“Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland”: An Examination of the Impacts of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry on Hydrocarbon Development in the Northwest Territories 1977-2013

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, socio-economics, economic development, resource development, Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, Berger Inquiry

Principal Investigator: Beaulieu, Michel S (2)
Licence Number: 15356
Organization: Lakehead University
Licenced Year(s): 2014 2013
Issued: Oct 29, 2013
Project Team: Cathy McRae (Graduate Student, Lakehead University)

Objective(s): To determine how key recommendations from the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry have affected oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories over the past thirty-six years.

Project Description: The primary purpose of this research project is to determine how key recommendations from the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (commonly referred to as the Berger Inquiry or, for the purpose of this research, the Inquiry) have affected oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories (NWT) over the past thirty-six years. Through analysis of the Inquiry and the recommendations that resulted from it the principal researcher will be able to explore how the outcomes from the Inquiry have influenced the relationship between resource development and Indigenous people in the Canadian north and how this relationship continues to evolve over time.

In order to collect the required data the principal researcher will be conducting semi-structured interviews. The duration of each interview will be approximately 30-60 minutes and will be conducted over the telephone. The date, time and place of the interview will be mutually agreed upon in advance. The principal researcher will take notes and audio-record each interview with the permission of the participant. Through open-ended questions, participants will be asked to detail their experiences related to the Inquiry (if applicable), potential impacts from proposed hydrocarbon development and their views on how the Inquiry has affected the region and hydrocarbon development in the north. The general topic of Indigenous participation in the market economy may also be discussed. Transcripts of the interviews will be made and data will be coded for qualitative analysis. Information gained from the interview process will help to supplement archival and secondary research. All secondary data used in this research project will adhere to Tri-Council guidelines.

Purposive sampling will be used to select participants. Purposive sampling is a technique whereby “the researcher deliberately selects the subjects against one or more traits to give what is believed to be a representative sample”. This will ensure that participants fit the proper criteria for the project (i.e. - individuals who originally participated in the Inquiry, members of Territorial Governments etc.). Potential participants will be identified through historical records, academic literature, monographs and the Internet. Individuals will be contacted via email or telephone.


Results from the research project will be made available to all participants. Copies of academic papers and theses will be available in the Lakehead University Library.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from October 28, 2013 to December 31, 2013.