Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership

CVMP is an initiative to assess the social well being and quality of life of residents of Northern Saskatchewan impacted by uranium mining. Our goal is to identify and track indicators that provide insight in community vitality such that people can use that knowledge to improve and maintain the quality of life in Northern Saskatchewan.

Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership

CVMP is an initiative to assess the social well being and quality of life of residents of Northern Saskatchewan impacted by uranium mining. Our goal is to identify and track indicators that provide insight in community vitality such that people can use that knowledge to improve and maintain the quality of life in Northern Saskatchewan.

Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership

CVMP is an initiative to assess the social well being and quality of life of residents of Northern Saskatchewan impacted by uranium mining. Our goal is to identify and track indicators that provide insight in community vitality such that people can use that knowledge to improve and maintain the quality of life in Northern Saskatchewan.

Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership

CVMP is an initiative to assess the social well being and quality of life of residents of Northern Saskatchewan impacted by uranium mining. Our goal is to identify and track indicators that provide insight in community vitality such that people can use that knowledge to improve and maintain the quality of life in Northern Saskatchewan.

History

Development of the Community Vitality Program

Initial Meetings and Committee Formation

The two District Health Boards and one Health Authority, together with the Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat (NMMS), Environmental Quality Committees (EQCs), the uranium mining companies and Saskatchewan Northern Affairs (SNA), provided the framework of local organizations to help guide the development of the community vitality monitoring initiative.

An initial exploratory meeting was held in December 1998 involving representatives from NMMS, SNA, the uranium industry, the northern Health Boards and the co-managed Population Health Unit, Saskatchewan Health and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority along with other resource people familiar with the topic.  Participants noted that there was no “off-the-shelf” approach to monitoring community vitality, and that community vitality goes beyond both the issues of uranium industry impacts and the issues of physical and community health.  The meeting confirmed a broad interest by the participants in the community vitality monitoring initiative.  A coordinating committee was established to organize a workshop and to finalize an initial draft work plan by the fall of 1999 for the community vitality monitoring initiative.

 

Development of Monitoring Issues

A workshop was held in 1999 in La Ronge to identify information-gathering priorities for the Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership Process common to all potential partners that could be used to make a difference to the quality of life in northern Saskatchewan.  The workshop identified a consensus on topics for information gathering.  These are as follows (no specific order of priority):

  1. Environment and Land: Local physical and biophysical environment, local relationships to the land, and impacts related to development.
  2. Health: Local health status, behaviours, self-perception and self-esteem, delivery systems, and health determinants.  There is interest in focusing on information gaps and developing surverys that involve partnerships among interested parties.
  3. Economics/Social/Infrastructure: Compilng and synthesizing exisiting data, and making information accessible in such a manner that the community will find it useful.
  4. Communication Dynamics and Relationships: Within families and communities as well as with industries, etc.  Maximize the effectiveness of communicating the information gathered on the identified topics to all community members.
  5. Special Topics: Youth/Outmigration/Poverty: The status, causes and impacts of these special topics were identified in this workshop as priority issues for northern Saskatchewan communities.

There was strong agreement that the process of drawing together, communicating and using information in northern communities merits high priority. Participants noted that there is already substantial information collected by various parties on each of the above topics that needs to be better coordinated, communicated and translated into something useful to community members.

The topics established at the workshop are broad and could encompass a wide array of specific community vitality topics, not all of which could be tackled within this initiative or would prove to be useful in addressing community issues.

 

Background Study

Consultants were contacted to complete a background study to:

  • Identify and assess various professional approaches that are similar to the definition of community vitality.  A review of various professional approaches helped to identify similar undertakings that have been attempted before.
  • Review the influences of resource development, in general, on community life to help identify potential impacts on community vitality by the uranium industry.
  • Identify and examine existing/available data sources for their potential application to the monitoring of uranium mining impacts on community vitality.
  • Identify and assess possible options for engaging people in northern communities
  • Identify and evaluate the main alternative approaches for monitoring community vitality in Saskatchewan’s north.

Information from this study was used to assist in developing priorities and work plan activities.  It will also be used for reference for any community level monitoring activities that may take place.

 

Goal and Vision

The specific monitoring goal for the first two years of the initiative was as follows:

“To identify and track indicators that provide insight into community vitality such that stakeholders can use that knowledge to improve and maintain the quality of life in northern Saskatchewan, focusing in particular on the following:

  • providing information related to uranium mining impacts on community vitality that is useful to northern community stakeholders;
  • encouraging partnerships that will work cooperatively on specific community vitality monitoring activities of common interest; and
  • developing communication activities that will assist northern community stakeholders to use community vitality monitoring information to improve and maintain the quality of life in northern Saskatchewan.”

The vision for activities for the first few years has been:

“To show that monitoring information related to uranium mining impacts and other community influences can be used to address and act upon issues priority to northern communities.”

The coordinating committee concluded that information should contribute to resolution of issues and should not be collected for it’s own sake.  The initiative cannot accept primary responsibility for assembling and maintaining a broad socioeconomic and health database for northern Saskatchewan communities.  Much of this is being done through existing organizations and programs.  New data collection efforts should focus on data gaps identified by interested parties, who are in the best position to identify their own needs.