Dana Holtby

Dana Holtby

Training Coordinator
Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative
Victoria, British Columbia


Holtby, D. [MA thesis, 2016] The Community Readiness Initiative in Kugluktuk, Nunavut: Mining, neoliberalism, and state intervention in arctic Indigenous community development. (Carleton University). (https://doi.org/10.22215/etd/2016-11579)


Dana Holtby completed their MA in Human Geography at Carleton University in 2016. Their thesis work focused on the impacts of a federal community development program and assessed its promotion of capitalist-colonialism in Canada’s North.  The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) initiated a social mapping exercise called the “Community Readiness Initiative” (CRI) in seven Arctic communities.  The CRI aimed to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities that would allow communities to take advantage of an anticipated boom in extractive resource projects. Dana’s thesis explores how the project was structured to map and enhance the receptivity of the communities to mining development and to create certainty of investment. Ultimately, CanNor’s capitalist logic stood in contrast to the communities’ expressed desire for more holistic forms of development that would sustain land-based practices and personal well-being.    
Dana’s interest in Indigenous governance, natural resource management, and community development led them to the West Coast to work as a Training Coordinator for Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative (CFN). Dana supports the operations and training needs of the Coastal Guardian Watchmen and stewardship offices of the CFN member Nations, with a focus on enhancing Guardian authority to enforce Indigenous laws. 

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