Sustainable Development for Canada's Arctic and Subarctic Communities: A Backcasting Approach to Churchill, Manitoba

  • Steven Timothy Newton
  • Helen Fast
  • Thomas Henley
Keywords: backcasting, Churchill, Manitoba, sustainable development, Arctic and Subarctic


Backcasting has been used to evaluate sustainable development in several communities in Canada, Europe, and the United States, but no research has applied it to a remote northern community. This first such effort, which took place in Churchill, Manitoba, evaluated the environmental, social, and economic aspects of a small Subarctic community. As part of the backcasting approach, a community survey identified local issues and concerns, such as tundra vehicle damage, alcohol abuse, and the future economic viability of the Hudson Bay Port Company. Community residents also identified potential growth areas, including the establishment of Nunavut and increased tourism opportunities. The application of the backcasting approach in Canada's northern regions will have benefits for research and management by identifying local issues and building strategies for sustainable development.