The work of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on the Territories of Extractivism (GRITE) focuses on 3 research themes: governance, socio-environmental conflicts, and Indigenous rights. Our members work on a variety of issues, such as the criminalization of dissent, Indigenous rights claims, artisanal and small-scale mining, corporate accountability, and social movements. They work in different geographic regions, such as North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. 


Karine Vanthuyne and Willow Scobie
GRITE Director and Co-director

About our group​

The Interdisciplinary Research Group on Territories of Extractivism (GRITE) is hosted by the Research Center on the Future of Cities. GRITE’s primary objective is to stimulate the exchange of critical knowledge between various sectors on the many issues that the growth of the extractive industry raises, both in Canada and abroad.

Fully engaged in national and international debates on the natural resource extraction industry, GRITE represents 12 researchers and graduate students from various units in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences (International Development and Global Studies, Political Studies, Sociological and Anthropological Studies) and Faculty of Law (Civil Law and Common Law).


The objective of GRITE’s scientific program is to enrich the expertise of faculty and students at the University of Ottawa. It also aims to contribute to improving public policies in the extractive industry sector. To this end, GRITE promotes the analyses of its associated researchers in order to advance the issues identified below. When the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights visited Canada in June, 2017 it signaled the urgent need for the Government of Canada to find solutions to socio-environmental conflicts that are directly related to the extractive industries, both in Canada and abroad. GRITE members examine different aspects of these conflicts and the activities we organize are an ongoing part of the critical task of formulating innovative strategies to solve these issues.

Research axes

The main objective of GRITE is to develop a common and socially relevant research program on the socio-environmental issues related to the extractive industries. The diversity of disciplinary fields, theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and fields of study of our members inform the development of a series of innovative research projects around three key axes:


The growth of the extractive industry worldwide has greatly benefited from the deregulation of this economic sector in the countries where it proliferates. In order to attract foreign investment, states that host...

Indigenous Rights​

Not only does the extractive industry primarily affect indigenous territories (Laforce, et al., 2012), but it also generates revitalization or Indigenous identification movements in response to threats or benefits...

Socio-Environmental Conflicts

Development of the extractive industries is at the core of a growing number of socio-environmental conflicts.