Natural Resource Development and Well-Being in Inuit Nunangat: A Scoping Review


  • Matthew Pike University of Guelph
  • Ashlee Cunsolo Labrador Campus of Memorial University
  • Andy Papadopoulos University of Guelph
  • Sherilee Harper University of Alberta



Inuit, Inuit Nunangat, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut, Well-Being, Health, Natural Resource Development, Indigenous, Arctic


First published advance online December 16, 2022

Abstract: Natural resource developments have significant positive and negative impacts on the health and well-being of communities in Inuit Nunangat (Inuit Homelands) in Canada. Mining, hydroelectric, and oil and gas developments significantly alter the landscapes of communities and often an entire region. As climate change and global demand for natural resources increase, the four regions in Inuit Nunangat—Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region—may experience an increase in development activity. The goal of this scoping review was to map trends in the extent, range, and nature of published research examining the relationship between natural resource development and health and well-being of communities in Inuit Nunangat. A total of 2,861 articles were screened for relevance, and 58 articles met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed in full. The results indicate that: 1) Nunavut was the most discussed region; 2) mining and/or mineral exploration was the most commonly discussed resource development; 3) communication between researchers and industry officials or health authorities was not frequently reported; 4) there were numerous government policies discussed, suggesting policy is a significant factor in the relationship between resource development and well-being; 5) holistic health was the most common area of health discussed; 6) Inuit inclusion in research varied, with nearly half of articles reporting Inuit involvement in the data collection and/or analysis; 7) few articles discussed mine closures and the impacts on Inuit well-being; and, 8) no articles were published in 2020, therefore no articles discussed the impact of COVID-19.

Author Biographies

Matthew Pike, University of Guelph

PhD Candidate, Department of Population Medicine; Nunatsiavut Inuk, Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador.

Ashlee Cunsolo, Labrador Campus of Memorial University

Andy Papadopoulos, University of Guelph

Sherilee Harper, University of Alberta





Research Articles