Governmentality and Mining: Analyzing the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Mary River Mine, Nunavut, Canada

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Williams, Andrew




The purpose of this research is to examine the thoroughness, objectivity, and inclusivity of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Mary River Iron Mine as a means to evaluate broader tensions expressed by the people of Nunavut that impact assessments are not addressing the concerns of northern communities. The EIA process in Nunavut is often conceptualized as a rigorous and unbiased tool that provides decision-makers with the information necessary to determine the likely impacts of a natural resources development project. This research reveals that the Mary River Project’s potential to negatively impact caribou and Inuit harvesting of caribou was not thoroughly assessed, nor was it meaningfully informed by those concerned about the mine (e.g. Inuit organizations and residents of potentially impacted communities). As currently practiced, EIA privileges the perspectives of the mining industry and reinforces narratives that mining is the key to Nunavut's socio-economic development.






Carleton University

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