Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 883–895 | Cite as

Indigenous capacity for collaboration in Canada’s energy, forestry and mining sectors: research metrics and trends

  • Ryan Bullock
  • Denis Kirchhoff
  • Ian Mauro
  • Morrissa Boerchers


This paper examines patterns in recently published research addressing Indigenous capacity for collaborative natural resource development in Canada’s forestry, energy, and mining sectors. As Indigenous involvement in natural resource development increases, so too does the body of associated scholarship. We gathered information on several core metrics (year of publication, authorship, and gender, author affiliation, journal titles, citation counts and impacts factors, and keywords) to analyze research output, trends, and gaps. Our bibliometric analysis of 49 articles from peer-reviewed journals confirms that Indigenous natural resource development and capacity research has steadily increased over the past decade in terms of the number and range of papers, authors, institutions, and cases examined. Research output peaked in 2013 and 2015. Authorship is distributed evenly between male and female lead researchers, with teams located across southern Canada, with highest concentrations in urban population centers of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. In contrast, the research sites are located in more northern, rural, and remote locations. That communities and projects under study are not currently matched with sites of research capacity raises questions about capacity building and the nature of research “on” versus “with” Indigenous peoples. Policies and programs designed to enhance Indigenous involvement and capacity must address these asymmetries in order to be representative, effective, and responsive to current Indigenous priorities.


Aboriginal Indigenous Capacity Energy Forestry Mining Bibliometric 



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan Bullock
    • 1
    • 2
  • Denis Kirchhoff
    • 3
  • Ian Mauro
    • 4
  • Morrissa Boerchers
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Studies and SciencesThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary ResearchThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.School of Environment, Resources and SustainabilityUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  4. 4.Department of GeographyThe University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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