Signature Areas of Research: Communities and Sustainability

Exploring the interrelatedness of human communities and natural ecologies


Understanding the relationships among different peoples and the natural world and ensuring that they are maintained in a good way — a philosophy embodied in the Cree/Saulteaux concept of wahkohtowin — is crucial to overcoming urgent environmental, social, and political hurdles.


Signature Area Lead:
Prof. Dionne Pohler (PhD)

Signature Area Lead:
Prof. Lori Bradford (PhD)

Signature Area Lead:
Prof. Vicki Squires (PhD)

About the Signature Area

Embracing a spectrum of research approaches that are collaborative, relational and community-oriented, the University of Saskatchewan's (USask) Communities and Sustainability Signature Area of Research is working alongside communities as they develop meaningful solutions to pressing challenges. Recognizing that communities have distinct and important needs, priorities, models and structures, research activities within this area move beyond conventional scholarship models and towards shared and reciprocal sustainable community outcomes. 

Research in the Communities and Sustainability Signature Area embraces a strengths-based model wherein both university researchers and community members play an important role. While work in this area engages a wide range of social and applied sciences, two-way learning and processes that position the voices, experiences and knowledge of all involved members remain central. 


Notable Areas of Research

  • Promoting social innovations through community connections and local capacity-building.
  • Driving economic and social development in rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities. 
  • Supporting empowered decision-making within communities and organizations with a focus on governance, self-sufficiency and long-term sustainability. 
  • Helping communities and organizations identify and establish the policies, practices and resources needed to address the realities of a changing climate. 

Signature Areas News