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A study of the impact of oil and gas development on the Dene First Nations of the Sahtu (Great Bear Lake) Region of the Canadian Northwest Territories (NWT)

Listed author(s):
  • Leo Paul Dana

Purpose - Beneath Canada's Northwest Territories lies a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Will a $16 billion gas-pipeline bring prosperity or gloom? Will this bring employment opportunities for local people or will more qualified people be brought in from southern communities? The purpose of this paper is to give an account of what Dene residents of the Sahtu Region have to say about oil and gas development. Design/methodology/approach - Starting in 2005, in-depth interviews with people across the Sahtu Region are conducted. Findings - Respondents recognise the short-term advantages of building a pipeline, but they are concerned about the long-term impact on the environment that currently ensures their livelihood. Research limitations/implications - This study begs for a longitudinal follow-up. Practical implications - Policy-makers may benefit from knowing the feelings of their constituents. Originality/value - This timely study reveals long-term environmental and social impacts of short-term development. This is especially important in a region where people believe that they have an obligation to the land upon which they live.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 94-117

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jecpps:v:3:y:2009:i:1:p:94-117
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