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WAGE Circumpolar Partnership - Arctic Economy and Social Transitions

A video presentation of the WAGE Circumpolar Partnership by Gérard Duhaime, Director





Priorities for action

The WAGE Circumpolar Partnership (WAGE: Wealth of the Arctic Group of Experts) addresses economic and social inequalities in the Arctic and the Circumpolar North. It responds to calls voiced at the Arctic Council for countries to tackle the inequalities that especially affect Indigenous Peoples and to initiate a fundamental transformation in the distribution of wealth produced in the Arctic. It echoes the Government of Canada's Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, which identifies the fight against inequality as a priority for action and international research and collaboration as a way to inform public policy decisions.


Objectives and questions

The objectives of the Partnership are to describe the current state of these inequalities, to explain recent trends affecting them and to alter them by imagining, through knowledge mobilization, changes to institutional processes and controls that participate in the social production of inequalities. The Partnership intends to answer the following questions: How is the distribution of wealth characterized in the Arctic and the North? What are the dynamics involved? What approaches tend to favour a fairer distribution of wealth in these Northern societies?


Research strategy

The Partnership adopts a knowledge co-production approach. It proposes three research axes that closely correspond to the above-mentioned objectives: the first focuses on current inequalities; the second, on the trajectories of these inequalities; and the third, on the changes that would make it possible to modify the structure and trends of the inequalities. Each research axis is divided into work packages, each of which will give rise to specific research projects. These will be designed with comparability and complementarity in mind. They will lead to recommendations that promote equity and social justice.


Partners' commitment

The Partnership will last five years and bring together more than 35 members from all Arctic countries and it will create an alliance between the research community and practitioners. Most of the practitioners represent international Indigenous organizations that are committed to guiding the Partnership towards issues which they define as priorities and to orienting the projects so that the co-produced knowledge includes their perspective and is of benefit to them. The members of the research community come from universities and research centers and are mainly experts in economics, sociology, geography and law. All members have collectively committed themselves to the achievement of the common research, training and mobilization objectives, in compliance with the principles, structures and methods adopted by the Partnership in terms of governance and ethics. Anchored at Université Laval, the Partnership will promote Canadian expertise on the North and contribute to the advanced training of researchers.