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Special Issue "Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Arctic"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 4665

Special Issue Editors

Dr. David Natcher
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Interests: economic anthropology; Indigenous peoples; Arctic/Sub-Arctic North America
Dr. Liza Mack
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Executive Director of the Aleut International Association, Anchorage, AK, USA
Interests: Indigenous knowledge; political ecology; cultural anthropology; arctic and sub-arctic well-being

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In 2015, the United Nations introduced Transforming the World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the core of the Agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that serve as benchmarks for achieving equality, prosperity, and environmental sustainability. In 2017, the Arctic Council adopted the United Nations’ SDGs to inform its own strategic policy direction; noting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is global in scope, but also applicable to Arctic regions. While Agenda 2030 has been heralded as a platform for protecting the environment for current and future generations, it has also been criticised for advancing the notion that sustainable development is a universal concept irrespective of social, political, or cultural differences.

For this Special Issue, we invite papers that analyze the dynamics of Indigenous sustainable development in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. We welcome empirical work of every variety, including case studies, comparative reviews (that involve different countries, disciplines, or sustainable development challenges), and surveys. We also invite conceptual papers that propose new theory, or reveal innovative ways to address cultural differences, power dynamics, social justice within development discourse. Through this Special Issue, we intend to demonstrate that the sustainable development of the Arctic requires the deliberate inclusion of cultural sustainability and recognition of Indigenous collective rights to land, health, education, and preferred ways of living.

Dr. David Natcher
Dr. Liza Mack
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Artic/Sub-Arctic
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Arctic Council-Sustainable Development Working Group
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • subsistence economies
  • resource extraction
  • governmentality
  • climate change

