The Northern research community is diverse: it includes both Northerners and Southerners, Inuit and non-Indigenous. It involves elders, scientists from communities, from the government and from academia as well as stakeholders and knowledge-holders from all around the circumpolar North. Many different journeys and opportunities led our members to where they are now, contributing to the richness of our community.
However, individuals involved in Northern research have also overcome many barriers along the roads they took to become involved in science. Our community faces many systemic hurdles that we cannot ignore: among these are (but not limited to) the historical use of science as a tool for colonialism and the lack of diversity within academia. We must address these barriers and find ways to collectively lift them, to make our community inclusive to all who are involved in Northern research. In this initiative, we hope to hear from Inuit involved in research, as well as university and government researchers that are part of minority groups who have faced obstacles within our community (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities).
For this #InclusionNorthernResearch initiative, ours goals are to:
- Hear the diverse voices within our community on their experiences;
- Celebrate the diversity enriching our research community;
- Identify obstacles and barriers with an intersectional approach;
- Lift these barriers as a community;
- Promote Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for our community;
- Do better
In partnership with Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, students and youth from northern and southern Canada, we are preparing short films showcasing different journeys from members of our community, that will be presented during the Arctic Change 2020 conference in December, as part of ArcticNet’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiative. People involved in Northern Research, both from the North and the South, will be sent a link detailing our project through ArcticNet’s network, where a list of questions will be presented to them.
Questions will address how respondents became involved in Northern research, discuss role models and mentors, and seek to identify barriers to inclusion. Respondents will have the option of sharing their answers by video or voice recording, which will be uploaded to our portal on www.isuma.tv. People who wish to respond anonymously may do so by text, which will be read for recording by Indigenous Youth.
These submissions will be edited into short films presenting the diversity of journeys in Northern research. Northerners who share their story will be offered financial compensation of 50$, to be sent electronically via the Arviat Film Society. We recognize opening up and sharing on personal journeys may be emotionally difficult: counsel and support will be made available to individuals who share their stories.
These short films will be presented during the Arctic Change 2020 conference, which is happening entirely online. Videos will be available through ArcticNet’s website. These films will be used to guide ArcticNet in establishing EDI guidelines and recommendations, to lift barriers within our community.
This project is not research and will not result in any scientific analysis or publication: our goal is to amplify voices and find ways to do better as a community.