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Innovation, Science & Climate Change at a Glance
Current Research 2020/2021
This page highlights some ongoing research initiatives in which Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is a Principal Investigator or Co-applicant.*
While not an exhaustive list of all activities currently being worked on, this page will rotate to provide a glimpse of the overall work being done.
Completed projects are available on the Documents and Resources page.
*Please Note: This list does not include research which IRC is a contributor or partner.
The four Inuit Land Claims Organizations (or their designates, in collaboration with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, will co-design and implement a permanent population health survey of Inuit in Canada that is informed by Inuit knowledge, values, and worldview, stakeholder engagement, and the latest health sciences research. We will also govern and facilitate access to the survey data, including publishing results that are engaging and accessible by Inuit and organizations that serve Inuit populations.
Objective: There is a lack of Inuit-determined, quality data about the health of Inuit in Canada. QNIHS aims to provide data that are: (a) relevant and culturally safe, (b) up to date, comparable across populations and time, and comprehensive, (c) Inuit-determined and owned by Inuit and (d) accessible
The Unit is intended to promote health research that better reflects the priorities and realities of NWT Indigenous people, and to ensure research results positively shape the NWT health system, and improve how health services are delivered and accessed. It will work to ensure health research funding is provided directly to NWT organizations, and that health-related capacity development and training in research, the health professions and in administration, will be a basis for continuous health system improvement and innovation. This project includes an active partnership with various indigenous organizations across NWT.
Objective: Contribute to ensuring NWT health research and the NWT health system better meet the needs of NWT Indigenous peoples.
To support informed decision-making and preparation, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is developing regional epidemiological models to predict how the novel coronavirus would spread through the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the timing and magnitude of infections and need for medical resources in each community. This involves procuring and presenting relevant descriptive data for each community and developing deterministic and stochastic epidemiological models to predict the rate of infection under different kinds of public health interventions.
Objective: To accurately predict the potential impact of COVID-19 on Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities.
Over the centuries that Inuvialuit have lived and travelled throughout their land and given names to camping places, settlements and landmarks. These names may reflect the kinds of activities that were carried out at those places, the kinds of resources the area is known for, or events that occurred there. Place names help to shape and define the cultural landscape, and are an enduring record of Inuvialuit history and heritage. Knowing place names and their meanings, the resources or landmarks at those locations, and the sequence of those place names as people journeyed along travel routes was one way that Inuvialuit learned to read the land without a writing system or printed maps. These locations are of central importance when identifying key areas of significance within the ISR. This initiative aims to identify, collect, overlap and quality controls previously collected Place Names research. Place name information will be complied from existing research and will include names documented on maps and in interviews (both English and Inuvialuktun).
Objective: Develop a consolidated and quality-controlled map of place names within the ISR which can be used to identify key areas of consideration when assessing the potential for natural resource development.
Environment & Wellbeing
The Beaufort Regional Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSEA) which aims to facilitate a better understanding of the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area and contribute to the review included in the December 20, 2016 United States-Canada Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement by (a) promoting engagement, education, monitoring, and research projects in the Western Arctic to support informed decision-making around possible future resource development and management, environmental conservation programs, community sustainable and subsistence activities, and other complementary commercial activities (b) review under which conditions do Inuvialuit endorse oil and gas activities in the Beaufort; and (c) assess how other variables will affect the future of the Beaufort (i.e. invasive species, climate change, transportation).
Recognizing that carbon pricing may have a disproportionate impact on Indigenous and low-income families, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, in partnership with the federal government, are committed to work together and find solutions that address their unique circumstances, including high costs of living and of energy, challenges with food security and emerging economies.
Objective: (a) To assess the potential direct and indirect economic impacts that carbon pricing may have on households in the six communities of the ISR and; (b) to examine the potential impact that cost increases due to carbon pricing may have on traditional livelihoods in the communities (i.e., a community’s ability to participate and access traditional resources), c) to evaluate the impact of different carbon pricing offset strategies on both the traditional and market economies.
Climate Change Action Map Description: While the ISR has emerged as a climate change research and action hub, a historical information gap between Inuvialuit stakeholders and project leaders continues to challenge community awareness of the wide range of initiatives that have taken place across the region in recent years. This project aims to raise community awareness by developing an easily accessible, user-friendly and comprehensive online map that will help users visualize the expanding scope of climate action in the ISR. This forthcoming map will also serve as an engagement tool for encouraging participation in future climate change initiatives within Inuvialuit communities and promoting the region’s progress towards sustainability to audiences beyond the ISR.
