The Conference’s Social Affairs Department participated in the creation of the ecumenical Inter-church Project on Northern Development, also known as Project North. It focused on treaty and Aboriginal rights and the just settlement of land claims and promoted the search for equitable forms of development in response to proposals for energy resource megaprojects in Northern Canada. In 1988, Project North became the Aboriginal Rights Coalition. In 2001 it joined other coalitions to form Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
From the Conference’s Labour Day message “Northern Development: At What Cost?”, a pastoral statement on the development of energy resources and its impact on Native Peoples:
[W]hat we see emerging in the Canadian North are forms of exploitation which we often assume happen only Third World countries: a serious abuse of both the Native Peoples and the energy resources of the North. Herein lies the Northern dilemma: What has been described as the “last frontier” in the building of this nation may become our own “Third World”.