Arctic Region

The Arctic Working Group, based at Carleton and McMaster universities, is working to connect current knowledge of key issues of concern to Arctic Ocean coastal communities to broad questions of science and policy integration. The group holds as a key goal the empowerment of community voices in the Arctic region and is currently establishing collaborative activities that can support this work.

Activities 2018-2019

The Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) at Carleton University has continued to work actively developing its partnership with Arctic groups over the past year, and this has included negotiating and consolidating funding for on-going atlas maintenance and technological development work, and for training and development.

Our key Northern partners include Government of Nunavut; Nunavut Coastal Resource Inventory (now Nunavut Coastal Inventory), which includes 22 communities, with whom a new Memorandum of Understanding with GCRC, Carleton University has been developed and signed (March 2019); and several northern communities and organizations including the Kitikmeot Heritage Society of Cambridge Bay, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Clyde River, Slave Lake Coalition, Sahtu and Gwich’in.

GCRC participated in the OceanCanada Annual Conference in August 2018, and presented the Arctic Ocean Atlas. It conducted a Nunaliit training workshop with Kitikmeot Heritage Society and the Danish National Museum to develop the Fifth Thule Expedition Atlas in June 2018, this being part of a SSHRC International Partnership Development Grant approved in 2017. Mike Jaypoody of the Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre and Illisaqsvik Society launched the Clyde River Knowledge Atlas at the ArcticNet Conference in Ottawa in December 2018, and it is featured in a February 5, 2019 Nunatsiaq News article. Taylor, Hayes, and Oikle of the GCRC and Pulsifer of ELOKA (Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic) supported the development of the atlas, and funders include TidesCanada, Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Northern Development Canada Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program.

The GCRC also secured considerable funding for its upcoming five-year cycle of work from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) to advance the work of the Canadian Consortium for Data Interoperability, including the further development of the Nunaliit Cybercartographic Atlas Framework, and addition of new functionalities. This will contribute to northern environmental/water research.

Its collaboration with other Carleton University partners as follows complements its Arctic work: Towards a Suitable Fishery for Nunavummiut (School of Public Policy and Administration); and Pilot Atlas of the Inuit Language in Canada (School of Linguistics and Language Studies).

The Arctic Working Group has also commenced work on its contribution to the forthcoming OceanCanada book (2020), with Indigenous partners leading the research work plan.

Activities 2017-2018

At Carleton University, the major contribution to the project over the past year was a new version of the Inuit Sea Ice (SIKU) Atlas. The Arctic WG has expanded the content of the Arctic Oceans Atlas to include two new components, an Inuit Place Names Atlas and a Nunavut Coastal Resource Inventory Atlas. Both of these, which are close to completion, require significant funding resources, and additional funding has been obtained from the Government of Nunavut, the Kitikmeot Heritage Society, and the Slave River Coalition. The WG been cooperating with Oceans North Canada who are completing a hard copy Atlas of the Arctic Ocean which should be published in spring 2018. The WG has provided hard copy versions of some of their maps for publication in that Atlas, and will be presenting both atlases at the OceanCanada 2018 Conference in Halifax. Several communities and organizations are providing community-based atlases to include as components of the Arctic Ocean Atlas. In September 2017 the WG brought them together in a three-day workshop to share experiences and explore possible new functionalities for Nunaliit. At McMaster University, the WG has made major advances in partnership building within its community-level project in Chesterfield Inlet. HQP Sarah Newell, David Kattigatsiak of Chesterfield Inlet, and WG co-lead Nancy Doubleday submitted a SSHRC Partnership Engage application for this project. The WG at McMaster has focused its efforts on two priorities: 1) adding to the fine-grained analysis of community-level experience of practical needs for participation in ocean management; and 2) the cultivation and training of HQP, achieved through field work in Chesterfield Inlet, and support of student research with the potential for contributing to OceanCanada’s cross-cutting themes. Professor Chris Myrh, a communications specialist and digital artist, has joined the McMaster team.

