Abandoned Mines in Northern Canada

Based at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Abandoned Mines Project was created to study the historical impacts of abandoned mines on First Nations communities in northern Canada. Our goal was to highlight the social and environmental changes that large mining projects brought to northern communities and the ongoing impact of these mines after they were abandoned. Many of these abandoned mines sites are living historical landscapes, places where human activities from decades ago continue to have environmental impacts in the present day. The project was co-ordinated by historian John Sandlos and geographer Arn Keeling at Memorial, and included many students, community members and partners between 2007 and 2014.

Major findings from this project were reported in the open-access ebook, Mining and Communities in Northern Canada: History, Politics and Memory (University of Calgary Press, 2015). The collection included wide ranging case studies by a diverse team of emerging scholars, as well as community members. Reviewers of the book agree it is a “it is a notable contribution to the burgeoning field of Canadian environmental history.”

Currently, our work is focused on the issue of arsenic contamination at the abandoned Giant Mine, near Yellowknife. To find out more, follow click on the link to the Toxic Legacies Project. You can also find our more about other projects and research through out Twitter feed.