Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 560

560 Arctic Yearbook 2014 the way in which federal agencies are creating a development agenda which has at its heart, a neo-liberal development agenda, and which, as such, has very important ramifications for community development itself. Models for Development: Two Different Visions Reservations about economic, social or environmental consequences of specific projects in the North should not be confused with lack of support for development in general. Indigenous governments are very mindful of the role of resource industries in providing new economic opportunities in the western Canadian Arctic, particularly in the area of employment. Bone (2008) reminds us that while such development may indeed not be sustainable, and comes with a high price tag, there is a new understanding of the way in which resource development promotes economic development precisely because the nature of the global economy and commodity demands and prices have changed so much in recent years. Still, for Bone, there are predictable and intractable problems with reliance upon extractive industries for general economic diversification in the North, and this is a belief shared by many. While some agencies, for example, the Conference Board of Canada, or even diamond mining enterprises like Diavak, or Enkati, paint a promising picture of Northern development, this is not always the reality. When the Polaris and Nanisivik mines in Nunavut closed, they devastated the local communities as people lost their jobs, and there was a spike in substance use (Bowes-Lyon et al. 2010). Furthermore, it was found that any jobs skills developed in the mines were industry specific and not transferable, which calls into question the benefits of skills training the Conference Board (2011) promotes. A 2010 study by Petrov also looked at the consequences of mine closures, specifically focusing on the Faro and Beaver Creek mines in the Yukon. Petrov (2010) stressed the resource industry in the North is not stable and goes through waves of decline, which are devastating for the local economy. Petrov found that not only did the resource industry suffer, but so did sectors that were both related to mining and sectors that were not, such as entertainment and tourism. These declines resulted in a declining GDP for the territory at a rate of 11.2% per year from 1997 to 2002. On the other hand, indigenous communities are eager to make decisions regarding the admissibility of such projects, and in doing so play a larger decision-making role. The landscape of megaprojects, defined by Bone (2012: 171), indicates that virtually all are created by outside interest and investment. There are, of course groups such as the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, which have formally established themselves as part of the potential landscape of economic investors should the Mackenzie Valley pipeline move forward. In other areas, through the management and investment of settlement funds, northern groups have made considerable progress and investment in the North. The magnitude of growth in this area is suggested by I and D Management statistics. I and D was formed in 2002 in partnership with Diavak mines (Rio Tinto). It represents 4 indigenous groups, including the Tlicho Investment Corporation, and has today 72% of mine employment comprised of aboriginal employees – 43% for “impact communities” (I and D, pers. Com. 2009). Since 2002, I and D has more than doubled its Everett & Nicol