Northern Territories Newsletter: March 2011

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In this Issue

Profile: Inuvik Community Greenhouse

In 1998, an underused arena and adjacent school were slated for demolition in Inuvik, North West Territories. The buildings still stand today, but have been converted into a greenhouse, which is now home to the Inuvik Community Garden Association (ICGA). While temperatures may be frigid, the ICGA Greenhouse is one of the hottest local gathering places in Inuvik. The Greenhouse is so popular, in fact, that there is a waiting list to use the gardening facilities.

Located 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and 70 kilometres south of the tree line, the Greenhouse is the most northern on the continent. The Greenhouse boasts over 1000 square-metres of gardening space with 74 plots, carefully tended to and maintained by nearly 100 local green thumbs. On the facility’s second level, a 4000 square foot commercial greenhouse produces bedding plants and hydroponic vegetables, which are sold to the community to cover operation and management costs.

A model of sustainability, the unique Greenhouse was constructed with $61,000 worth of recycled building materials salvaged from a nearby demolished structure. The Greenhouse also hosts the community’s largest composting facilities. Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, has also been introduced as an effective way to turn kitchen scraps into rich fertilizer, while reducing landfill waste.

What this northern town lacks in growing season (it only lasts from mid-May to early September), it makes up for in sunshine. From June to July, the sun doesn’t set and gardeners rush to grow as much they can. Many gardeners can the produce they don’t use during the summer, so they can enjoy fresh-tasting fruits and vegetables when the snow and shorter days set in. In a region where fresh produce is difficult to come by, the Greenhouse is a vital source of healthy and affordable food. The production of local fruits and vegetables is helping to reduce food miles and the use of chemical preservatives in the community’s food supply chain.

The Greenhouse is also stimulating the local economy in Inuvik. Garden Markets are held each week during the growing season, where shoppers can purchase fresh produce, fudge, fresh baking. In addition to helping people save on their grocery bills, the Greenhouse has also become surprisingly popular among visitors, who bring much appreciated tourist dollars into the community. To accommodate visitors, ICGA organizers now offer two tours a day during the growing season.

Community outreach and education are key components of the greenhouse. Seasoned gardeners host up to ten workshops and gardening classes a year, where participants learn everything from making fruitful soil to preparing healthy foods they might only see canned or frozen. The ICGA also reserves at least a dozen plots each year for elders and various community groups, including a local elementary school, a youth centre, and a food bank. Planting seeds of economic opportunity, sustainability, and education, the ICGA Greenhouse is helping the community of Inuvik grow and prosper.

More information at:

(With information from Raising vegetables in Canada’s midnight sun and Strawberries and corn thrive under the midnight sun)

(Photo Credit:

Canadian CED Network News

CCEDNet on Facebook & YouTube

Looking for more information? Want to stay in the CED loop in between CCEDNet newsletters? Visit CCEDNet’s Facebook Fan Page for all the latest updates on CED events, news, and reports from around the country!

You can also subscribe to our growing YouTube Channel for great profiles on CED initiatives and informative talks with CCEDNet staff on community development issues.

Meet a Create Action Intern

Each year, CCEDNet member organizations hire emerging CED leaders for six month internships with the help of the CCEDNet’s Create Action Internship Program. There are currently 40 interns working across the country with various CED initiatives, organizations, and programs.

Amanda Doreen Hachey has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Canada (2004) and a Master’s in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from Sweden (2010). With economic and community development agencies she has worked with small-to-medium sized enterprises in strategic business planning and capacity building. She gained a global perspective and passion for developing economies during business development projects in Panama and with co-operatives in Vietnam. She has created strategic plans and process improvement recommendations for organizations in the financial industry and for various levels of government.

Amanda is now in New Brunswick working with the Co-operative Enterprise Council, co-designing and co-facilitating a Co-operative Business Development program for women and is working to help businesses, organizations, and communities move strategically towards sustainability.

Northern CED News

The Role of Co-operative Enterprise in the Social Economy of Repulse Bay

This research, completed by the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada, is to produce a study of the changing role of the co-operative sector in a community in Nunavut, as it adapts to new and evolving environmental, governance and economic realities. In focusing upon the co-operative as a tool of economic organization in these communities, the paper aims to determine how the ‘mixed economy’ of Repulse Bay may be transforming in the face of broader economic and environmental change.

