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Research Grants

2016 Maxwell Studentship Recipient

Caitlynn Beckett
Rethinking Remediation: Mine Closure and Community Engagement in Northern Canada

Researcher Caitlynn Beckett meeting with Natalie Plato, the Manager of the Giant Mine Remediation Project

A substantial body of research has analyzed the social, economic and environmental effects of mines in northern Canada during their operational phases. However, after closure these mines do not simply disappear and can bring about persistent environmental problems. This research project will focus on mine remediation processes in the Canadian sub-Arctic and to investigate how local communities become involved in these processes. Traditionally remediation plans tend to focus on the physical and economic aspects of containing pollution. This research project will ask:

  • What are the wider social costs and benefits?
  • Can local Aboriginal historical and ecological knowledge be used to improve, assess and manage remediation plans? More generally, I will also ask: How can the current approach to mine remediation be changed from a focus on site containment to a broader emphasis on community remediation? This research will contribute to a broader understanding of the social dimensions of toxic contamination and mine remediation, and the development of best practices for community engagement during mine closure.

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