive them as ‘token hires’ and that they have experienced racist and sexist discrimination because of that perception (Cox and Mills, 2015). Sexual harassment is a common complaint among women working in resource industries (Pauktuutit, 2012). Women are often relegated to traditionally feminine job roles, such as housekeeping and administration (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Even if not working directly in resource industries, women’s jobs are still affected by boom and bust cycles. Coumans (2005) notes that women’s jobs in services industries such as restaurants and stores in resource towns can be lost when layoffs or strikes occur in nearby resource industries. As well, women who move to resource towns to be with partners who hold jobs in resource industries, often have little choice but to accept part-time, non-unionized jobs well below their skill and education levels, with few benefits (Coumans, 2005). These findings suggest that gendered economic and labour power inequities are perpetuated through employment related to resource development. For community members able to obtain jobs in resource extraction, the increased income can increase access to healthy and nutritious food (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Employment income from resource extraction can also provide extra funds for harvesting equipment (Angell and Parkins, 2011). Large numbers of jobs, particularly low- or un-skilled jobs, are typically available during the construction phases of megaprojects; however, the number of available jobs is drastically reduced during the operations phase. Operation jobs are typically high-skilled and require substantial education or training; rendering them inaccessible to many Indigenous Northerners (Bernauer, 2011; Andrachuk and Smit, 2012). Resource industries are typically dependent on the global market, and when there is less demand for a particular resource, the number of jobs available in these sectors decreases (Andrachuk and Smit, 2012). The cyclic and precarious nature of this employment also affects employees’ abilities to save for retirement (Major and Winters, 2013). Many project sites are fly-in and fly-out which represents another employment barrier for many residents of Northern and remote communities. In Baker Lake, Nunavut, Bernauer (2011) found that the ‘two weeks on/two weeks off’ work schedule of the nearby Meadowbank mine was not workable for many Inuit residents. Lone parents especially felt that the work schedule presented too many challenges for parenting their children, especially when they had to find childcare while they were away (Bernauer, 2011). These long periods of time away from the community can also disrupt traditional harvesting activities, and some Indigenous families experience a shortage of country foods when the family member responsible for harvesting is employed in a resource industry (Buell, 2006). Even when communities are near project sites, the shift work required can be a challenge, particularly for women who frequently carry the bulk of childcare responsibilities. One study reports that women in Labrador West identify shift work as a barrier to obtaining resource-based employment as well as ‘a major cause of martial and family discord, dysfunction and breakdown’ (Coumans, 2005, p. 16). Similar patterns have been noted in other Northern communities (Parkins and Angell, 2011; Shandro et al., 2011; Dylan, Smallboy and Lightman, 2013). In other words, structural features of resource sector work create uneven access to employment opportunities. In one community, Behchokö, NWT, increased contact with elders, who often provide childcare for family members when parents are working in the mining industry, had positive effects on the maintenance of the Tåîchô language among youth (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Racial and ethnic discrimination is prevalent in many resource industry workplaces. Resource workplaces often have a racial/ethnic hierarchy (Cameron and Levitan, 2014; Haalboom, 2014), such as the ‘racially stratified workforce at Meadowbank [mine and many others], where the majority of Inuit employees do manual labour and cooking or cleaning, while the majority of technical and management positions are occupied by non-Inuit people’ (Bernauer, 2011, p. 12). Similarly, Foster and Taylor (2013) report that temporary foreign workers in Fort McMurray have noticed that they are regularly assigned less desirable shifts, but feel unable to complain because their jobs are precarious. None of the academic literature we found acknowledged that people with disabilities face significant barriers and challenges in accessing employment in resource extraction projects. Our previous research with FemNorthNet confirmed that many women with disabilities in our partner communities in the North cannot easily access employment in the resource industry (Stienstra, 2015; Manning et al., 2016). In sum, the structure of economic benefits that can accrue from resource extraction projects uphold existing economic power imbalances, while persistent barriers to the labour market, such as lack of access to childcare and adequate training, are reinforced. Health Many jobs in resource industries carry high potential for injury and other physical health effects. Sometimes these injuries and health effects can result in temporary, recurrent or permanent disabilities for mine workers, and can prevent them from continuing their employment. Given that men represent the majority of workers in resource industries, Forestell (2006) writes that women (in a heteronormative relationship framework) often hold the care responsibilities for their injured or sick husbands, partners or sons. If the male worker was the primary source of income, families can face financial difficulties in meeting their needs and women are left to find jobs or make difficult budget choices. This study also notes that health effects, such as lung disease, that are a result of environmental contaminants in the worksite, are more likely to affect older workers who have been working at the same site for many years (Forestell, 2006). One study notes a positive health effect that communities can experience a decrease in alcoholism when employment rates are high (Dana, Meis-Mason and Anderson, 2008). Many large companies drug test their employees as an occupational health and safety measure, which discourages substance use, but can also prevent potential workers with addictions from being able to gain employment (Taylor and Friedel, 2011). Education and training Resource extraction projects affect education and training. Some youth in Northern resource-based communities choose to leave school early, lured by the promise of quick money and low education requirements for many manual labour jobs in resource industries (Goldenberg et al., 2010; Davison and Hawe, 2012). The type of education and training opportunities available in communities can also change as resource extraction comes to the community. Many colleges and high schools in the North focus on creating workers with employable skills, ready to work in resource industries (McCreary, 2013). Many, like the Northwest Community College in northern British Columbia, have industry and government funded subsidies for Indigenous students who want to train for jobs in resource industries (McCreary, 2013). Hall (2013) expresses concerns that the focus on training for resource industries leaves students ill-prepared for finding other employment, if available, during bust periods. In general, the literature illustrates that resource development has some important prosperity generating impacts, most notably through income gains resulting from employment in the resource development industry. But this is still primarily benefiting men, often from Southern