ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Arctic Corridors – Northern Voices: mobilizing and integrating traditional knowledge into federal policies and decision making

Project Leader(s)

Dawson, Jackie

Increased navigability of Arctic waters, as a result of climate change, is now intersecting with the global appetite for untapped natural resources and growing traffic through the Northwest Passage; a situation that is testing Canada’s safety and security and is challenging northern communities (Stephenson et la. 2011; Pizzolato et la. 2014; 2016; Eguíluz et al. 2016; Lasserre et al. 2016; Dawson et al. 2018). The Northern Marine Transportation Corridors (NMTC) Initiative, co-led by the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and Canadian Hydrographic Service is an excellent example of adaptive governance of ship traffic in the region. The intent of the NMTC is to reduce the likelihood of marine incidents by providing predictable levels of service to mariners transiting the corridors. However, the corridors do not adequately consider marine areas that are used by northern communities and Indigenous people for traditional or cultural activities (Porta et al. 2017; Carter et al. 2017). Over the past five years Dr. Dawson and her research team have worked in partnership with 11 Canadian Arctic communities and the federal agencies in charge of the NMTC) to: 1) establish a geo-spatial database of historic shipping trends in Arctic Canada (1990-present), 2) establish ‘Culturally Significant Marie Areas’ (CSMAs) including identifying local travel routes, hunting areas, and wildlife areas based on traditional knowledge systems, and 3) establish local recommendations for ship management within the corridors framework. There is now a need to effectively share these research results to ensure policy relevant and management relevant findings are fully infused into federal Arctic shipping policies and decision-making.
The proposed ArcticNet project is focused on mobilizing knowledge established from the Arctic corridors – Northern Voices project (previously called AMAIS) to ensure appropriate federal uptake of research results including traditional knowledge.
The specific objectives of the proposed knowledge mobilization focused project are to:
1. Establish an accessible and open source spatial data portal using ArcGIS online; and
2. Co-author 2-3 papers with Inuit Research Associates
Contributes to IRIS: 1, 2, 3