A bit about the research project:
It is important to understand the similarities, differences, and contributions of the social economy in urban, rural, and northern contexts so that communities across Saskatchewan can take full advantage of the social economy’s unique ability to address critical economic, social, and cultural issues. However, because development is often framed as either urban or rural, there remains too little understanding of the social economy—including co-operatives, mutuals, not-for-profits, and voluntary sector organizations associated with alternative development models, people before profits, and democratic participation—in the northern context. This case study on the social economy in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Ronge has three key objectives: to identify social economy actors in La Ronge; to document the economic, social, and cultural contributions of the social economy to the community; and to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the social economy in La Ronge.
This study found that the social economy in La Ronge has made significant contributions to the economic, social, and cultural health of the community by mitigating the effects of economic leakage, skills shortages, as well as race, class, and gender divisions. The community has achieved this through individual organizational action or through the development of partnerships with other social economy organizations and/or the public and private sectors. Nevertheless, social economy organizations in La Ronge face a number of challenges that frustrate their efforts to do more, including administrative and jurisdictional boundaries; poor communication between or among organizations; a misunderstanding of the social economy among politicians, policy-makers, and the public; and a lack of financial and human resources. Despite these challenges, the social economy in La Ronge has been, and continues to be, a source of community resilience and innovation in a community faced with both incredible opportunities and hardships. Social economy organizations survive because of their relevance to the community and their capacity to meet real economic, social, and cultural needs.
See the final report for more information.
Please see the complete list of final Linking, Learning, and Leveraging project reports here.
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