Canada. Those from Northern communities may benefit from lower paying jobs, greater access to education, and some modest food security and cultural benefits. Overall though, we found little to illustrate significant benefits to communities. There is also limited research focused on the circumstances, policies or practices which might nurture prosperity for communities and historically marginalized groups within them. Crisis-related impacts When considering the crisis-related impacts of resource development, we move beyond a cost–benefit analysis to consider, using our intersectional analytical approach, what changes, strains and gaps affect which communities, and which groups within communities, and we ask, how are these groups and communities positioned over time to adapt to these changes and challenges? Social services and infrastructure The large influx of workers to resource-based towns strains existing infrastructure. Northern communities often lose vital public service providers, such as health care workers, to private jobs at project sites, which often offer higher salaries and more attractive incentives than are available in small and remote communities (Dylan et al., 2013; Hall, 2013). Gaps in public services are then filled in other ways. Davison and Hawe (2012) note that when adequate childcare is not available, grandparents can end up taking over childcare responsibilities. The Mokami Status of Women Council (2011) argues that rather than increasing the pay for care service workers of seniors and people with disabilities who leave for higher paying resource-related jobs, female temporary foreign workers, who are often paid very low wages, are recruited to fill the gaps. Existing social services and infrastructure are often inadequate to meet the needs of an aging population; northern resource dependent communities were not originally conceived as retirement locations. As a result, the housing stock, professional services, and amenities to meet older peoples’ needs are often lacking (Hanlon et al., 2014). Seniors can become isolated as a result of mobility barriers (Ryser and Halseth, 2013). These types of barriers can also be problematic for people with disabilities, however this is not discussed in the literature we found. In their study of the voluntary sector in such communities, Hanlon et al. (2014) found that older people play a vital leadership role in initiating and maintaining important community infrastructure. This highlights the complex reality that communities may be both dependent on, and unable to meet the needs of, seniors. Housing The rising cost of housing is a key social impact of resource extraction projects. Goldenberg et al. (2010) report that ‘the average cost of purchasing a home [in Fort St. John, BC] has almost doubled in the past five years.’ The influx of workers for resource projects not only drives the cost of housing up, but also means that there are fewer housing options. In Fort St. John, BC ‘[m]any participants [of their research] (newcomers, migrants, and locals alike) were living temporarily in hotels or with partners, friends, or family because they were unable to find their own accommodation’ (Goldenberg et al., 2010, p. 163). Overcrowding is a common phenomenon where housing is either unavailable or unaffordable, which has both physical and mental health implications (Buell, 2006). Education and training Marginalized groups face significant barriers to education and training that would allow them to find employment in resource industries. Women with childcare responsibilities, but who live in communities without accessible or affordable childcare, often struggle to find supports that would allow them to pursue educational opportunities (Stienstra, 2015). Education funding for First Nations students is limited due to the government funding cap, and does not always support students pursuing multiple years of adult basic education or trades-based programs (Taylor and Friedel, 2011). People who live in remote communities may be unable to travel to larger centres or hubs with post-secondary institutions for training. A lack of affordable housing in these larger centres can also prohibit low-income individuals from being able to access education (Stienstra, 2015), creating a situation where people already facing structural disadvantages are pushed further from the labour market. Temporary foreign workers who come to work in Canada’s resource industries face additional challenges as their education and training certifications are often not recognized in Canada. In some cases, they are given six months to pass the required tests for Canada’s certifications and are deported if they fail (Foster and Taylor, 2013). Health Numerous health concerns can be linked to, or are the result of, resource extraction and may move communities towards crisis. The isolation of many resource-based towns can contribute to the development of addictions and depression (Coumans, 2005). High rates of suicide in many Northern communities can be linked to the increased challenges and stresses that come with the changes that accompany resource extraction, combined with already complex legacies of colonization and displacement (Dana et al., 2008). Increases in mental health concerns are often observed in the lead up to bust periods (Shandro et al., 2011). Exposure to environmental contaminants linked to industrial development, including mercury, has been identified as a possible cause of intellectual and learning disabilities and impairments among some Inuit children in Nunavik (Boucher et al., 2012). Communities near resource extraction projects also often experience increased rates of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) (Buell, 2006; Cameron and Levitan, 2014). This can be partially attributed to the influx of workers, new transient lifestyles (Davison and Hawe, 2012), and rising rates of sex work. Goldenberg et al. (2008) demonstrate that young oil and gas workers can experience many barriers, such as lack of access to clinics or testing and a lack of sexual health education, which can lead to further spread of STIs. Sexism and cultural factors also prevent youth in resource towns from getting STI testing. Young women in small towns are often afraid of being stereotyped as promiscuous if they are seen at an STI clinic (Goldenberg et al., 2008). Hypermasculinity associated with men working in resource industries sometimes encourages young men to engage in risky sexual behaviour and then avoid being tested for STIs to prevent the appearance of ‘weakness’ among their peers (Goldenberg et al., 2008). Men who identify with the LGBTQ or two-spirited communities are not considered in this research, but likely face unique challenges on account of this hypermasculine environment. Other researchers illustrate how this masculinity shapes the contexts and cultures of resource industry towns, and can even affect men who do not work in the industry (Coen et al., 2013). For example, men in Prince George, BC, describe hiding their experiences of depression from male friends and colleagues, and refusing to seek help from health professionals, because it did not fit the accepted version of rugged and tough masculinity in that community (Coen et al., 2013). These findings reveal variations in the interplay between social and health services, and diverse community members. Exposure to health risks in chronically under-serviced communities means northern residents may face additional structural disadvantages; isolation and lack of service access can bring about other health consequences for individuals and families. Sex work The influx of transient workers to resource towns has been linked to increased rates of sex work, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking (Coumans, 2005; Pauktuutit, 2012). Women