Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 188

188 Arctic Yearbook 2014 The final factor that makes it challenging to reflect accurately the experiences of indigenous women in gender impact analysis is that while considerable domestic-level and some comparative data on the status and needs of indigenous women do exist, much of it is ungendered, subsuming indigenous women’s experiences in seemingly gender-neutral concepts undifferentiated by women’s realities. The largest project being carried out in the Arctic region, the Social Indicators project following on after publication of the 2004 AHDR, has produced a small set of final indicators that do not appear to call for gender-disaggregated data. Nor do enough of these proposed indicators link into existing UN-level gender data that would be of assistance in establishing more comprehensive baselines and sharper issues for further inquiry (Nymand Larsen 2010: 153-54). Key Gender Issues in Northern/Arctic Regions The concentration of attention on Arctic/northern economic potential has meant that human development and gender equality issues have received relatively little consideration from domestic governments or transnational organizations. Even indigenous communities that may have experienced some degree of self-definition are now experiencing the pervasive effects of ‘economic growth first’ thinking. Population Balances, Migration Patterns, and Education Interest in industrial development and northern shipping routes have grown rapidly as Arctic climates have changed. While some circumpolar states such as Sweden have relatively small nonrenewable resource industries, many have described the economic changes taking place in the Arctic as a ‘boom.’ Sectoral changes have resulted in rapid changes to population balances with the influx of virtually all-male work forces in some regions, accompanied by population displacement from extraction zones, changes in location of indigenous communities, and the effects of women’s outmigration have resulted in changes that had become observable nearly two decades ago (Hamilton et al. 1997). While the relative proportion of indigenous populations in circumpolar regions vary widely, from very small in Russia to virtually all in Greenland, indigenous migration may be markedly different from non-indigenous migrations. Some groups have used broad ranges of territory for traditional seasonal activities, while others have moved or been moved to protect sovereignty, make way for defence installations, provide industrial labour, or promote resource development. Both indigenous and non-indigenous relocations have been carried out in Russia, while many circumpolar states have used Inuit as ‘human flagpoles’ (Krupnik & Chlenov 2007; Stern 2013: 164-66). Depending on the specific location, migration itself can affect the viability of entire communities, or can have disparate impact on some community members when personal security, levels of violence, or subsistence are affected. Education has been implicated in these demographic changes. Increasingly, both women and men migrate into and out of established communities for educational purposes, but for different reasons. In some areas, indigenous women out-migrate for educational and income-earning purposes that are integral to sustaining home communities (O’Donnell & Wallace 2011: 30-33) or because they remain Lahey, Svensson, & Gunnarsson