New Report – Weather and Society Workshop Report

We are excited to release our report on the Weather and Society Workshop (focused on Inuit Nunangat)!

“Inuit want to have access to the knowledge, information, and tools (including infrastructure) to support travel safety in a rapidly changing environment.”

In March 2022, community members, northern/Inuit organizations, researchers, and service providers living and working across Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homelands in Canada) came together for a virtual (online) workshop. This was the first workshop of its kind, with a focus on tailoring environmental services to better meet Inuit community needs. Our goal in the workshop was to learn from diverse experiences, and develop new connections, in order to be able to improve environmental programs and services in support of safe travel.

“[There is] a lot of desire for communities to work together on projects especially around monitoring, [we are] looking for ways to network and community exchanges.”

Over three half-days of meetings we had presentations and breakout group discussions focused on three main topics:

  • user needs and community services
  • service providers and efforts to tailor services
  • opportunities for training, monitoring, and funding.
“Provide forecasts for where community members are going, not where they are.”
“Weather station distribution reflects a colonial past of Canada, DEW [Distant Early Warning] line, military stations, communities that didn’t exist before. If we really want to address our colonial past, we could start by sorting out some of those very obvious patterns”.

A total of 120 participants registered for the workshop, including representatives from land users, service providers, Northern/Inuit research organizations, Inuit Organization/Associations/Corporations, federal and territorial governments, universities, non-governmental organizations, industry, and colleges from across Canada, and some international. Key messages from workshop discussions were identified by participants, including:

  • collaboration/cooperation
  • relationships
  • training/capacity building
  • data accessibility/sharing.
  • community/local leadership
  • language
  • wind
  • sustainability.
“Technology only keeps you safe so far then it is all about Inuit knowledge (and other Indigenous knowledge elsewhere) about how to travel safely on the ice.”
“Government is challenged with how to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into products…The solution is to train Indigenous Peoples to be scientists so when they do the interpretations it includes their knowledge. This supports reconciliation and self-determination.”
“Move weather services from novelty to necessity.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: