Mapping the Social Economy in Northern Canada – Northwest Territories Project

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

Tags: social sciences, socio-economics

Principal Investigator: Southcott, Chris (7)
Licence Number: 14239
Organization: Lakehead University
Licensed Year(s): 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Issued: Aug 23, 2007
Project Team: Karen Heikkila (Coordinator of project for NWT, Aurora Research Institute), Jennifer Wilman (Coordinator of project for Nunavut, Nunavut Research Institute), Geoff Rigby (Student research assistant, Nunavut Research Institute), Danielle McLean (Masters Student , Lakehead University), Valoree Walker (Coordinator of Project for the North , Northern Research Institute), (Student Assistant, Northern Research Institute), (Student assistant, Aurora Research Institute)

Objective(s): The purpose of this study is: to establish an initial list of social economy organizations in Northern Canada; to undertake a survey of these organizations to determine the characteristics of these organizations including locations, activities, size, employment, membership and structure; to determine the research needs of these organizations through a needs survey that will accompany the inventory survey.

Project Description: The purpose of this study is: to establish an initial list of social economy organizations in Northern Canada; to undertake a survey of these organizations to determine the characteristics of these organizations including locations, activities, size, employment, membership and structure; to determine the research needs of these organizations through a needs survey that will accompany the inventory survey.

The first step in the survey is to establish the sample frame. This frame will be a list of all social economy organizations in the three territories, Nunavik and Labrador. A questionnaire will be used to conduct the inventory of voluntary and non-profit organizations, cooperatives and related organizations in the Northwest Territories as part of the research of the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada (SERNNoCa). This will involve a literature review and survey of organizations in the Northwest Territories. The survey will include a variety of means: informal/formal interviews; telephone interviews; email and mailout survey (online survey where possible); internet searches. The survey will be implemented and data collected during summer/fall of 2007. Permission for involvement in the study will be sought through an informed consent process. All participants will be fully informed of the intention of the study and how the data will be used. Participants will be informed that their involvement is voluntary. The data will be entered into a database and then verified and validated. Once all the data has been collected and entered it will be analyzed and a draft report prepared. The draft report will be provided online for comments and additional input.

The results of this study will be communicated widely to individuals and communities in the NWT. The Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada will provide information through various written media including regular newsletters, website postings with discussion sessions and an intranet site for participating
members. The website will provide a discussion site to enable feedback and input throughout the project. Where possible public information sessions will be held to keep individuals informed and allow for further input into the research. The results of the study will also be shared with other social economy research nodes and the National Hub that are also involved in this research across Canada. It will be presented at conferences, seminars and published in various journals including the Northern Review and Arctic.

Communities in Canada’s North are currently facing substantial social and economic challenges. The social economy offers tools to help those communities face these challenges. Northern governments, both Indigenous and public, need research in this area in order to undertake realistic program development and especially to develop economic development policies. The overall intended outcomes of the Social Economy research network of Northern Canada are to increase general awareness of the importance and potential of the social economy related activities to the North, the enhancement of social economy capacity in the region, to provide a greater understanding of alternative forms of social and economic development in the North, the improved performance of organizations and enterprises in areas that are important to the social economy, new policy resources for governments relating to the social economy, and better trained individuals to assist in the development of social economy organizations.

Fieldwork will be conducted from August 22 to October 31, 2007 and will involve all communities in the Northwest Territories. The inventory work is intended to determine all types of social economy organizations that are present in Northwest Territories communities.