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In line with our vision and mission, we conduct research that provides new insights and strengthens the foundation for informed decision making. Projects are grounded in critical needs and interests, identified by our roundtable members and Northern stakeholders. Projects examine the issues at hand, identify gaps and lessons learned, and provide policy recommendations. Our publications are listed below—please feel free to read and share them.


report cover thumbnailShielded From the Worst: Territorial Snapshot

Published June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the worst economic downturn to hit Canada in decades. Our latest national forecast calls for the Canadian economy to contract by a staggering 25 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. And Canada’s Northern territories have not been spared.

report cover thumbnailIndigenous Entrepreneurship in Northern and Remote Canada 

Published June 2020

This primer identifies general trends in the current population of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada, examines the various reasons individuals choose entrepreneurship, and explores the challenges Indigenous entrepreneurs face in the North.

report cover thumbnail Cool Ideas Series: Will Robotic Surgery Work in the Canadian North? 

Published April 2020

This paper, the second in the Cool Ideas series, starts a conversation on whether remote robotic surgery could reduce costs, expand access, and/or improve surgical services in the North, in the near term or distant future.

report cover thumbnail Territorial Outlook Economic Forecast: Summer 2019 

Published July 2019

The Territorial Outlook provides the economic and fiscal outlook for each of Canada’s three Northern territories, including output by industry, labour markets, and demographics.

report cover thumbnailWorking Together: Indigenous Recruitment and Retention in Remote Canada 

Published March 2019

This report examines the current situation—from survey findings, expert interviews, and a scan of policy and research—of Indigenous recruitment and retention for organizations in Canada’s Northern and remote regions.


report cover thumbnailRevolutionary Building for the North: 3D Printing Construction 

Published November 2018

This report, the first in the Cool Ideas research series, examines the potential application of 3D printing in the construction of homes in Canada’s North.

Territorial Outlook

Territorial Outlook report cover

The Centre for the North publishes a biannual economic forecast for the Territories. These reports examine the economic and fiscal outlook for each of the territories, including output by industry, labour market conditions, and demographics.

9859Our Land, Our Future: Insights From the 2017 Summit on Indigenous Youth and Natural Resources Development 

Published October 2018

The Conference Board of Canada organized and delivered the 2017 Our Land, Our Future summit on Indigenous youth and natural resource development. This report presents findings from the summit’s plenary and breakout sessions.


report cover thumbnailOptions and Opportunities: Resource Revenue Sharing Between the Crown and Indigenous Groups in Canada 

Published September 2017

This report details the options and opportunities for Crown resource revenue sharing with Indigenous groups in Canada—and recommendations for advancing it—based on ongoing research and insights from forums we participated in during 2016–17.

report cover thumbnailFinding the Win-Win in Major Project Agreements: Lessons From Indigenous Groups and Industry Proponents

Published March 2017

The report provides practical advice for industry proponents and Indigenous groups on how to improve their relationships and produce better results at different stages of a major project agreement.

report cover thumbnailRethinking Infrastructure Financing: Canada’s Northern and Aboriginal Communities

Published February 2017

New financing ideas and approaches to procurement are being brought forward to close Canada’s Northern and Aboriginal infrastructure gaps. This briefing presents a high-level action plan incorporating these new solutions.

report cover thumbnailP3s and Transportation Infrastructure: Experience and Opportunities for Canada’s North

Published February 2017

Are public-private partnerships (P3s) suitable for transport infrastructure procurement in Canada’s North? This primer provides case illustrations and examines whether Northern and remote regions can benefit from the P3 approach.


report cover thumbnailPower Shift: Electricity for Canada’s Remote Communities

Published September 2016

Canada’s almost 300 remote off-grid communities depend mostly on diesel-powered generators for electricity. This report is a primer for decision-makers for making policy choices other than diesel-dependence.

report cover thumbnailNorthwest Territories Labour Market Forecast and Needs Assessment

Published April 2016

This briefing summarizes the key findings of The Conference Board of Canada’s labour market forecast and needs assessment for the Northwest Territories (N.W.T.). It discusses contemporary N.W.T. labour market issues and characteristics and presents the results of an economic outlook and occupational demand forecast for resident and rotational workers up to 2030.


Building a Resilient and Prosperous North report coverBuilding a Resilient and Prosperous North: Centre for the North Five-Year Compendium Report

Published April 2015

This five-year review of Canada’s Centre for the North summarizes its half-decade of research on Canada’s North and provides an analysis of three priority items to be addressed.


Role of Public Sector report coverThe Role of the Public Sector in Northern Governance

Published August 2014

Is Canada’s Northern public sector working effectively? This report compares Northern governance practices and challenges, and includes recommendations for public sector innovation in the territories and Northern provincial regions.