Objective: To showcase recent climate change and clean energy initiatives across the ISR to Inuvialuit stakeholders and the public at large.
"Siqiniqmin Aullan"- Children's Book Project Description: Climate change and energy development have significant impacts on both the social and physical landscapes of the north. This project aims to develop an energy themed children’s book which will be available in all three Inuvialuktun dialects. The book’s content will explain energy terms and reflect on the impact of energy development and climate change on traditional lifestyles. Project development will require several stages of community participation including a story writing contest, the meeting of a selection committee, and the creation of illustrations by local artists. The final product will be available as both physical books and audiobooks and will be accessible to the public.
Objective: To create an energy themed Inuvialuit children’s book and accompanying audiobook in the three Inuvialuktun dialects and, in turn, promote Inuvialuit language and energy literacy in the ISR.
This multi-year program will ask local community monitors and community members to gather information in order to obtain current environmental conditions within the ISR. Monitors/Guardians will collect data from their own observations as well as the observations of the communities using iPad technology via a custom mapping application. This will include observations of waste sites, debris, environmental disturbances and general observations on the land and water-ice. The collections of information and data will be downloaded on the ISR Data Platform. Validation of data will be done at regular Hunters and Trappers Committee meetings. To ensure safe travel and stewardship of the land, results will be shared with local community organizations via posters, radio advertisements, maps and an interactive mapping application.
Objective: To identify areas of interest and concern on land, water and ice in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region using local and traditional knowledge in combination with historic empirical data to inform stewardship of Inuit lands and waters and the preservation of Inuvialuit culture.
The Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability will develop an Arctic Research Data Infrastructure predicated on a vision to support and grow a research community that fully engages Inuit; that is properly governed so as to enhance individual, local, regional, national, and international initiatives in data management and research; and that builds capacity across a network of linked data centers with common standards, practices, tools, and expertise. It will facilitate data discovery and description, enabling data to be shared across systems for upload, analysis, and visualization. It will support efficient, effective use of data, allowing Canada to better realize the benefits of our decades of investment in Arctic research.
Objective: (a) support Inuit self-determination; (b) enabling informed actions for managing decision-making around multiple issues; (c) support operational activities by making information from space-based technologies more accessible and usable for those charged with search and rescue; (d) ensuring safe transportation and protection of life, environment, and infrastructure in Canada's Arctic.
The long-term goals of Inuvialuit self-governance and self-direction require a foundation of good social, cultural, and economic data. It is easier to govern well with access to reliable information about topics such as housing, health, social needs, and economic preferences. To support these goals, ISCC are building institutions that will continually acquire, manage, and present regional data on these topics. The work includes forming partnerships with data-holding organizations, developing internal capacity---including policies, systems, and staff training---and cataloguing and making available the data we already have.
Objective: To support evidence-based decision-making in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region by ensuring the best quality social, cultural and economic data is available to decision-makers.
Since 2013, the Beaufort Sea Partnership has been developing the Inuvialuit Settlement Region Platform in support of the Integrated Oceans Management Plan. This cloud-based platform provides a ‘one window’ approach to data storage, mapping, and application development which facilitates collaborative ISR decision making. Featuring tools for field data collection, custom base maps, analysis capabilities, print applications and over 400 spatial layers, the BSOP currently supports 32 BSP organizations including the Inuvialuit Land Administration, Wildlife Management Advisory Councils, Fisheries Joint Management Committee and the Joint Secretariat. This platform is administered solely by IRC, who aims to continually expand the site to meet user needs.
Objective: To improve communication and information sharing between Beaufort Sea Partners and provide a continually expanding platform for innovative research.
Wildlife genome information is extremely valuable for environmental decision making, yet much remains unused for this purpose. Project activities and outcomes will support conservation, natural resource management, and the sustainability of Arctic food sources. Outcomes will also support Canada’s efforts to protect Arctic species and ensure northern food security. The project can serve as a model for mobilizing genomics in different regions of Canada and in other nations. Work will focus on reindeer/caribou and marine mammals.
Objective: To co-develop a suite of genomics knowledge-mobilization tools that will support ‘evidence-based’ social and economic decision making.
This federally funded project seeks to a) describe and b) improve the tools and techniques that Canadian self-governing indigenous groups (SGIGs) are using to manage data. So far the project has produced an “environmental scan”---a survey of what SGIGs use data for. Moving forward they hope to make recommendations about how this can be done better and have asked IRC to provide advice on the process.
Objective: To be engaged and involved in this national-level effort, to use its products to support our own data management, and to benefit from any products they develop.
If you have any questions concerning these, or other research projects, please contact: