Goals of the Webequie Supply Road
Brianna Patrick is a socio economics major finishing her degree off at York.
The goal for the Webequie Supply Road (WSR) is to make it easier to receive materials, supplies, and transport people from Webequie First Nation to an area called McFaulds Lake or, the Ring of Fire. The reason for building a supply road is to bring positive benefits to the community such as jobs, businesses, and education.
However, before we begin building the road, assessments need to be made to understand the potential effects that the road could have on surrounding Indigenous communities. This is what is called an ‘environmental assessment’— creating a list of potential effects and then a plan for minimizing the negative ones and maximizing the positive ones.
An environmental assessment includes many different topics, one of which is socioeconomics. Socioeconomics gives us information about the jobs, income, and education of a community. We are currently trying to gather information about socioeconomics in communities that might be impacted by the supply road.
We need community members to help us understand what their community values, what their community demographics are (age, gender), and the type of access the community has to education, jobs, or transportation. To gather this information, we will be asking people to fill out surveys, participate in group discussions, and participate in interviews.
We want as many people as possible to participate so that we can identify how each Indigenous community might be differentially impacted by the supply road.