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Arts, Crafts, & Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre

The Arts, Crafts & Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) is located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NWT), and serves communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) and the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA). The objective of the ACTMC is to provide a fully-equipped and resourced space where the region’s artists can merge traditional methods and materials with modern technologies and production techniques in order to grow their small businesses and pursue existing and emerging economic opportunities.

Program Evaluation

ARI provides evaluation services by contract for a number of programs and organizations. Our evaluations are tailored to the specific needs of the researchers and the objectives of the project and rely on comprehensive data collection. Program evaluations designed and/or carried out by the ARI team include: Paul W. Kaeser High School fitness program (2014), Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY) project evaluation (2011-2015), Aurora College Early Childhood Development program (2015-2020), and the DigitalNWT study (2019-2022).

Research Capacity and Support Here (CASH)

Research Capacity and Support Here (CASH) is a grant-writing workshop focused on improving Northern researchers’ access to and success competing for federal research funding. Federal research granting agencies are expanding eligibility to hold research funds to new organizations, including Indigenous organizations in the Northwest Territories. This is an opportunity for NWT researchers and community organizations to undertake and lead research independently; however, to be competitive against applicants from southern universities, NWT researchers need equivalent support services to their southern counterparts. Canadian academic institutions have staff research officers who work with research funders to understand their programs, provide grant-writing training and development workshops for staff, and review proposals in-house before submission to funders. In an effort to address this gap, the Aurora Research Institute has partnered with Hotii ts’eeda to provide a three-day workshop that features presentations and proposal workshopping sessions led by successful researchers and research officers who will share their expertise with participants. The participants will be made up of potential NWT researchers (including college staff), community researchers, Indigenous and local knowledge holders, and community partners who are often asked to partner on research.

Building Instructional Capacity for Digital Literacy Teaching in the NWT (DigitalNWT)

Digital literacy, or an individual’s ability to find and interact with information on digital platforms, is an important skill in modern society. This project seeks to strengthen digital literacy across remote communities in the Northwest Territories, by training specialists to deliver tailor-made courses in their home communities. Each year, a new course of increasing complexity will be offered to communities, covering topics like online security, social media, and connections between technology and traditional ways. Researchers are conducting research throughout the territory to see what topics are the most important to include and will publish their findings about their experience building digital literacy in remote locations. Hopefully, the successes of this project can help inspire other remote regions to implement similar programs.

Permafrost Information Hub

Permafrost provides a foundation for northern ecosystems, infrastructure and communities. Permafrost conditions are inextricably linked to climate, so information on permafrost is now increasingly critical for environmental monitoring and research, assessing the effects of climate change and for planning and managing resilient infrastructure and communities. The overall goal of the Permafrost Information Hub is to improve collaboration and information sharing between permafrost researchers and northern stakeholders, conduct northern relevant research projects, and increase capacity for permafrost research.

A GIS to Support Community Monitoring of the Effects of Climate Change in Tuktoyaktuk

The effects of climate-driven changes on the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk are evident in all aspects of the community’s life. To better understand these effects and to communicate it to the residents, the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation (TCC) decided to undertake the “Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resilience Project.” The project aims to increase the awareness and knowledge of Tuktoyaktuk residents on the effects of climate-driven changes on their community. This will be achieved through the use of scientific methodologies, as well as the knowledge and wisdom of community Elders. A unique feature of this project is the measuring and monitoring of the effects of climate change will be community-based. The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) will support the Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resilience Project through capacity building and GIS services. ARI will assist the TCC in growing the community’s capacity to measure and monitor the effects of climate-driven changes, as well as develop GIS tools and services to efficiently collect, manage and disseminate the information.

Indigenous Knowledge and GEM Data Integration Workshop

Develop and host in Inuvik, Northwest Territories a 4-day Indigenous Mapping Workshop, which will welcome over 100 Western Arctic community members. The workshop will provide northern communities with innovative training and opportunities to utilize geoscience/spatial data, methods, and tools for community-based activities. The workshop will enhance northern capacity and empower northern communities in culturally appropriate and relevant ways to inform decision-making. Members are provided with the opportunity to learn and share best practices, and receive hands-on training on geospatial tools used to collect, host, visualize, share, consume data (e.g. GEM data), and publish community-generated spatial data. At the end of the workshop participants will be aware of and trained in the use of a variety of geospatial tools (e.g., Google, Esri, and QGIS) to support climate change monitoring; northern knowledge capacity and decision-making; knowledge exchanges between Indigenous communities; the integration of geoscience and geospatial data.

Growing Climate Change Awareness Among Students

Effectively informing youths about the effects of climate-driven changes on their environment requires methodologies that visible identify these effects in a fun-filled, entertaining, interactive and informative manner. This strategy will be even more effective if the lessons are delivered by persons the children can relate to and in an environment that is familiar and comfortable to them. Based on the above premise the project deliver climate change information to Western Arctic students through on-the-land p rograms that infuses traditional knowledge with Earth and Space science. In this program, students—accompanied by a team of local elders, research scientists, and teachers—will visit local sites where the effects of climate-driven changes are identifiable. During the visit students will observe and participate in the use of the infusion of traditional knowledge with Earth and Space science to identify, map and monitor the effects of climate-driven changes on their environment.

Stories of Hope

Canada’s education system is failing its Indigenous students. Educational institutions need to confront the impacts of ongoing colonialism in their classrooms if they want to engage Indigenous students and close education gap that exists for them. Approaching education through a decolonized lens may be a solution. Decolonizing school systems involves rethinking the way schooling is delivered, including curriculum, methodologies, and relationships with communities.

Permafrost Monitoring

Recent climate warming has led to increases in surface air and ground temperatures, which has contributed to regional permafrost degradation, or permafrost thaw, across the Beaufort Delta Region. Thawing permafrost has led to infrastructure challenges across the region; roads and waterways are experiencing slumping along their borders, and buildings built on pilings are starting to tilt. For many years, Dr. Burn has studied changes in permafrost stability and ground temperature at various locations in the western Arctic, with a focus on the outer Mackenzie delta. He has an array of thermistor installations, ranging from Herschel Island, on the Yukon North Slope, to Paulatuk, on the Arctic Ocean coast of the NWT. At each site, ground temperature sensors are deployed in steel pipes, inserted into the ground through the permafrost layers. Ground temperature readings are measured and recorded to develop temperature profiles and observe changes in temperature/depth across these profiles over time.

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