INNOVATE Centre for Arts, Crafts and Technology

The INNOVATE Centre for Arts, Crafts and Technology is located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NWT), and serves communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) and the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA). At INNOVATE Centre for Arts, Crafts and Technology our vision is to create an affordable, inclusive and supportive environment for people of all ages and provide them with necessary equipment and skills to create opportunities, earn better livelihood and contribute to a stronger economic ecosystem. 20181109_154611.jpg

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.

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.

On-the-land STEM Camps for Students in the Western Arctic

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 Program

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.

Mapping and Monitoring Earth Movement Along the Caribou Hills, Inuvik, NWT

Climate driven changes are affecting the landscape and the way of life of the people of the Northwest Territories (NWT). The effects of climate driven changes on the landscape of the NWT are visible along the coastlines, inland to the valleys, water channels, and along the slopes. Therefore, to mitigate against these changes and to protect infrastructure, people, and wildlife it is important that the necessary tools are available to support the efficient development and implementation of climate change adaptation measures. This project aims to develop and make available one such tool in the form of online hazard maps of the Caribou Hills.

Western Artic Minerals Strategies GIS

ARI has developed a GIS to support the management of mineral strategies across the Western Arctic. A GIS of this nature will provide stakeholders with geospatial tools, as well as geoscience and geospatial information to better inform their decision-making with respect to mineral strategy management and land use planning in general. In addition, having mineral strategies developed with the support of meaningful, current, and accurate geoscience/geospatial information will results in better planned investment in mineral exploration, as well as exploration with reduced environmental impact. This translates into increase economic opportunity and protection of the Canadian environment.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence is a serious social problem in the Prairie Provinces and Northwest Territories. These regions report the highest rates of shelter utilization in Canada and the highest rates of sexual assault and intimate partner homicide. Despite sustained research into intimate partner violence, Little data is available about rural and northern communities' incidence of intimate partner violence. Numerous gaps have been identified, including the need for research conducted within a Canadian context, the unique experiences of specific populations of women, and the experience of women in rural and northern communities. As a result, resources that respond to this social problem are lacking and knowledge of how to improve community responses to intimate partner violence are poor. This research aims to answer: What are the unique needs of victims of IPV living in rural and northern areas of these regions? What are the gaps that exist in meeting these needs? How do we create non-violent communities in these regions?


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