Activities 2016-2017

At Carleton University, we were completing the cross-atlas layer sharing, and making good progress on the SIKU Atlas layers, which will present data in new formats and schemas. The Genome Canada Project (Towards a Sustainable Fishery in the Arctic) atlas is using the Nunavut Coastal Research Inventory (NCRI) data model. The Nunavut Place Names Atlas has now been renamed the Inuit Places Atlas and the scope has increased to include other regions. The atlas structure was set up and our partners at the Kitikmeot Heritage Society (KHS) will be reaching out to other Inuit Peoples in the Circumpolar Arctic. The Clyde River Atlas is now up and running. Work was underway on several models, including NCRI integration and community plans to enhance the atlas with video and audio interviews from Elders.

At McMaster University, we participated in local-level social-ecological modelling, led by the Atlantic Working Group, and were moving to the Arctic implementation of the SES model-development strategy. Phase 1 of this initiative was completed, and we transferred our knowledge of fine-scale local level relationships to articulation of an Arctic site. We also collected metadata on trans-regional ocean globalization and implications for social-ecological systems.

Research topics at Carleton during 2015/2016 were increasing partnerships for atlas expansion and development of a secondary data strategy for a metadata-base design. The Working Group was also involved in developing best practices for organizing ethics for research practices. The objectives are to have one or more studies exploring partnership building in the context of building an Arctic Ocean Atlas by expanding the existing SIKU Atlas and other projects of the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC), and to develop a metadata-base design to be prepared as a model for OCP as a whole.

At McMaster, with the engagement of a doctoral student in health policy, the Working Group advanced discussion of community-level case studies, and participated in cross-working group activities. Outputs included presentations, journal articles, and development of guidelines for conducting ethical research as well as a metadata-base design framework. The Working Group facilitated access to resources used in current and previous community engaged work for the benefit of the OceanCanada partnership.


Nancy Doubleday (Co-Lead), McMaster University
D. R. Fraser Taylor (Co-Lead), Carleton University
Amos Hayes, Carleton University
Gita Ljubicic, Carleton University
Rob Oikle, Carleton University
Jason Wong, Carleton University

Dr. Nancy Doubleday: Arctic Working Group Co-Lead

Highly Qualified Personnel

Zaynab Al-Hemed
Studying the implications of marine protected areas on social-ecological wellbeing in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.
Romola Thumbadoo
Presently working with Dr. Fraser Taylor at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, where she completed her PhD research into the work and legacy of late Algonquin Elder William Commanda of the Ottawa River Watershed (completed in January, 2018).


Supporting early career researchers: insights from interdisciplinary marine scientistsThe immense challenges associated with realizing ocean and coastal sustainability require highly skilled interdisciplinary …
The potential for locally managed marine area (LMMAs) as a participatory strategy for coastal and marine ecosystems – the global commonsMarine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services are degraded in many areas worldwide due …
Culture as vector: agency for social-ecological systems change.(book chapter in On Active Grounds) This book considers the themes of agency and time …
The Antarctic: connecting the dots. The Arctic: giving back. The Himalayas: feeling the mythForeword to book trilogy. Early in 2018, Dr. D. R. Fraser Taylor, Director of …
The impact of coastal grabbing on community conservation – a global reconnaissance.“Coastal grab” refers to the contested appropriation of coastal (shore and inshore) space and …
Legal and ethical issues around incorporating traditional knowledge in polar data infrastructures.Human knowledge of the polar region is a unique blend of Western scientific knowledge …
A proposal: an open licensing scheme for traditional knowledge.The University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS), Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet …
Developing Northern research in Arctic information management.Report to the Canadian High Arctic Research Station by DRF Taylor. No abstract available.