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Canada’s Impact Assessment Act, 2019: Indigenous Peoples, Cultural Sustainability, and Environmental Justice
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063501 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
It is well documented that the colonizers of Canada have long coveted the ancestral homelands of the Canadian Indigenous peoples for settlement and development. With this end goal in mind, it is not surprising that there exists an extensive history of assimilative efforts [...] Read more.
It is well documented that the colonizers of Canada have long coveted the ancestral homelands of the Canadian Indigenous peoples for settlement and development. With this end goal in mind, it is not surprising that there exists an extensive history of assimilative efforts by the colonizers with respect to the Indigenous peoples of Canada—for example, legal assimilation through enfranchisement (voluntary and involuntary) and blood quantum requirements, and cultural assimilation through residential schools and the “sixties scoop”. Another form of assimilation is environmental assimilation, that is, colonial development on Indigenous homelands to the extent whereby Indigenous cultural activities can no longer be supported in the development-transformed environment. Herein, I examine Bill C-69, a Government of Canada omnibus bill, through an environmental justice lens in the context of development across Canada on Indigenous homelands and impacts on Indigenous cultural sustainability. Specifically, Part 1 (i.e., the Impact Assessment Act, 2019) and Part 3 (i.e., the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, 2019) of Bill C-69 pose significant threats to Indigenous cultural sustainability. Through an environmental justice lens, procedural aspects include the use of the project list and scheduled waterways, the discretionary decision-making powers of the Government of Canada representatives, and the lack of acknowledgement of procedural elements of the environmental assessment processes that are constitutionally protected in comprehensive land claims. While, distributive justice aspects consist of unsustainable development from an Indigenous perspective, whereby environmental costs and benefits have been (and will be) distributed inequitably. Bill C-69 is a flawed statute that reinforces the colonial policy of assimilation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Arctic)
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Article
Strengthening Collaboration of the Indigenous Peoples in the Russian Arctic: Adaptation in the COVID-19 Pandemic Times
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063225 - 09 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
The article presents the challenges of the Indigenous peoples’ interplay with the key actors (Indigenous communities, Indigenous associations, regional governments, corporate businesses, and scientific institutions) in the Russian Arctic. Invoking actor–network theory offered knowledge to analyse how the effectiveness of this collaboration may [...] Read more.
The article presents the challenges of the Indigenous peoples’ interplay with the key actors (Indigenous communities, Indigenous associations, regional governments, corporate businesses, and scientific institutions) in the Russian Arctic. Invoking actor–network theory offered knowledge to analyse how the effectiveness of this collaboration may lead to Indigenous peoples’ social adaptation in the COVID-19 times. It revealed the main problems increasing their vulnerability and making barriers to meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs). The primary sources included the data collected from expert interviews in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and the Murmansk region in 2020–2021. The main findings proved the gaps in the interplay of Indigenous peoples with key actors in the Russian Arctic due to insufficient interregional and international cooperation, indirect communication of governments with Indigenous peoples via Indigenous associations and communities focused mostly on supporting elites, and the lack of systematic feedback of all key actors. This collaboration must be focused on meeting SDGs and guaranteeing their economic, social, and cultural rights to maintain a traditional lifestyle and livelihoods, involving them in natural resource management, improving quality of life and well-being, increasing access to ethnocultural education, reducing inequality, and promoting Indigenous peoples’ self-government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Arctic)
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Article
Unpacking the WEF Nexus Index: A Regional and Sub-Regional Analysis of Northern Canada
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13338; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313338 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 735
Abstract
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus has emerged as a leading tool for assessing integrated resource management strategies and for monitoring progress towards the WEF-related Sustainable Development Goals. A notable outcome of WEF nexus research has been the calculation of the global WEF Nexus Index, [...] Read more.
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus has emerged as a leading tool for assessing integrated resource management strategies and for monitoring progress towards the WEF-related Sustainable Development Goals. A notable outcome of WEF nexus research has been the calculation of the global WEF Nexus Index, which provides a quantitative ranking of country-level WEF security for 170 nations. As valuable as this ranking is, the aggregation of country-level WEF data obscures regional differences, particularly in remote regions that are sparsely populated and differ in geography, economy, and climate. This has proven to be the case for northern Canada, which despite representing 40% of Canada’s total land area, accounts for less than 1% of the Canadian population, most of whom are Indigenous. Whereas Canada ranks 5th globally in their WEF security, northern Canada, if treated independently, would rank 67th on the global WEF Nexus Index rankings. Evaluating each WEF sector independently, northern Canada would rank 22nd in water security, 90th in energy security, and 113th in food security. Our results further reveal that considerable inter-regional variability exists between northern territories and provinces, where Nunavik would rank 54th, Northwest Territories 67th, Yukon 69th, Labrador 80th, and Nunavut 107th on the global index. By highlighting these differences, we hope that this research can aid decision-makers in developing informed, regionally specific, and integrative resource policy responses that remedy rather than amplify existing WEF-related inequalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Arctic)
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Article
Availability and Feasibility of Renewable Resources for Electricity Generation in the Arctic: The Cases of Longyearbyen, Maniitsoq, and Kotzebue
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168708 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Currently, the dominant energy source for electricity generation in the Arctic is diesel, which is well proven for Arctic conditions. However, diesel is expensive in the Arctic, often due to long and complicated fuel transportation routes, and so inhabitants of Arctic communities can [...] Read more.
Currently, the dominant energy source for electricity generation in the Arctic is diesel, which is well proven for Arctic conditions. However, diesel is expensive in the Arctic, often due to long and complicated fuel transportation routes, and so inhabitants of Arctic communities can face high electricity costs. This paper investigates whether renewable energy resources can be harvested in a feasible and cost-competitive manner. The paper highlights which renewable energy resources are generally available in the Arctic and analyzes how renewable resources, such as hydropower, wind, and photovoltaics, can be used. Furthermore, we present three specific case studies to provide in-depth insight. A simulation with different energy generation scenarios using different renewable energy sources and penetration levels was performed for each case. The results indicate that renewables can be a cost-competitive option and that the optimal mix of renewables varies for different communities. Stakeholders and experts from the case study communities were also interviewed and their responses indicated a general acceptance of renewables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Arctic)
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