Tara Cater
(Photo provided by Tara Cater)

I am a PhD Candidate in Geography with a specialization in Political Economy at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. I am currently employed as a Research Assistant at Swansea University in South Wales, United Kingdom.

I am originally from Northern Ontario and Quebec, Canada and have grown up in remote areas shaped by resource development. This lived experience living in northern communities shaped by the boom/bust cycle of mining projects has greatly shaped my research interests. For over a decade, I have focused my studies and work experiences on exploring different dimensions of community engagement in resource development and scientific research, with an empirical focus on the Circumpolar North.

Following my undergraduate studies (BA (Honours) Global Development Studies and Geography) at Queen’s University in Canada, I worked as a Logistics Coordinator at a remote fly-in-fly-out mining camp in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic in 2010-2011. During this work experience, I was deciding on what research area to pursue for my postgraduate studies. It was my conversations with mine workers from the Canadian North, and my own lived experiences, which pushed me to critically question in my research the experiences of the people who remained in their home communities and supported (and enabled) fly-in-fly-out workers to continue working at remote mine sites.

My intention with my doctoral dissertation is to challenge dominant approaches to mining employment in the Canadian North, which rendered invisible the voices of the family members of Inuit fly-in-fly-out workers and the wider extended humans and more-than-human relations who do the everyday caring work to allow mining economies to continue. My doctoral research loosely addresses questions about contemporary Inuit participation in the gold mining industry, and the growing emphasis on employment and training programs for Inuit people in the Canadian Arctic.

My research also explores the ways in which Inuit women’s and other community members (including more-than-humans) unpaid caring and affective labour activities maintain capitalist production at remote fly-in-fly-out mine sites and the colonial bureaucratic endeavours, through practices and discourses, which influence Inuit mine workers and their intimate relationships, working to understand how the line between work and life is constantly negotiated for Inuit fly-in-fly-out workers and their partners.

For my research I have travelled extensively throughout the Canadian Arctic, Scandinavia, and Oceania, speaking with Indigenous communities, policy makers, industry representatives, and educators. I am passionate about developing and communicating complex messages about environmental issues to diverse audiences in creative and engaging ways.

If you want to learn more about my work, please do get in touch. I can be reached via email (tara.cater@carleton.ca), or on Twitter (@TaraCater). More information about my work is available on my research webpage at taracater.com.

Some of my work:

Cater, Tara., J. Carney and A. Keeling. (2018). ‘Mining and communities in the Eastern Arctic,’ In Bell, T., & Brown, T.  (Eds.), Mining and communities. Quebec, QC: ArcticNet, pp. 495- 507.

Cater, Tara. (2016). Making fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) work: Multiple temporalities and social reproduction in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Society and Space [online]. Available from: https://societyandspace.org/2017/11/14/making-fly-in-fly-out-fifo-work-multiple-temporalities-and-social-reproduction-in-rankin-inlet-nunavut/

Cater, Tara. (2015). “They should acknowledge the gap:” Exploring contemporary mining encounters in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Northern Public Affairs. 4 (1), 1-9.

Cater, Tara., & A. Keeling. (2013). “That’s where our future came from:” Mining, landscape, and memory in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Études/Inuit/Studies, 37(2), 59-82.