Community Inclusions and Exclusions

Diverse women gather on a cliff overlooking the Lower Churchill River and surrounding forests in northern Labrador

The Community Inclusions and Exclusions theme group uses an intersectional feminist framework to analyze community-based practices and experiences of inclusion, exclusion, marginality, and privilege.

The theme group explores the questions:

  • Who is, and who is not, seen as being part of Northern communities?
  • What implications do these inclusions and exclusions have for the distribution of power and resources within communities?
  • How do the experiences of Indigenous women, women with disabilities, young women and migrant and immigrant women in the North differ? Are there similarities?
  • What are the best inclusive practices for engaging across diverse identities and experiences?
  • What are the effects of economic restructuring and resource development on diverse women’s access to services in the North?

The theme group applies an intersectional lens to current ‘hot topics’ in the North such as sexual and reproductive rights and emergency planning and response. Their work is committed to inclusive research processes, sharing of FemNorthNet's collective knowledge, and making information available in various formats (fact sheets, handbooks, etc.) using plain language to ensure their work is accessible to the widest audience possible.


"Diversity Through Inclusive Practice Toolkit" (2014) was created in partnership with DAWN-RAFH Canada (The DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada). The Toolkit aims to assist individuals and organizations with planning and carrying out inclusive processes and events. Based on shared knowledge, the Toolkit provides practical suggestions for creating spaces that are inclusive of all people, regardless of age, ability, ethno-cultural background, indigenous heritage, sexual orientation, or place of origin. Note that this is an evolving document that will be updated and added to in order to keep it current in the years to come.

"Disabled northern and Indigenous women need to be part of policymaking process" (Apr 21, 2016) - Article in Policy Options online magazine written by Deborah Stienstra, Gail Baikie, and Susan Manning and published by The Institute for Research on Public Policy.

"Experiences of Women with Disabilities in Canada's North" (2016) is based on research with women in FemNorthNet’s partner communities and illustrates what it is like to live with disabilities in the North. Women describe positive aspects along with barriers to inclusion and access while also detailing how resource extraction projects can introduce additional challenges for women with disabilities. The fact sheet identifies key issues that need to be addressed and provides recommendations and resources related to those issues. 

"Sexual and Reproductive Justice in the North" (2014) features information on some of the barriers to diverse women exercising their rights to sexual and reproductive health and choice in northern Canada. It also highlights the creative ways in which women and northern organizations have been addressing these issues with a combination of traditional and western knowledge.

"Impacts of Economic Restructuring on Diverse Women in Canada’s North – An Introduction" (2014) defines economic restructuring, places the experiences of diverse northern women in historical context, and explores how women who identify as indigenous, migrants/immigrants, living with a disability, youth, or having various sexual and gender orientations have been affected by economic restructuring.

"Economic Restructuring and Diverse Women's Access to Services in the North" (2014) highlights the ways economic restructuring has changed the availability and accessibility of different public services and sectors, such as housing, childcare, and transportation, for diverse northern women.

"Resource Development and Diverse Women’s Access to Services in the North" (2014) explores how resource development can affect diverse women’s ability to access services and meet basic needs.

"Alternative Models of Development That Support Diverse Women in the North" (2014) highlights innovative models of development being used to improve access to services and support diverse women in remote and Northern communities.

"Emergency and Disaster Planning in the North" (2014) includes an explanation of some North’s unique challenges for emergency and disaster planning, case studies and a section with resources and helpful tips for individuals who want to be prepared for an emergency or disaster. The fact sheet uses feminist intersectional analysis to highlight the impacts of overlooking the needs and experiences of diverse women in emergency and disaster planning processes, and why change in these processes is needed.

Theme Group Members

Deborah Stienstra, Theme Group Co-lead & Nancy's Chair in Women's Studies at Mount St. Vincent University
Gail Baikie, Theme Group Co-lead & School of Social Work at Dalhousie University
Carmela Hutchison, President of the DisAbled Women's Network of Canada
Leah Levac, Professor in Political Science at University of Guelph
Vera Chouinard, Professor of Geography & Earth Sciences at McMaster University
Daisy Monias, Principal at Jack River School in Norway House Cree Nation, MB
Jessica McCuaig, FemNorthNet Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator
Susan Manning, Student Researcher at Mount St. Vincent University