Download the full report (pdf)

Housing Action Plan for Whitehorse Released

Members of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition recently released A Home for Everyone: A Housing Action Plan for Whitehorse. The plan, developed through workshops, research and input from community members, focuses information and ideas that will provide more and better housing options for all Whitehorse residents.

Highlights of the action plan include recommended actions to fill identified gaps including the provision of emergency shelter, transitional housing, housing with long-term support, rental accommodation and affordable home ownership.

Download the full report (pdf)

Key Issues and Ideas Expressed in Workshops So Far: News from Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

What are some of the most important issues that must be addressed in order for us to develop the vibrant communities we envision and meet the challenges of poverty? The following issues and ideas for action have been expressed in all workshops so far, with strong consensus.

For each issue, the workshop groups developed ideas for action to be taken by government and other organizations and also by communities, families and individuals. The general tone of the workshops has been an energizing call to action, support for working together, and a vision of collective capabilities.

SERNNoCA Labrador Symposium on the Social Economy

On March 4-5, the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada hosted the Labrador Symposium on the Social Economy in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The Symposium explored how the social economy currently addresses the pressing social and economic issues facing northern communities and how it might be applied further for Labrador communities. The discussions combined presentations of some of the research of SERNNoCa and national partners and included panel discussion with social economy organizations. The goal of the Symposium was to develop recommendations to take forward for future action, research requirements and to various levels of government. The Symposium also helped address best practices and ways that organizations are able to continue and build their operations.

Read more

CED Tool

Resources for Non Profit Financial Reporting

With tax and audit season here, many nonprofit organizations have questions about financial reporting and accounting. While these resources are from the USA, they may be helpful for CI managers and their agencies:

  • Not-for-profit Audit Committee Handbook, from Grant Thornton: Guides, tools and thought leadership geared to helping audit committee members understand the latest financial standards while highlighting the overall implications for public companies.
  • Seven Ways to Reduce Your Audit Costs, from Blue Avocado: Ways to reduce nonprofit audit expense, including negotiating with auditor, having a different kind of audit, changing auditors, and challenging legal thresholds for audits.

Having consistent, thorough internal controls and policies is key to making financial reporting go smoothly. Check out these sample document retention and internal control policies:

Tracking how each employee spends his or her time is essential to making sure you recover (and report) all costs from your funding sources. Also check out tools for tracking volunteer time:

(Compiled by the United Way of Winnipeg)

National CED News

List of Postsecondary and Academic Opportunities in CED

This handy list of Postsecondary and Academic Opportunities in CED is a great resource for anyone considering an education in the CED sector. From Masters to Certificate programs, this list can help you find the right school and faculty. It includes a links to program websites and contact information. If you have any questions or suggestions for other academic to programs, contact Matthew Thompson at

Download the list (pdf)

Research of Economic Impact of U.S. Co-operatives

The REIC was established to identify, and collect basic economic data on, all cooperative firms in the U.S. When completed in 2009, the REIC identified 29,284 cooperatives operating at 73,000 businesses throughout the U.S. economy. These co-operatives own more than $3 trillion in assets, and generate greater than $654 billion in revenue, create over 2 million and spend more than $75 billion in wages.

Read the full report

CWCF Urges Government Support for Conversions to Worker Co-ops

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) has called on the federal government to provide funding to support conversions to worker co-ops. Appearing before the Standing Committee on Finance on February 15, CWCF representatives said worker co-ops could meet the challenge posed by the imminent retirements of large numbers of “baby boomers”.

In its submission to the committee, CWCF also reiterated the Canadian Co-operative Association’s call for a Co-operative Investment Strategy that would provide co-ops with much-needed access to financing. They also called for a permanent Co-operative Development Initiative program, as the current program is scheduled to end in 2013. CWCF also suggested that the CDI program include support for conversions to worker co-ops.

INS Research Funds Available

The Institute for Nonprofit Studies at Mount Royal University has opened applications to its semi-annual applied research fund. The fund grants two applied research awards with a maximum value of $7,500 each to research projects in three areas: Governance within the non-profit and social economy sector; Sustainability of the non-profit sector/ non-profit organizations; and Policy modelling, analysis, design, or critique

Awards are open to any full-time student or faculty member of a Canadian post-secondary institution. Letters of intent are due on April 8, with full proposals are due on May 9.

More information

(Source: On Co-op News, March 10, 2011)

Job Postings

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One response to “Northern Territories Newsletter: March 2011

  1. Pingback: Northern Territories Newsletter: March 2011 | Today Headlines

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