Using the social economy in tourism: A study of national park creation and community development in the Northwest Territories, Canada




Bennett, Nathan
Lemelin, Raynard
Johnston, Margaret
Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation

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Journal of Rural and Community Development


The primary concern of social-economy organizations is the social and economic well-being of individuals in the communities where they work. However, social, economic, and environmental considerations also play a role in the wider community or regional spheres of development. In the Canadian North, local and regional development strategies are linked in many places to a growing number of large-scale conservation efforts, such as parks and protected areas, that can have important positive and negative roles. As a result of their social and economic interests, social-economy organizations might become involved in these community development strategies linked to conservation. This paper explores such involvement by outlining a collaborative community research project undertaken in Łutsël K’e, Northwest Territories, the gateway community to a proposed national park. The research is based on a series of interviews with community members and external parties with particular development responsibilities. The paper explores the ways in which social-economy organizations might facilitate rural community tourism development related to the creation of the park. The paper also considers several activities and approaches that could enhance the support provided by social-economy organizations



social economy, community tourism development, social and economic development, Łutsël K’e,, northern Canada, national park


Bennett, N., Lemelin, H., Johnston, M. & Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation (2010). Using the Social Economy in Tourism: A Study of National Park Creation and Community Development in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 5(1/2), 200–220.