YearPresented byPresentation TitleLocation
2018Taylor, F; Hayes, A.A Nunaliit atlas of the Inuit languages in Canada. ArcticNet Conference.Ottawa, ON.
2018Taylor, F.Geoinformation in the 21st century: challenges and opportunities for national mapping and statistical agencies. INEGI National Statistics and Mapping Agency, President and Senior LeadershipAguascalientes, Mexico
2018Taylor, F.The importance of geoinformation and mapping in the age of location. Geography and INEGI National Statistics and Mapping Agency, Environmental Programs DirectorateAguascalientes, Mexico
2018Taylor, F.Nunaliit Atlas framework and digital atlas development at GCRC. University of Western Ontario Team and Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Carleton UniversityOttawa, ON
2018Doubleday, N.The Indigenous peoples of Canada, an Arctic perspective: social-cultural-ecological factors influencing their health, and access to health care. Paper presented at: Global Health. Global transitions within local communities: small places, big changes. Co-sponsored by McMaster University, the University of South Norway and Maastricht UniversityWaterloo, ON
2018Taylor, F.Creating a Cybergartographic Atlas of the Bering Strait, Pan Arctic Options Annual Meeting; Pan Arctic Options Annual MeetingBoston, MA, USA.
2017Doubleday, NHow good are current models at integrating knowledge from diverse sources through time? Catching Ripples in the Water: A Social-Ecological Regime Shifts (SERS) Approach to Understand Rapid Changes in Coastal Watersheds and Crafting Governance ArrangementsWaterloo, ON
2017Doubleday, NHow good is our research paradigm at describing and understanding long-term social-ecological-cultural change? Catching Ripples in the Water: A Social-Ecological Regime Shifts (SERS) Approach to Understand Rapid Changes in Coastal Watersheds and Crafting Governance ArrangementsWaterloo, ON
2017Hayes, A.Mapping with Nunaliit. Arctic Net ConferenceQuebec, QC.
2017Hayes, A.Nunaliit. Polar Data Forum; Ottawa, ON; Canadian Cartographic Association Meeting; Ottawa ON; Polar Knowledge Canada; INAC; and CIPA 2017 Digital Workflows for Heritage Conservation symposium.Ottawa, ON
2017Hayes, A.Canadian Cartographic Association MeetingOttawa, ON
2017Hayes, A.Polar Knowledge Canada; INAC; and CIPA 2017 Digital Workflows for Heritage Conservation symposiumOttawa, ON
2017Hayes, A.Nunavut coastal resource inventory atlas. Nunavut fisheries stakeholders annual meetingsOttawa, ON
2017Hayes, A.Nunavut coastal resource inventory atlas. Nunavut fisheries stakeholders annual meetingsOttawa, ON
2017Hayes, A; Taylor, F; Anonby, E; Murasugi, K.Mapping language with the Nunaliit Atlas framework: the languages of Iran and the Inuit language in Canada. International Cartographic CongressWashington, DC.
2017Scassa, T; Taylor, DRF; Nickels, S.Towards a legal framework for the collection and sharing of Inuit Knowledge. Arctic Net ConferenceQuebec, QC.
2017Taylor, F.Arctic governance options: the importance of involvement of Indigenous Communities. Panel discussion, public forum and webinar, US Embassy Moscow, Russia.
2017Taylor, F.Arctic spatial data infrastructure. Round Table on Enhancing International Arctic Cooperation, American Centre Moscow, Russia.
2017Taylor, F.Creating a cybercartographic atlas of the Bering Strait. Pan-Arctic Options Moscow, Russia.
2017Taylor, F.Critical media and big data. Panel, Research Data Management and Portage Network, Carleton University Ottawa, ON.
2017Taylor, F.Mapping the Bering Sea. Belmont Forum Pan-Arctic Options Annual Meeting Moscow, Russia.
2017Taylor, F.Rapid technological change and the future of cybercartography. Keynote, Canadian Cartographic Conference Ottawa, ON.
2017Taylor, F.Some issues in mapping traditional knowledge. International Cartographic Congress Washington, DC.
2017Taylor, F; Hayes, A; Oikle, R.Critical media and big data. Research Data Management and Portage Network Ottawa, ON.
2017Taylor, F; Hayes, A; Oikle, R.Nunaliit in the context of planning. Keynote, Atlantic Association of Planning Technicians Truro, NS.
