Inuvialuit Social Indicators: Applying Arctic Social Indicators Framework to Study Well-Being in the Inuvialuit Communities


  • Andrey Petrov University of Northern Iowa



The Northern Review 47 (2018): 167–185

This study of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) socio-economic well-being used the established indicators framework, which was developed by the Arctic Social Indicators (ASI) project under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The assessment was conducted for the following six domains: health and population, material well-being, cultural vitality, closeness to nature, education, and fate control. The analysis revealed considerable internal differences within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in Canada’s western Arctic, especially between Inuvik and other communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT). With respect to most indicators, the ISR was better off than other NWT regions—with the exception of the capital city Yellowknife (unemployment, engagement in traditional activities, land claims status, and fate control)—or close to average (incomes, dependency on government transfers, consumption of country food, and education). The ISR fared worse than other NWT regions with respect to language retention and out-migration rates. In comparison with Inuit communities in Nunavut, the ISR had a generally higher level of material well-being, but demonstrated low language retention, lower consumption of traditional food, and inferior fate control status. The analysis shows that although the Inuvialuit Settlement Region appears to have variable levels of socio-economic well-being across most of the six domains, with some positive trends, it still faces considerable social challenges and has to deal with interregional inequalities. The most important problems revealed in this study are a continuing gap between the ISR and Yellowknife with respect to material well-being; disparities among the ISR communities (Inuvik vs. all other); potential shortage and leakage of human capital in outlying communities; and low language retention compared to other Inuit regions.

Author Biography

Andrey Petrov, University of Northern Iowa

Associate Professor, Geography; Director, ARCTICenter






Dealing with Resource Development in Canada's North