Exploring Community Resilience towards Rebuilding Community Identity After the Portapique Mass Shooting in Canada


  • Megan Netzke Cape Breton University
  • Bettina Callary Cape Breton University
  • Leigh Potvin Lakehead University




Healing, public shooting, autoethnography, posttraumatic stress, event organisation


This research aims to explore the significance of citizen participation in rebuilding a sense of community identity and facilitating the communal healing process in the aftermath of the public shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia. We approached this research using autoethnography and completed a thematic analysis of the first author’s journal entries written in the ten months following the public shooting. We generated two higher-order themes- posttraumatic stress responses and factors of resilience. These two themes provided the framework on which to organise the data. The findings indicate the significance citizen participation and event organisation have on a community’s ability to exhibit resilience and the detrimental effects that can occur when support is not community-led. Through the lens of participation in community organising (the Portapique Community Build-Up project), participation was the crucial link to building a sense of community identity. 


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How to Cite

Netzke, M., Callary, B. ., & Potvin, L. (2023). Exploring Community Resilience towards Rebuilding Community Identity After the Portapique Mass Shooting in Canada . Interdisciplinary Journal of Rural and Community Studies, 5, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijrcs-2023.vol5.01