Original Article

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 867-885

First online:

Community-based vulnerability assessment of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, Canada to environmental and socio-economic changes

  • Mark AndrachukAffiliated withUniversity of Guelph Email author 
  • , Barry SmitAffiliated withUniversity of Guelph

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Environmental change in the Canadian Arctic has implications for livelihoods, food systems, infrastructure and Inuit culture. Although Inuit communities are located in industrialized countries, their integral connections with the natural environments contribute to significant exposures and sensitivities to changing conditions. This paper characterizes the vulnerability of Tuktoyaktuk in the western Canadian Arctic to climate change in the context of ongoing socio-economic and environmental changes. Existing stresses in the community influence infrastructure, livelihoods and wellbeing. Strategies for adapting to adverse conditions have largely been tactical and short term, rather than planned actions in anticipation of changes in climate. In light of projected intensification of climate change and a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Tuktoyaktuk area, the community is expected to experience new stresses in the future. Future adaptation planning and policy needs to enable community involvement in the protection of important community attributes.


Vulnerability Climate change Adaptation Adaptive capacity Arctic Inuvialuit Settlement Region