Land Claims Agreement Coalition Conference 2020

“Until this conference I wasn’t aware of the extent of Modern Treaties Territories, but I know that permafrost is distributed across much of northern Canada. The conference made me realize that these Territories almost completely overlap the permafrost zones in Canada. Several northern communities are severely impacted by climate change and thawing permafrost, but it really hits home that most of the future permafrost changes will occur within Modern Treaties Territories.”

Peter Morse, CPA Secretary and NSERC PermafrostNet collaborator

On 11 and 12 February 2020, the Land Claims Agreement Coalition held their 8th National Conference, Making Modern Treaties Work: Building Today for a Better Tomorrow in Gatineau, QC.

NSERC PermafrostNet and the Canadian Permafrost Association came together to share a booth at the conference. The event provided a great opportunity to introduce our two organizations, explain what we do and hear about the climate-change related challenges faced by Indigenous communities.

The conference featured high-profile Canadian and international speakers, First Nation and Inuit leaders and youth, leading to meaningful discussions of timely legal, cultural and governance issues. The sessions focused on academic and technical training and improving intergovernmental relationships. Esteemed and inspiring speakers, included: Dana Tizya-Tramm, Chief, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Daniel Watson, Deputy Minister of CIRNAC, P.J. Akeeagok, President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Gregor Gilbert, Director, Department of Environment, Wildlife, and Research at Makivik Corporation.

Photos: Tristan MacLean

Northern Lights 2020

Northern Lights 2020

Members of NSERC PermafrostNet were honoured to attend the 2020 Northern Lights Showcase at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa between 5 – 8 February. The event is Canada’s number 1 Eastern Arctic and Northern conference, featuring presentations, an exhibitor showcase, workshops and a variety of networking opportunities. The first Northern Lights event was in 2008 and now happens every two years, focusing on the socio-economic and cultural development of Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador / Nunatsiavut.

“The quality and engagement of the speakers and panelists at the workshops I attended were very high.  The presenters were all sincere, approachable and knowledgeable, and I learned a great deal about the North and Northern engagement”

Shirley McKey, NSERC PermafrostNet Director of Operations
Shirley McKey at Northern Lights 2020

PermafrostNet had a booth on the show floor, where we were able to speak to delegates and members of the public; explaining who we are and what we do. We had a lot of interest from visitors to the show, wanting to know all about permafrost and sharing their experiences of living with permafrost in a changing world. The showcase was a fantastic opportunity to engage and hear from Canadian businesses, community leaders and indigenous government about permafrost and life in the North. The event was attended by Scientific Director (Stephan Gruber), Director of Operations (Shirley McKey) and Knowledge Mobilization and Communications Coordinator (Tristan MacLean).

Shirley McKey engaging delegates at Northern Lights 2020

The conference sessions covered a wide range of areas impacted by permafrost change, such as infrastructure, housing, construction, transport and communication as well as areas where collaboration will help the network share knowledge and serve northern communities such as education and communications. Of particular interest to the network were the sessions ‘Northern Infrastructure: Building for the Future‘ and ‘Arctic Research & Education: Supporting Sustainable Northern Communities‘ as well as the opportunity to make connections and build relationships with many residents and organizations based in the North whose lives and livelihoods are being directly impacted by permafrost thaw.

Photos: Tristan MacLean