2016Doubleday, N.Arctic Ocean sovereignty… and the sustainable development goals. Coastal Futures; Resilience through Collaboration Conference, Coastal Zone Canada Association Toronto, ON.
2016Hayes, A.Community mapping with nunaliit. Inuit Studies Conference St. John’s, NL.
2016Hayes, A.The Nunaliit Cybercartographic Atlas framework and its use by Inuit knowledge stewards. Inuit Studies Conference St. John’s, NL.
2016Hayes, A; Taylor, F; Arnold S; Nuyalia C; Young A.Geographic information and coastal zone management: an example from Nunavut. Coastal Zone Conference Toronto, ON.
2016Newell, S; Doubleday, N.Applying current ethical frameworks when conducting research in the Arctic. ArcticNet ASM Winnipeg, MB.
2016Newell, S; Doubleday, N.The ethics of conducting research in the Arctic. Spring Water ForumHamilton, ON
2016Newell, S; Doubleday, N.The ethics of conducting research in the Arctic. Pegasus ConferenceToronto, ON
2016Newell, S; Doubleday, N.The ethics of conducting research in the Arctic. Ocean Canada ConferenceVancouver, BC.
2016Pringle K; Doubleday, N.Community needed in protecting the oceans: re-examining land-water-ocean transfers. Pegasus ConferenceToronto, ON.
2016Scassa T; Taylor, F; Hayes, A.A legal framework for the collection and sharing traditional knowledge of Indigenous northern communities. 9th Polar Law Symposium: The Role of Law in Polar GovernanceAkureyri and Reykjavik, Iceland.
2016Taylor, F.Creating a cybercartographic atlas of the Bering Strait for pan-Arctic options. Belmont Forum.Paris, France.
2016Taylor, F.Creating the cybercartographic atlas of the Arctic Ocean. Coastal Zone Canada Conference Toronto, ON.
2016Taylor, F; Scassa, T.Cybercartography and traditional Inuit knowledge: some legal and ethical issues. National Museum of DenmarkCopenhagen, Denmark
2015Doubleday, NArctic biodiversity and climate change. International Arctic Science Committee, Arctic Frost Workshop St. Petersburg, Russia.
2015Doubleday, NContributing to “Coastal-grab.” Community Conservation Research Network Tofino, BC.
2015Doubleday, NBridging water security, peace building and the geopolitics of transboundary water governance. International Studies Association Atlanta, GA. (Panel organized with Dustin Garrick.)
2015Doubleday, NIf sustainability and peaceful co-existence are cross-scale problems, what implications and opportunities for Arctic regimes are implied? International Studies Association Atlanta, GA.
2015Doubleday, N; Vlasova, TK; Royer, MJS.Cold regions: monitoring, observing, understanding. International Geographical Union (IGU) Conference; Part of Cold Region Environments session organized by presenters.Moscow, Russia.
2015Hayes, A.Community mapping using nunaliit. Community Mapping Symposium. Concordia University Montreal, QC.
2015Hayes, A.Developing atlases for community priorities. National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark.
2015Hayes, A.Indigenous place names mapping using nunaliit. Geographical Names Board of Canada Ottawa, ON.
2015Hayes, A.Using nunaliit for diverse and distributed knowledge management. International Polar Data Forum II. University of Waterloo Waterloo, ON.
2015Sarah N; Doubleday, N; Brodeur, J; Kehoe, J; Counsell, J.The portal as a tool to enable community and university collaboration in research. Arctic NetVancouver, BC.
2015Taylor, F.Cybercartography and traditional Inuit knowledge: some legal and ethical issues. National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark.
2015Taylor, F.Data rescue and preservation. International Polar Data Forum II. University of Waterloo Waterloo, ON.
2015Taylor, F.Pan-Arctic options. Holistic integration for Arctic coastal-marine sustainability. Belmont Forum Ottawa, ON.
2015Taylor, F.The trans-Atlantic platform for the social sciences and humanities. National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark.
2015Taylor, F; Scassa, T.Legal and ethical norms for incorporating traditional knowledge in polar data infrastructures. International Polar Data Forum II. University of Waterloo Waterloo, ON.