In February of 2013, the Centre for the North partnered with the community of Whatì in Canada’s Northwest Territories to pilot a community resilience assessment project. The Chief and Council of Whatì were seeking new ways to enhance the well-being and capacity of their community, and extend its ability to manage emergencies and cope with change. The Centre for the North wanted to better understand the practical, local-level steps Northern communities can take to improve their resilience.
The project was a first step toward identifying the critical elements of the community’s resilience. It provided a better understanding of the risks it faces, as well as its strengths and resources. The project helped develop strategies that form the basis of a preliminary community resilience-building plan, and identified ways to adjust the resilience-building tools of the made-in-Canada Rural Disaster Resilience Project to better fit the contexts of Northern Aboriginal communities.