An Invitation to Arctic and Northern Researchers, Indigenous peoples, Stakeholders, and all levels of Community and Government Decision-makers Canada’s North is experiencing unprecedented change in...LEARN MORE
A Proposed Vision for a Renewed ArcticNet
Uniting Canadian northern research towards the sustainable development of the Canadian North and its communities
Canada’s northern territories and seas are changing rapidly under the triple pressure of climate change, industrialization, and modernization. Sea ice loss transforms the ecosystems and fisheries of Arctic seas, opening new sea lanes to transpolar traffic, international tourism, and the exploitation of mineral resources. Thawing permafrost destabilizes roads, airstrips, housing and the ecosystem of the tundra. The industrialization of the North provides economic opportunities, but also pressures the environment and the culture of northern societies. Northern communities, industries, governments and Inuit need relevant and accessible information on which to base their decisions, policies and strategies. Starting in 2004, the trans-sectoral ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence revitalized Canada’s comatose research effort in the North by defragmenting the academic research community and by partnering with Inuit, and private and public sectors.
Recognizing the importance of research in addressing these challenges and opportunities, northerners have art culated the need for stronger involvement in the design and delivery of research programs to ensure prosperity, health and sustainability of the Canadian North and its inhabitants. In particular, Indigenous organizations must set their own science priorities to achieve self-determination in research. Both Inuit organizations and the Territories have expressed the need for a leadership role and increased post-secondary research and training in the North, by the North and for the North (North-by-North). Over the next five years, ArcticNet will create the needed synergy among the existing (ArcticNet), emerging (POLAR Knowledge Canada) and future (North-by-North) pillars of Canada’s evolving effort in northern research.
Our vision is a coordinated Academic-Indigenous-Territorial-Government partnership towards the evidence-based sustainable development of Arctic and Subarctic Canada that will foster the health and biodiversity of its ecosystems; the wellbeing and empowerment of Indigenous and northern communities; the environmentally-safe exploitation of its mineral, shipping, energy and tourism resources; and Canada’s international leadership in evidence-based stewardship of the North. A key element of the renewal of ArcticNet is the development and support of Inuit and Territorial-led research programs that will address their research priorities.
A renewed Strategic Research Program
The joint scientific program of ArcticNet and its partners will address a large spectrum of existing and emerging research challenges resulting from climate change and modernization including improved understanding for:
Cryosphere, Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems
Monitoring, Prediction and Impacts
Health and Sustainable Communities
Governance and Sustainable Development
Training, Education and Knowledge Mobilization
Evolving Opportunities and Challenges
By tackling these research challenges and supporting an innovative North-by-North program, ArcticNet and its partners will increase Canada’s overall capacity to inform the sustainable development of its northern territories, seas and communities. ArcticNet’s updated strategy to address the above challenges will be based on:
- Improved logistical access to northern seas, territories and communities;
- Further engaging Inuit and Territorial partners including First Nations and Métis in research;
- Supporting ‘North-by-North’ - a research and training program led by Inuit and Territorial partners;
- New private sector and international research partnerships;
- Synergy among the natural, social, and health sciences and engineering;
- New technologies and instrumentation;
- Common data management; and
- State-of-the-art knowledge mobilization tools to assist end users.
The research challenges outlined in this vision reflect recent consultations and white papers including but not limited to:
‘The Grand Research Challenges Facing the Arctic’, a scoping paper by ArcticNet on behalf of POLAR Knowledge Canada;
General Meeting of Northern Stakeholders, Winnipeg, March 2016;
A Pan-northern Approach to Science by the Premiers of Yukon, NWT and Nunavut
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Action Plan and Inuit Strategy on Research; and,
Joint ArcticNet Research Management Committee / Board of Directors / Inuit Advisory Committee Strategic
Planning Workshop, Montreal, February 2018.