Building Community Resilience in Whatì, Northwest Territories coverBuilding Community Resilience in Whatì, Northwest Territories

Published March 2014

The Centre for the North’s March 2014 briefing reports on a community resilience assessment project conducted with the remote Tłįchǫ community of Whatì, in the Northwest Territories.The project in Whatì reflects an increasing interest in community resilience in Canada and beyond as a concept relevant to coping with not only emergencies and disasters, but also a range of other challenges that confront communities every day.

Building On Our Strengths coverBuilding On Our Strengths: Aboriginal Youth Wellness in Canada’s North

Published January 2014

This report delivers new insights into the design and implementation of successful Aboriginal youth wellness strategies in Canada’s North. It reviews systemic challenges to contemporary Aboriginal youth wellness, identifying persistent gaps and measures to close them. Three contemporary Aboriginal youth wellness initiatives from across Canada's North are highlighted to reflect the diversity of potential strength-based Aboriginal youth wellness strategies, including examples of wellness through sport, cultural awareness, and living on the land.


Changing Tides coverChanging Tides: Economic Development in Canada’s Northern Marine Waters

Published October 2013

This report provides decision-makers with an understanding of some of the main challenges and opportunities associated with marine-based economic development and how they might be managed. Among other recommendations, the report concludes that greater collaboration and pooling of resources could work to address the difficult operating environment, jurisdictional issues, scarce resources, and data gaps that currently characterize economic development in the oceans of Canada’s North.

Connectivity report coverMapping the Long-Term Options for Canada’s North: Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity

Published July 2013

This report maps long-term options for Canada’s Northern connectivity landscape. In 2013, the immediate concern for Northern stakeholders-both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal-is to develop critical connectivity infrastructure that is reliable, scalable, and supportive of locally affordable services. In going forward, careful attention must equally be paid to developing multi-stakeholder partnerships that will mature and endure beyond immediate infrastructure concerns.

Future of Mining report coverThe Future of Mining in Canada’s North

Published January 2013

Mining and its supporting industries will continue to be important economic drivers in many of Canada’s Northern regions over the course of the next decade. This report discusses a number of important factors—and their interrelationship with one another—that must be considered to ensure that both the positive and negative impacts of mining projects are fully understood.


Sustainable Housing report coverFraming Sustainable Options for Housing in Canada’s North

Published December 2012

This report offers four case studies of successful and innovative Northern housing initiatives across the country, including lessons learned from their development and implementation. It explores some of the major policies and programs established and implemented across Canada since the mid-1900s to address the availability and affordability of adequate housing in the North.

Understanding the Value report coverUnderstanding the Value, Challenges, and Opportunities of Engaging Métis, Inuit, and First Nations Workers

Published July 2012

This report provides a greater understanding of how to overcome the labour market integration challenges facing Aboriginal workers in Canada. Based on a comprehensive survey, it provides recommendations on the steps that employers, Aboriginal organizations, and policy-makers can take to help improve the labour market participation of Aboriginal workers.

Getting it Right report CoverGetting it Right: Assessing and Building Resilience in Canada’s North

Published May 2012

This report provides policy-makers, emergency management practitioners, and community and business leaders with a conceptual understanding of community resilience and what it means for Canada’s Northern communities.

Lessons Learned report coverLessons Learned: Achieving Positive Educational Outcomes in Northern Communities

Published February 2012

This report examines education in the context of Northern communities. Its primary objective is to explore Northern experiences and share lessons learned and practices and models that Northerners believe are having a positive impact on educational outcomes. By sharing examples of Northern educational practices and models that could be adopted more broadly throughout the North, the report offers insights and ideas on ways to tackle the challenges identified.


Northern Assests report coverNorthern Assets: Transportation Infrastructure in Remote Communities

Published December 2011

This report examines the role of Northern transportation infrastructure development in creating community links, enhancing commercial prospects, and facilitating economic growth. It features a case study of Churchill, Manitoba, to look at lessons learned and to analyze the implications of transportation infrastructure development that are relevant for other Northern communities. It also identifies policy issues and gaps in transportation infrastructure, as well as areas for further research.

Building Labour Force report coverBuilding Labour Force Capacity in Canada’s North

Published November 2011

Canada’s North is a vast region, dotted with diverse communities. In many regions of this massive area, there is a lack of labour force capacity among the local population. Building Labour Force Capacity in Canada’s North attempts to answer the question: Given the multiple and often unique challenges in the North, how are organizations and communities building labour force capacity among the local population?