who are homeless, living in overcrowded housing, struggling with mental health concerns and addictions, or experiencing poverty are more likely than other women to be involved in sex work or vulnerable to trafficking (Manning et al., 2016). Violence, crime, and safety Higher rates of gender-based/domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes are often associated with new resource development projects (Buell, 2006; Bernauer, 2011). Pauktuutit (2012) argues some of this violence is a result of the increased rates of substance abuse. While varying between communities and individuals, binging on alcohol and drugs is a common behaviour among young people (often men) employed in resource industries as a result of high disposable income and social isolation (Goldenberg et al., 2010). Several studies show that the lack of close parental supervision due to employment in resource industries has increased rates of alcohol and drug use among youth in many Northern communities (Parkins and Angell, 2011; Davison and Hawe, 2012). Bernauer (2011) notes that women are more likely than men to be the victims of violence. Women also report feeling a loss of a general sense of safety due to community changes and an influx of workers (Rudolph and McLachlan, 2013). Parkins and Angell (2011) suggest that high incomes from resource projects mean that people can easily pay fines for things like traffic violations, so are not as inclined to follow the law. Increases in theft and assault rates are often attributed to rising addiction rates and drug-related conflicts (Buell, 2006; Parkins and Angell, 2011). Campbell (2007) finds a community’s displacement and relocation because of a hydroelectric development has led to easier access to drugs and alcohol because of a road link to bigger centres. Changes to cultural practices, community lifestyles, distrust of government service providers, and breakdowns in family relationships are associated with displacement and work together to contribute to family violence (Campbell, 2007). They also highlight the ongoing consequences of colonial systems, and offer a clear example of the power imbalances that are revealed through an intersectional analysis. Food security Resource projects and their associated infrastructure, such as pipelines or airports, often disrupt caribou and other wildlife migration patterns, or pollute land and water, which many Indigenous communities count on as vital sources of food and drinking water (Andrachuk and Smit, 2012; Dylan et al., 2013). Mercury in waterways and its effect on fish is a particular concern associated with hydro dams (Angell and Parkins, 2011; Nunatsiavut, 2016). Changes in local climates for communities near large reservoirs created by hydroelectric projects, can also affect food security (Loo, 2007). Buell (2006) points out that there are physical health impacts as a result of a decrease in harvesting activities. For those excluded from resource industry jobs, or who have special dietary needs, the increase in grocery costs that typically accompany resource extraction can reduce access to healthy food (Dylan et al., 2013). Culture and traditions Resource extraction projects have had primarily negative impacts on the continuity of culture and traditions. Their development often deprives Indigenous people of their traditional lands. As connection with land is vital to the identity of many Indigenous people and nations the consequences are profound, threatening history, knowledge, and wellbeing (Booth and Skelton, 2011). The large flood zones associated with the construction of hydroelectric dams, and the Alberta oil sands, disrupt access to trap lines, hunting grounds and sacred sites, which has implications not only for culture and traditions, but also food security and wellbeing (Angell and Parkins, 2011; Stienstra, 2015). In some Indigenous communities, job opportunities in resource sectors have taken many of the traditional language speakers away from the community, negatively affecting language retention (Buell, 2006). Again, the literature illustrates that there are many crisis-generating impacts of resource development in Canada’s North, most notably with the influx of temporary resource development workers, high incomes, and inadequate social service, health and housing infrastructure in existing communities. Using an intersectional lens to interpret the literature reveals that existing structures and institutions perpetuate uneven access to prosperity for different groups within communities. Our analytical approach also reveals tensions in the experiences of social groups. For example, men are more likely to access high paying jobs, but are also likely to experience the effects of a hypermasculine environment; community Elders may be more able to pass on language and other elements of culture to their grandchildren, but may also be expected to take on significant childcare responsibilities. While the literature reveals a range of resource-related impacts in the north, it fails to illustrate what circumstances may indicate a crisis is brewing or tip a community into crisis. As our analysis reveals though, this likely includes historically unequal power relations evident in colonization, and other forms of marginalization. Ways forward As we argue in another article (Levac et al., 2016), besides highlighting uneven experiences of prosperity and crisis, an intersectional analysis of the impacts of resource development uncovers hidden consequences including cumulative effects, changes to individual and community wellbeing over time, effects on social infrastructure and uneven effects between and within communities. An intersectional analysis, which attends to structural inequities, also reveals that these consequences emerge in part because of historical and ongoing colonialism, convoluted government assessment processes, and the privatization of public responsibilities (Levac et al., 2016). From this perspective, ensuring prosperity from resource development requires fostering both individual and community capacity to engage in discussions and decisions about what type of development is needed by communities. It calls for more inclusive approaches to democracy; such that principles of deliberative democracy and affected interests are taken seriously. It requires understanding prosperity as having temporal dimensions; in other words – prosperity can be fleeting. Finally, it demands critical, intersectional reflection on the historical situations of communities, as well as an understanding of the unique groups of people who make up different communities. Without addressing both causes and effects, governments and companies engaged in resource development risk reinforcing situations that create or perpetuate crises rather than ensuring that resource development is used to generate prosperity within and across communities in Canada’s North. Footnotes 1 Two-spirited reflects an Indigenous response to gender, with some people embodying both feminine and masculine spirits. References Andrachuk, M. and Smit, B. ( 2012) Community-based vulnerability assessment of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, Canada to environmental and socio-economic changes, Regional Environmental Change , 12 ( 4), 867– 885. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS   Angell, A. C. and Parkins, J. R. ( 2011) Resource development and aboriginal culture in the Canadian north, Polar Record , 47 ( 240), 67– 79. Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS   Bernauer, W. 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Generating prosperity, creating crisis: impacts of resource development on diverse groups in northern communities

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Oxford University Press
