Please join us for an interesting GeoPlan seminar on Tuesday 29th November. Visiting Scholar Tara Cater, from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, will present ‘Surviving mine work: Exploring the multiple temporalities of Fly- in-Fly-out (FIFO) labour and social reproduction in the Canadian Arctic’. All are welcome.
Mineral development has become the greatest driver of socio-economic change in the Canadian North, bringing uncertain opportunities and challenges to northern Indigenous (Inuit) communities. Mining operations in Nunavut require a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workforce, which involves workers regularly traveling from their home communities to remote mine sites for short work terms. While the majority of FIFO workers in the Kivalliq Region, Nunavut commute from southern regions of Canada (south of sixty degrees north latitude) to work at Agnico-Eagle Mines’ remote Arctic mine sites, there has been a push by territorial and federal governments to encourage local training and employment programs to increase Inuit participation in mining. My doctoral research examines the impacts of participation in FIFO work practices on Inuit employees and families in the Kivalliq Region. I draw on in-depth interviews and participant observation conducted in the Inuit community of Rankin Inlet (2013- 2016) as well as document analysis of secondary sources to investigate how participation in FIFO work practices is shaped by family and community power relations and dynamics, and how spouses and families have been incorporated into FIFO employment and training programs.
In this presentation, I will explore the multiple temporalities that exist for FIFO workers, their families, and communities focusing on three temporalities: industrial time, community time, and caribou/ecological time. My objective is to illustrate the multiplicity of these local temporalities and to show how they are partially connected, and not fully separate. I argue that is through the needs and practices of social reproduction of FIFO workers and their families that these three temporalities are partially connected, in the context of the large-scale economic restructuring of everyday life by mining projects in the area.
When and where: 12–1pm | Tuesday 29th November | W6A 107
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, with a specialization in Political Economy, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Currently, I am a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) visiting scholar in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia working with Dr. Richie Howitt and Dr. Sandie Suchet-Pearson. My research interests focus on the multiple temporalities of Fly-in-Fly-out work (FIFO) practices and social reproduction in the Canadian Arctic. In particular, my doctoral research investigates the impacts of participation in FIFO work practices on northern Indigenous (Inuit) workers and their families in Nunavut, Canada. I conduct qualitative research interviews with Inuit and non-Indigenous FIFO workers, their spouses, community leaders, federal and territorial government officials, and mining executives in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and at the Canadian multinational mining corporation, Agnico-Eagle Mines’ remote Arctic mine sites.
Tara can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about my work is available on my personal webpage: taracater.com.