Striking a Balance briefing coverStriking a Balance: Impacts of Major Resource Projects in the North

Published November 2011

This briefing reviews how stakeholders are trying to maximize the economic benefits of major natural resource projects in the North, while minimizing their social and environmental costs. It looks at the regulatory processes that aim to balance the costs and benefits and at innovative practices that are emerging to enhance the benefits of major resource projects while mitigating their negative impacts.

Estimating Economic Activities briefing coverEstimating Economic Activities of Canada’s Northern Regions

Published February 2011

This report estimates the contribution of the North to the Canadian economy over the 1999–2008 historical period. It incorporates all of the territories and the Northern portions of every province with the exception of the Maritimes. The main economic drivers of the North are the mining, forestry, and oil and natural gas sectors. Other industries important to the Northern economy include tourism, commercial fishing and hunting, the utility (hydroelectricity production) sector, and health, education and social services.


Thriving Northern Communities report coverToward Thriving Northern Communities

Published December 2010

Northern communities, while diverse, tend to share some common attributes. Many are remote, with smaller, younger populations and higher proportions of Aboriginal peoples than their Southern counterparts. Most important, however, many are not secure, self-reliant, sustainable, or socially developed. In other words, many Northern communities are not thriving. In spite of these challenges, there are promising plans and programs being implemented within Northern regions and communities and the growing opportunity for sustainable development give reason for optimism.

Mapping Economic Potential report coverMapping the Economic Potential of Canada’s North

Published November 2010

Using previous work done by the Northern Development Ministers Forum combined with initial literature reviews, and consultation with a group of Northerners, a collection of seven key industries was identified—oil and gas, mining, forestry, fishing, utilities, construction, and tourism. For each of the seven industries identified, a list of ideal indicators was developed to assist in assessing each industry’s current and potential economic contribution to the North’s economy.

Security in Canada's North report coverSecurity in Canada’s North: Looking Beyond Arctic Sovereignty

Published November 2010

This report examines three dimensions of security in the North-Arctic security, Northern security, and community security-in order to provide a more comprehensive picture of the security challenges in Canada’s North. The research found that, of these three, community security is the most important for Northerners. The people of the North see the community-rather than the individual, the state, or the nation-as the primary referent object of living a secure life.

Canada's North book coverCanada’s North: What’s the Plan?

Published November 2010

This book, part of the CIBC Scholar-in-Residence Program, draws on the different viewpoints of three nationally renowned scholars to explore the effectiveness of land use planning in Canada’s North from three very distinct perspectives. Their essays are required reading for those seeking to understand this important issue and draw their own conclusions.

Optimizing e-Learning report coverOptimizing the Effectiveness of E-Learning for First Nations

Published May 2010

The education gap between First Nations people living on a reserve and non-Aboriginal people in Canada is disconcerting. E-learning has the potential to help close this gap because it is designed to minimize or eliminate the barriers (geographical, cultural, socio-economic, and historical) to educational success that First Nations people living on a reserve face.


True to Their Visions report coverTrue to Their Visions: An Account of 10 Successful Aboriginal Businesses

Published November 2009

Successful Aboriginal businesses create wealth and jobs in Aboriginal communities and Canada at large. This report profiles 10 successful First Nation, Inuit, and Métis businesses from across Canada and highlights common challenges and success factors. It provides an Aboriginal business guide and other resources that Aboriginal entrepreneurs can apply to their own businesses, and highlights the advantages to partnering with Aboriginal businesses.


From Vision to Venture report coverFrom Vision to Venture: An Account of Five Successful Aboriginal Businesses

Published May 2008

Successful Aboriginal businesses create wealth and jobs in Aboriginal communities and Canada at large. This report profiles 10 successful First Nation, Inuit, and Métis businesses from across Canada and highlights common challenges and success factors. It provides an Aboriginal business guide and other resources that Aboriginal entrepreneurs can apply to their own businesses, and highlights the advantages to partnering with Aboriginal businesses.

Closing the Gap coverClosing the Gap: Toward Capturing the Value of Aboriginal Cultural Industries

Published March 2008

Prepared for the Aboriginal Affairs Branch at Canadian Heritage, this report examines the importance of Aboriginal cultural industries in Canada. Specifically, the report looks at both the social and economical impacts the industry has, while similarly understanding the challenges and opportunities the cultural industry creates. Finally, the report provides recommendations to better understand and measure this industry.

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Contact Us

Stefan Fournier

Jo-Leen Folz
Network Officer

Research Team

Adam Fiser
Associate Director

Jane Cooper
Senior Research Associate

Amanda Thompson
Senior Research Associate I

Erin Macpherson
Research Associate