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© Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2017 All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
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Abstract

Abstract Northern Canada illustrates the contradictory dynamics in resource development – at once generating prosperity and inclusion within some communities and for some people, and creating or perpetuating crisis in some communities and exclusion for some people. Existing literature related to resource extraction and development focuses on the impacts on the environment and government regulatory mechanisms. Few authors or policy makers pay attention to how multiple and diverse groups within communities are affected by resource development. Building from research in a community-university research alliance, the authors argue that these competing dynamics are initiated and sustained through resource development projects and have disproportionate effects on historically marginalized groups within northern communities. This article presents the results of a comprehensive scoping review of the literature related to the social and economic impacts of resource extraction in Northern Canada. Some of the impacts of resource extraction clearly generate prosperity, while others can move communities towards crises and some do both. Using intersectionality, we argue that policy makers, especially those responsible for community development and regulating resource development projects, require a multilayered analysis to understand and redress the unequal effects of resource development on northern communities. Introduction Northern Canada illustrates several contradictory dynamics in resource development – at once generating prosperity and inclusion within some communities and for some people, and creating or perpetuating crisis and exclusion within some communities and for some people. Much of the literature related to resource extraction and development focuses on the impacts on the environment and government regulatory mechanisms. Few scholars or policy makers pay attention to the complexities of how diverse groups within communities are affected by resource development. Building from the Feminist Northern Network (FemNorthNet), a community-university research alliance, we argue these complex dynamics are initiated and sustained through resource development projects and have disproportionate effects on some groups within northern communities. The negative socio-economic and community impacts of resource development are most strongly felt by historically marginalized community members, including women and girls, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, seniors and recent immigrants. Yet resource development projects have also provided significant benefits and some prosperity to some groups, including some Indigenous nations, and communities. These complex effects require a theoretical approach that can address the multifaceted nature of the issues without reducing the implications to a dualistic ‘either/or.’ Using intersectionality, we argue that policy makers, especially those responsible for community development and regulating resource development projects, require a multilayered analysis to understand and redress the unequal effects of resource development on northern communities. Intersectionality and resource development Intersectionality offers a valuable theoretical lens when considering effects of resource development on marginalized groups within communities and helps to make visible some systems of power that have shaped the unequal distribution of costs and benefits. First used by Kimberlé Crenshaw, and widely used to understand the complexities of the lives of women of colour (Cho, Crenshaw and McCall, 2013), it has also been developed as a tool for policy analysis (Dhamoon, 2011; Hankivsky and Cormier, 2011). Hankivsky (2014) defines the core premises: Intersectionality promotes an understanding of human beings as shaped by the interaction of different social locations (e.g. ‘race’/ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, age, disability/ability…). These interactions occur within a context of connected systems and structures of power (e.g. laws, policies, state governments and other political and economic unions…). Through such processes, interdependent forms of privilege and oppression shaped by colonialism, imperialism, racism, homophobia, ableism and patriarchy [and others] are created (p. 2). Intersectionality understands power as operating within and through what Patricia Hill Collins (2002) calls a ‘matrix of domination’ (p. 227) – the ‘overall social organization within which intersecting oppressions originate, develop, and are contained’ (p. 228). Relationships within the matrix of domination are dynamic and affect individuals occupying different social locations in differentiated ways. Theorizing power as the product of interlocking systems of privilege and oppression makes way for complex understandings of issues, relations and identities that move beyond an ‘either/or’ approach and embrace a ‘both/and’ perspective (Chun, Lipsitz and Shin, 2013). Aiming to make power relations visible, intersectionality is particularly well-suited to analysing the competing dynamics of resource extraction. It makes space for understanding how individuals, groups and communities may experience oppressions, or disadvantages, in some areas of their lives or in particular contexts; and privileges, or advantages, in other areas and contexts (Smooth, 2013). This helps to explain how some communities and some people within communities gain benefits from resource extraction, while others experience costs, consequences or crises, and others still experience both costs and benefits. Understanding both crisis and prosperity is important to explaining the impacts of resource development. Resource extraction projects can sometimes create crisis or intensify existing crisis for some people and some communities. Stienstra (2015) describes a crisis as ‘a moment in time when what is understood or practiced as the status quo is threatened and at risk of destruction’ (p. 633). For Northern communities experiencing resource extraction, the emergence or deepening of a crisis often indicates a lack of resources, infrastructure and/or capacity to deal with the changes and strains that come with the development of a new project. Intersectionality is a key tool for understanding how crises on the local level are shaped by wider historical, social, political and economic forces. While some Northern communities might newly experience a crisis, others might be considered a ‘community in crisis,’ where ‘crises may be chronic and cumulative and a crisis situation may become a ‘normal’ way of life’ (Stienstra, 2015, p. 633). This may be, as Levac et al. (2016) suggest, the result of the full life cycle of resource extraction projects, or the effects of multiple projects over time. Using the lens of intersectionality, and its multilayered analysis, can aid in better understanding the complexities of local crises and identify strategic areas where redress or redistribution might allow a community or groups within a community to begin a path towards prosperity. Prosperity in resource extraction is often described in the economic sense of individuals finding jobs and receiving incomes that help them to meet their needs and enjoy a good quality of life. However, we argue that a more comprehensive and temporal definition of prosperity is required to understand the situation of resource development in communities. The Legatum Institute (2016), which produces an annual prosperity index, writes that ‘Prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth, it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of an even better life in the future.’ The Institute identifies nine ‘pillars of prosperity’: (1) economic quality, including opportunities for individuals to participate in the economy, (2) business environment, (3) governance, including political participation, (4) education, (5) health, including mental health and infrastructure, (6) safety and security, (7) personal freedom, including tolerance of diversity, (8) social capital, and (9) natural environment, including environmental sustainability. These pillars provide a good starting point for considering what prosperity in the context of resource extraction might look like. In development studies, White (2010) argues for a locally-grounded conceptualization of wellbeing as part of understanding a community’s development and prosperity. This aligns with ongoing research focused on tracking community vitality in resource communities from the perspective of diverse women (Levac et al., forthcoming), and helps to highlight the dynamic nature of prosperity. In other words, prosperity and its effects, like wellbeing, change over time (White, 2010). Roseland (2000) also identifies social equity as a part of prosperous, sustainable development. For Indigenous peoples, Kuokkanen (2011) points to the participation in cultural and traditional practices, particularly through subsistence activities, as important to Indigenous identity and an essential element of prosperity. Roseland (2000) writes that ultimately, ‘for people to prosper anywhere they must participate as competent citizens in the decisions and processes that affect their lives’ (p. 105). This reaffirms that deliberative democracy or the involvement of citizens in decisions about their lives, is essential to redress the impacts of resource development as Levac et al. (2016) suggest. Crisis and prosperity offer important indicators of the effects of resource development on communities and individuals. Together with intersectionality, they illustrate questions to ask and signs to look for when examining impacts of resource development, including important critical questions about power in the context of resource extraction (Manning, 2014). How are the costs and benefits of resource extraction experienced and distributed within and among communities? What relationships of power might be implicated in the differential impacts experienced by historically marginalized groups within communities? Who is involved in the consultation and negotiation processes and why is that the case? What types of knowledge and experiences are included and considered valid in policy, assessment and decision-making processes? What types of impacts and consequences have been considered in the assessment and decision-making processes and do they reflect the actual costs and consequences experienced by diverse community members? This type of in-depth and multifaceted analysis is essential when trying to understand the reasons why some communities find prosperity while others experience crisis as a result of resource extraction projects. Without this breadth and depth of analysis, crucial pieces of the puzzle relating to resource extraction in Northern Canada, including the effects of complex legacies of colonization and the cumulative impacts from previous industrial development or resource projects, may not be addressed. Methodology Informed by intersectionality, we conducted an English-language scoping review to uncover scholarly works between 2006 and 2016, focused on gendered and intersectional implications of resource extraction. We built on our existing FemNorthNet library about women and resource extraction by adding work related to other social identities – men, youth, and people with disabilities. Two distinct, yet related, questions guided the scoping review: What are the implications of resource extraction in Canada’s northern communities from a gendered, intersectional perspective? What policies, tools, and regulations/frameworks address the implications of resource extraction in Canada from a gendered, intersectional perspective? After reviewing the materials available in the original library, we developed a list of search terms and sorted them by groups: (a) the Canadian north; (b) resource extraction; (c) implications of resource extraction; (d) identity/social location; (e) ‘isms’ (systems of power); and (f) policies, tools, and/or frameworks. To answer each question, we conducted searches in nine databases and focused on large-scale, industrial resource extraction activities, such as mining and the development of hydroelectric energy. We included both positive and negative implications and impacts. Articles were only included in Question A searches if they reported specifically on the Canadian North and as part of the Question B searches if they were about Canada more broadly, recognizing that policies, tools or frameworks are likely to be applied across regional and geographic contexts. The search identified 312 peer-reviewed academic articles, graduate theses and reports from research networks and non-governmental organizations that met our inclusion criteria on review of abstracts. Of these, 193 documents were excluded on full review because they did not contain enough information relevant to our research questions. For example, many reported on contexts other than Northern Canada or did not address the social and community effects of resource extraction. Our final sample for analysis included 114 documents. The resulting collection of articles was coded with a system developed from the research questions and search terms. This coding system was continually updated as new themes emerged from the collected articles. The literature was analysed qualitatively for common themes aligned with our understanding of intersectionality, including: the (often uneven) implications of resource extraction projects for communities, particularly focusing on which groups enjoy benefits and/or bear costs; the mechanisms and tools in place to help diverse community members benefit from resource extraction; and the challenges and constraints of using available mechanisms Findings The results of the scoping review corroborated previous findings from the FemNorthNet project: resource development has significant, yet uneven impacts on Northern and remote communities. The specific impacts of resource development for individual communities depend on several contextual factors, including governmental jurisdiction, community infrastructure, and the presence of existing projects. For example, the type of transportation that connects a community with the resource development project, such as a road or plane, can change the socio-economic impacts experienced by a community (Bowes-Lyon, Richards and McGee, 2009). The dominant assertion that socio-economic status in Northern communities improves with the introduction of resource development projects does not always bear out. Communities neighbouring resource development projects can still experience high levels of poverty and face other significant challenges (Haalboom, 2014). Some impacts of resource extraction clearly generate prosperity, while others move communities towards crises; some impacts do both. The impacts are evident in employment, housing, education and training, health, social services and infrastructure, sex work, violence, crime and safety, food security, and culture and traditions and affect diverse groups differently. We also note that the literature does not significantly address several groups including people with disabilities, immigrants, homeless populations, people who identify with LGBTQ or two-spirited1 communities, and men. This may stem from an implicit assumption within the literature that there is no need to articulate diverse identities of people. However, even when diverse identities of community members are overlooked, an