Operating from 1957-1962, the North Rankin Nickel Mine (NRNM) in Nunavut was the first Arctic mining operation to employ Inuit labour, and pioneered logistical and infrastructure solutions to mining in extreme Arctic environments. After developing sufficient infrastructure and a town site to support mine workers, NRNM closed after just five years of operation and the mine abandoned. Remediation of the site was not undertaken until the mid-1990s, and environmental work has recently resumed at the site.
Funded through ArcticNet, our research team aims to address the profound cultural, socio-economic and environmental changes related to the NRNM development and subsequent closure. These shifts will be examined from a historical-geographical perspective through oral histories, community workshops, archival research and landscape analysis. Through the examination of how community members reacted to these changes at such a pivotal time in the region’s history, researchers will better understand how and why Rankin Inlet survived the closure of NRNM and came to be one of the most prominent communities in the Canada’s Eastern Arctic.