Our Research Approach


The diverse women of FemNorthNet form a connected circle as a team-building exercise. Each rests their hands on the shoulders of the person standing in front of them as they all laugh.


  1. What are diverse women’s experiences of economic restructuring and related community transformations in the North?
  2. How do plans and programs for economic development in these communities address women’s experiences?
  3. What can women do collectively to address their experiences and any gaps in community or economic development initiatives?
  4. What do women’s experiences and responses teach Canadians about how to address economic restructuring and related community transformations?

PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH directly involves women from northern communities in FemNorthNet’s research process. Local women:

  • Help design the tools and methods we use to gather information about their experiences.
  • Assist with collecting information about their experiences and explain how the changes they see are impacting their broader community.
  • Tell us how to package the information in a way that is useful to them, whether in fact sheets, videos, or reports.
  • Use resulting information materials, which embody their collective knowledge, to more effectively engage with decision-makers in their communities. In this way we work together to create change and build sustainable development models for the North.

A diagram of a female icon with various identity aspects radiating outwards, including: age, ethnicity, sexuality, education, and religion.

INTERSECTIONAL GENDERED ANALYSIS allows us to understand how economic restructuring is impacting diverse northern women in different ways. FemNorthNet involves women of all backgrounds, age groups, abilities, and identities. This way our research findings account for a wide variety of experiences and can help decision-makers build northern communities that are inclusive of all women.


Our PARTNER COMMUNITIES work with our RESEARCH THEME GROUPS to share information, build our collective knowledge, and create materials that combine community knowledge, organizational learning, and academic findings.