intersectional analytical framework helps us think about the possibility of unevenly distributed benefits and consequences experienced by different groups within communities. Prosperity-related impacts Using an intersectional lens and identifying prosperity-related impacts, we ask who receives what benefits and who pays which costs associated with resource development in Canada’s North? Employment Increased employment opportunities are a primary benefit of resource extraction and development. Most workers in resource industries are men, even though many have to migrate for those jobs (Cox and Mills, 2015). Mechanisms such as gender quotas, affirmative action policies, and provisions in Impact and Benefits Agreements have proven effective in increasing the number of women working in resource industries. However, Indigenous women working in the mine at Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, where an Impact and Benefits Agreement is in place to ensure Indigenous women have employment opportunities, report that they feel as if co-workers perceive them as ‘token hires’ and that they have experienced racist and sexist discrimination because of that perception (Cox and Mills, 2015). Sexual harassment is a common complaint among women working in resource industries (Pauktuutit, 2012). Women are often relegated to traditionally feminine job roles, such as housekeeping and administration (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Even if not working directly in resource industries, women’s jobs are still affected by boom and bust cycles. Coumans (2005) notes that women’s jobs in services industries such as restaurants and stores in resource towns can be lost when layoffs or strikes occur in nearby resource industries. As well, women who move to resource towns to be with partners who hold jobs in resource industries, often have little choice but to accept part-time, non-unionized jobs well below their skill and education levels, with few benefits (Coumans, 2005). These findings suggest that gendered economic and labour power inequities are perpetuated through employment related to resource development. For community members able to obtain jobs in resource extraction, the increased income can increase access to healthy and nutritious food (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Employment income from resource extraction can also provide extra funds for harvesting equipment (Angell and Parkins, 2011). Large numbers of jobs, particularly low- or un-skilled jobs, are typically available during the construction phases of megaprojects; however, the number of available jobs is drastically reduced during the operations phase. Operation jobs are typically high-skilled and require substantial education or training; rendering them inaccessible to many Indigenous Northerners (Bernauer, 2011; Andrachuk and Smit, 2012). Resource industries are typically dependent on the global market, and when there is less demand for a particular resource, the number of jobs available in these sectors decreases (Andrachuk and Smit, 2012). The cyclic and precarious nature of this employment also affects employees’ abilities to save for retirement (Major and Winters, 2013). Many project sites are fly-in and fly-out which represents another employment barrier for many residents of Northern and remote communities. In Baker Lake, Nunavut, Bernauer (2011) found that the ‘two weeks on/two weeks off’ work schedule of the nearby Meadowbank mine was not workable for many Inuit residents. Lone parents especially felt that the work schedule presented too many challenges for parenting their children, especially when they had to find childcare while they were away (Bernauer, 2011). These long periods of time away from the community can also disrupt traditional harvesting activities, and some Indigenous families experience a shortage of country foods when the family member responsible for harvesting is employed in a resource industry (Buell, 2006). Even when communities are near project sites, the shift work required can be a challenge, particularly for women who frequently carry the bulk of childcare responsibilities. One study reports that women in Labrador West identify shift work as a barrier to obtaining resource-based employment as well as ‘a major cause of martial and family discord, dysfunction and breakdown’ (Coumans, 2005, p. 16). Similar patterns have been noted in other Northern communities (Parkins and Angell, 2011; Shandro et al., 2011; Dylan, Smallboy and Lightman, 2013). In other words, structural features of resource sector work create uneven access to employment opportunities. In one community, Behchokö, NWT, increased contact with elders, who often provide childcare for family members when parents are working in the mining industry, had positive effects on the maintenance of the Tåîchô language among youth (Davison and Hawe, 2012). Racial and ethnic discrimination is prevalent in many resource industry workplaces. Resource workplaces often have a racial/ethnic hierarchy (Cameron and Levitan, 2014; Haalboom, 2014), such as the ‘racially stratified workforce at Meadowbank [mine and many others], where the majority of Inuit employees do manual labour and cooking or cleaning, while the majority of technical and management positions are occupied by non-Inuit people’ (Bernauer, 2011, p. 12). Similarly, Foster and Taylor (2013) report that temporary foreign workers in Fort McMurray have noticed that they are regularly assigned less desirable shifts, but feel unable to complain because their jobs are precarious. None of the academic literature we found acknowledged that people with disabilities face significant barriers and challenges in accessing employment in resource extraction projects. Our previous research with FemNorthNet confirmed that many women with disabilities in our partner communities in the North cannot easily access employment in the resource industry (Stienstra, 2015; Manning et al., 2016). In sum, the structure of economic benefits that can accrue from resource extraction projects uphold existing economic power imbalances, while persistent barriers to the labour market, such as lack of access to childcare and adequate training, are reinforced. Health Many jobs in resource industries carry high potential for injury and other physical health effects. Sometimes these injuries and health effects can result in temporary, recurrent or permanent disabilities for mine workers, and can prevent them from continuing their employment. Given that men represent the majority of workers in resource industries, Forestell (2006) writes that women (in a heteronormative relationship framework) often hold the care responsibilities for their injured or sick husbands, partners or sons. If the male worker was the primary source of income, families can face financial difficulties in meeting their needs and women are left to find jobs or make difficult budget choices. This study also notes that health effects, such as lung disease, that are a result of environmental contaminants in the worksite, are more likely to affect older workers who have been working at the same site for many years (Forestell, 2006). One study notes a positive health effect that communities can experience a decrease in alcoholism when employment rates are high (Dana, Meis-Mason and Anderson, 2008). Many large companies drug test their employees as an occupational health and safety measure, which discourages substance use, but can also prevent potential workers with addictions from being able to gain employment (Taylor and Friedel, 2011). Education and training Resource extraction projects affect education and training. Some youth in Northern resource-based communities choose to leave school early, lured by the promise of quick money and low education requirements for many