What’s in a name? The search for ‘common ground’ in Kenora, Northwestern Ontario


Kenora is a small city in northwestern Ontario, Canada. No longer a forestry centre of note, Kenora plans to develop a more diversified and sustainable economy, driven by local needs and local decision-making. Yet any collective desire to enjoy a prosperous future is set against a backdrop of historical conflict, discrimination and misunderstanding among local First Nation, Métis and Euro-Canadian populations. Using a range of qualitative data, we discuss whether the philosophy and vision behind common ground, a term used to front a collaborative land management initiative close to the city centre, has gained currency among the wider public. Charting the trajectory of its usage over the last decade, we discuss whether the powerful rhetoric invoked by common ground will likely be reflected in the forging of more equitable and productive relations among the multiple cultural groups that define life in this region.


Canada, Northwestern Ontario, Common Ground, Treaty Rights, First Nations, Co-management, Deliberative democracy, Environmental planning

How to Cite

Robson J. & Sinclair A. & Davidson-Hunt I. & Diduck A., (2013) “What’s in a name? The search for ‘common ground’ in Kenora, Northwestern Ontario”, Journal of Public Deliberation 9(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.169







James P. Robson (Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba)
Andrew J. Sinclair (Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba)
Iain J. Davidson-Hunt (Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba)
Alan P. Diduck (Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, University of Winnipeg)



Publication details



Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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