manual labour jobs in resource industries (Goldenberg et al., 2010; Davison and Hawe, 2012). The type of education and training opportunities available in communities can also change as resource extraction comes to the community. Many colleges and high schools in the North focus on creating workers with employable skills, ready to work in resource industries (McCreary, 2013). Many, like the Northwest Community College in northern British Columbia, have industry and government funded subsidies for Indigenous students who want to train for jobs in resource industries (McCreary, 2013). Hall (2013) expresses concerns that the focus on training for resource industries leaves students ill-prepared for finding other employment, if available, during bust periods. In general, the literature illustrates that resource development has some important prosperity generating impacts, most notably through income gains resulting from employment in the resource development industry. But this is still primarily benefiting men, often from Southern Canada. Those from Northern communities may benefit from lower paying jobs, greater access to education, and some modest food security and cultural benefits. Overall though, we found little to illustrate significant benefits to communities. There is also limited research focused on the circumstances, policies or practices which might nurture prosperity for communities and historically marginalized groups within them. Crisis-related impacts When considering the crisis-related impacts of resource development, we move beyond a cost–benefit analysis to consider, using our intersectional analytical approach, what changes, strains and gaps affect which communities, and which groups within communities, and we ask, how are these groups and communities positioned over time to adapt to these changes and challenges? Social services and infrastructure The large influx of workers to resource-based towns strains existing infrastructure. Northern communities often lose vital public service providers, such as health care workers, to private jobs at project sites, which often offer higher salaries and more attractive incentives than are available in small and remote communities (Dylan et al., 2013; Hall, 2013). Gaps in public services are then filled in other ways. Davison and Hawe (2012) note that when adequate childcare is not available, grandparents can end up taking over childcare responsibilities. The Mokami Status of Women Council (2011) argues that rather than increasing the pay for care service workers of seniors and people with disabilities who leave for higher paying resource-related jobs, female temporary foreign workers, who are often paid very low wages, are recruited to fill the gaps. Existing social services and infrastructure are often inadequate to meet the needs of an aging population; northern resource dependent communities were not originally conceived as retirement locations. As a result, the housing stock, professional services, and amenities to meet older peoples’ needs are often lacking (Hanlon et al., 2014). Seniors can become isolated as a result of mobility barriers (Ryser and Halseth, 2013). These types of barriers can also be problematic for people with disabilities, however this is not discussed in the literature we found. In their study of the voluntary sector in such communities, Hanlon et al. (2014) found that older people play a vital leadership role in initiating and maintaining important community infrastructure. This highlights the complex reality that communities may be both dependent on, and unable to meet the needs of, seniors. Housing The rising cost of housing is a key social impact of resource extraction projects. Goldenberg et al. (2010) report that ‘the average cost of purchasing a home [in Fort St. John, BC] has almost doubled in the past five years.’ The influx of workers for resource projects not only drives the cost of housing up, but also means that there are fewer housing options. In Fort St. John, BC ‘[m]any participants [of their research] (newcomers, migrants, and locals alike) were living temporarily in hotels or with partners, friends, or family because they were unable to find their own accommodation’ (Goldenberg et al., 2010, p. 163). Overcrowding is a common phenomenon where housing is either unavailable or unaffordable, which has both physical and mental health implications (Buell, 2006). Education and training Marginalized groups face significant barriers to education and training that would allow them to find employment in resource industries. Women with childcare responsibilities, but who live in communities without accessible or affordable childcare, often struggle to find supports that would allow them to pursue educational opportunities (Stienstra, 2015). Education funding for First Nations students is limited due to the government funding cap, and does not always support students pursuing multiple years of adult basic education or trades-based programs (Taylor and Friedel, 2011). People who live in remote communities may be unable to travel to larger centres or hubs with post-secondary institutions for training. A lack of affordable housing in these larger centres can also prohibit low-income individuals from being able to access education (Stienstra, 2015), creating a situation where people already facing structural disadvantages are pushed further from the labour market. Temporary foreign workers who come to work in Canada’s resource industries face additional challenges as their education and training certifications are often not recognized in Canada. In some cases, they are given six months to pass the required tests for Canada’s certifications and are deported if they fail (Foster and Taylor, 2013). Health Numerous health concerns can be linked to, or are the result of, resource extraction and may move communities towards crisis. The isolation of many resource-based towns can contribute to the development of addictions and depression (Coumans, 2005). High rates of suicide in many Northern communities can be linked to the increased challenges and stresses that come with the changes that accompany resource extraction, combined with already complex legacies of colonization and displacement (Dana et al., 2008). Increases in mental health concerns are often observed in the lead up to bust periods (Shandro et al., 2011). Exposure to environmental contaminants linked to industrial development, including mercury, has been identified as a possible cause of intellectual and learning disabilities and impairments among some Inuit children in Nunavik (Boucher et al., 2012). Communities near resource extraction projects also often experience increased rates of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) (Buell, 2006; Cameron and Levitan, 2014). This can be partially attributed to the influx of workers, new transient lifestyles (Davison and Hawe, 2012), and rising rates of sex work. Goldenberg et al. (2008) demonstrate that young oil and gas workers can experience many barriers, such as lack of access to clinics or testing and a lack of sexual health education, which can lead to further spread of STIs. Sexism and cultural factors also prevent youth in resource towns from getting STI testing. Young women in small towns are often afraid of being stereotyped as promiscuous if they are seen at an STI clinic (Goldenberg et al., 2008). Hypermasculinity associated with men working in resource industries sometimes encourages young men to engage in risky sexual behaviour and then avoid being tested for STIs to prevent the appearance of ‘weakness’ among their peers (Goldenberg et al., 2008). Men who identify with the LGBTQ or two-spirited communities are not considered in this research, but likely face unique challenges on account of this hypermasculine environment. Other researchers illustrate how this masculinity shapes the contexts and cultures of resource industry towns, and can even affect men who do not work in the industry (Coen et al., 2013). For example, men in Prince George, BC, describe hiding their experiences of depression from male friends and colleagues, and refusing to seek help from health professionals, because it did not fit the accepted version of rugged and tough masculinity in that community (Coen et al., 2013). These findings reveal variations in the interplay between social and health services, and diverse community members. Exposure to health risks in chronically under-serviced communities means northern residents may face additional structural disadvantages; isolation and lack of service access can bring about other health consequences for individuals and families. Sex work The influx of transient workers to resource towns has been linked to increased rates of sex work, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking (Coumans, 2005; Pauktuutit, 2012). Women who are homeless, living in overcrowded housing, struggling with mental health concerns and addictions, or experiencing poverty are more likely than other women to be involved in sex work or vulnerable to trafficking (Manning et al., 2016). Violence, crime, and safety Higher rates of gender-based/domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes are often associated with new resource development projects (Buell, 2006; Bernauer, 2011). Pauktuutit (2012) argues some of this violence is a result of the increased rates of substance abuse. While varying between communities and individuals, binging on alcohol and drugs is a common behaviour among young people (often men) employed in resource industries as a result of high disposable income and social isolation (Goldenberg et al., 2010). Several studies show that the lack of close parental supervision due to employment in resource industries has increased rates of alcohol and drug use among youth in many Northern communities (Parkins and Angell, 2011; Davison and Hawe, 2012). Bernauer (2011) notes that women are more likely than men to be the victims of violence. Women also report feeling a loss of a general sense of safety due to community changes and an influx of workers (Rudolph and McLachlan, 2013). Parkins and Angell (2011) suggest that high incomes from resource projects mean that people can easily pay fines for things like traffic violations, so are not as inclined to follow the law. Increases in theft and assault rates are often attributed to rising addiction rates and drug-related conflicts (Buell, 2006; Parkins and Angell, 2011). Campbell (2007) finds a community’s displacement and relocation because of a hydroelectric development has led to easier access to drugs and alcohol because of a road link to bigger centres. Changes to cultural practices, community lifestyles, distrust of government service providers, and breakdowns in family relationships are associated with displacement and work together to contribute to family violence (Campbell, 2007). They also highlight the ongoing consequences of colonial systems, and offer a clear example of the power imbalances that are revealed through an intersectional analysis. Food security Resource projects and their associated infrastructure, such as pipelines or airports, often disrupt caribou and other wildlife migration patterns, or pollute land and water, which many Indigenous communities count on as vital sources of food and drinking water (Andrachuk and Smit, 2012; Dylan et al., 2013). Mercury in waterways and its effect on fish is a particular concern associated with hydro dams (Angell and Parkins, 2011; Nunatsiavut, 2016). Changes in local climates for communities near large reservoirs created by hydroelectric projects, can also affect food security (Loo, 2007). Buell (2006) points out that there are physical health impacts as a result of a decrease in harvesting activities. For those excluded from resource industry jobs, or who have special dietary needs, the increase in grocery costs that typically accompany resource extraction can reduce access to healthy food (Dylan et al., 2013). Culture and traditions Resource extraction projects have had primarily negative impacts on the continuity of culture and traditions. Their development often deprives Indigenous people of their traditional lands. As connection with land is vital to the identity of many Indigenous people and nations the consequences are profound, threatening history, knowledge, and wellbeing (Booth and Skelton, 2011). The large flood zones associated with the construction of hydroelectric dams, and the Alberta oil sands, disrupt access to trap lines, hunting grounds and sacred sites, which has implications not only for culture and traditions, but also food security and wellbeing (Angell and Parkins, 2011; Stienstra, 2015). In some Indigenous communities, job opportunities in resource sectors have taken many of the traditional language speakers away from the community, negatively affecting language retention (Buell, 2006). Again, the literature illustrates that there are many crisis-generating impacts of resource development in Canada’s North, most notably with the influx of temporary resource development workers, high incomes, and inadequate social service, health and housing infrastructure in existing communities. Using an intersectional lens to interpret the literature reveals that existing structures and institutions perpetuate uneven access to prosperity for different groups within communities. Our analytical approach also reveals tensions in the experiences of social groups. For example, men are more likely to access high paying jobs, but are also likely to experience the effects of a hypermasculine environment; community Elders may be more able to pass on language and other elements of culture to their grandchildren, but may also be expected to take on significant childcare responsibilities. While the literature reveals a range of resource-related impacts in the north, it fails to illustrate what circumstances may indicate a crisis is brewing or tip a community into crisis. As our analysis reveals though, this likely includes historically unequal power relations evident in colonization, and other forms of marginalization. Ways forward As we argue in another article (Levac et al., 2016), besides highlighting uneven experiences of prosperity and crisis, an intersectional analysis of the impacts of resource development uncovers hidden consequences including cumulative effects, changes to individual and community wellbeing over time, effects on social infrastructure and uneven effects between and within communities. An intersectional analysis, which attends to structural inequities, also reveals that these consequences emerge in part because of historical and ongoing colonialism, convoluted government assessment processes, and the privatization of public responsibilities (Levac et al., 2016). From this perspective, ensuring prosperity from resource development requires fostering both individual and community capacity to engage in discussions and decisions about what type of development is needed by communities. It calls for more inclusive approaches to democracy; such that principles of deliberative democracy and affected interests are taken seriously. It requires understanding prosperity as having temporal dimensions; in other words – prosperity can be fleeting. Finally, it demands critical, intersectional reflection on the historical situations of communities, as well as an understanding of the unique groups of people who make up different communities. 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Community Development JournalOxford University Press

Published: Jul 4, 2017

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