The Second Annual ReSDA Research workshop “Bridging Gaps in Knowledge” was held at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon on November 21-23, 2012.
The second annual ReSDA workshop was focused around research and discussions of fourteen gap analysis topics relating to impacts of resource developments on northern communities. The gap analysis researchers examined 14 topics and discussions at the workshop focused on these and other relevant areas of resource development in the North. The 76 workshop participants that attended included 20 university-based researchers, 4 graduate students and 52 representatives from Territorial and Federal government sectors, community organizations, First Nations and Inuit organizations, northern colleges and other interested individuals. (List of participants provided in Appendix 2 of the report). The presentations of the gap analysis research were followed by questions and discussions. Some of the key and overlapping gaps were highlighted in the presentations and discussions.
A Northern panel of representatives from the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador provided their perspectives on the gap analysis presentations. They identified gaps and key issues as noted from their regional perspectives. Some of these topics resonate well with those from the gap analysis research including:
There was a great deal of discussion at the workshop on ReSDA and its operations in the future. A key point that was reiterated throughout the workshop was communications and a continued meaningful involvement of communities. Questions centred on how to engage communities so that the information gathered is relevant to them. There is a need to get questions from the community level. ReSDA should be following a community-oriented process defined by communities and inclusive in terms of their involvement. It was noted that developments are happening at a rapid pace and people need information now. There is a need to have ways to mobilize the knowledge and communicate results in a timely manner. Based on these discussions was decided that at next years’ workshop the focus would be on knowledge mobilization and the best ways to provide information to communities.
Gap Analysis reports at www.resda/projects/gap-analysis/
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada announced funding through their Major Collaborative Research Initiative grants in February 2011 for a new Northern research project called Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA). The main focus of ReSDA’s research will be on finding ways to ensure that a larger share of the benefits of resource development stay in the region with fewer costs to communities. The Network will mobilize researchers around the questions of finding out how to maximize benefits of resource development to northern regions and communities and minimize the social, economic, cultural, and environmental costs. The primary objective of the research will be to cultivate innovative approaches to the best ways of natural resource developments s to improve the well-being of northern communities while preserving the region’s unique environment. This issue is all the more pressing given the increased demand for natural resources globally, with many of these resources existing in Arctic locations.
Each year ReSDA will organize an annual research workshop based on a central theme. The workshop will bring together researchers and northern partners representing communities, government, the private sector and non-profit organizations that are involved with issues and research pertaining to the sustainable Arctic natural resource development. The priorities will be on the social and economic impacts and ways to maximize benefits for northern people.
This year presentations and discussions will be devoted to the research gap analysis to help formulate the future research directions of the ReSDA network. Some of the questions for the main sections of the 13 targeted areas for the gap analysis research include:
- What research currently exists?
- What does this research indicate in terms of benefits to northern communities?
- What research needs to be done in each area to find more ways of increasing benefits to communities?
- What are the possibilities that could come out of more research?
This gap analysis and the feedback provided by the workshop participants will be used to determine the steps to be taken in moving forward from the current state of knowledge to effectively developing the future research for the network. This will provide a more cohesive framework for the research over the next 5 years and start the process for meaningful research partnerships with the various stakeholders.
Discussion with community partners about research priorities began in 2010 as the proposal for this program was developed. In 2011 at the initial annual workshop in Yellowknife, researchers had the opportunity to reflect on recommendations from communities and discuss how these suggestions could be translated into formal research questions. From the presentations and discussions at this workshop the Scientific Committee developed a draft research plan to guide the work for the next year. The emphasis was on isolating the main areas for a gap analysis. The ReSDA Steering Committee agreed to prioritize this work as a first step in determining the research needs and requirements for future work.
Following a meet and greet session on Wednesday evening at Yukon College the workshop will start with a presentation of the research gap analysis done by various researchers in the network on Thursday. The sessions on Friday will be comprised of final gap analysis presentations by ReSDA researchers and panel presentations with responses from community partners to discuss aspects of the gap analysis and provide insights into current and anticipated priorities in various regions. During these presentations the researchers will be asked to respond to the community partners and to offer suggestions regarding the central research questions and gaps that ReSDA should be addressing in terms of research priorities over the next few years and the process for developing these. There will also be discussions on ways to communicate and use the research information that will develop. Some of the ReSDA proposal considerations include mechanisms to build the knowledge base and northern capacity in research, effective modes of communication, training potential and opportunities to build the northern education and curriculum.
Workshop Information and Materials
|Travel and Accommodations
All participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and those eligible for reimbursement should contact Valoree Walker. Air travel should be the lowest economy airfare so arrangements should be made to ensure this is available.
The following airlines offer flights to Whitehorse:
-Air North (http://www.flyairnorth.com) flights from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton (also Northern routes to and from Inuvik, Old Crow and Dawson). Air North is providing delegates a 10% discount off the best Go Yukon, Saver and Optimum fares available at the time of booking. Seat sale fares do not apply. Change/Cancellation fees subject to the conditions of the fare purchased. For reservations by phone please call 1-800-661-0407 (North America) or 1-867-668-2228 ext 1 and provide the promotion code RESDA12. Online reservations can be booked anytime by logging onto to www.flyairnorth.com and enter the Promotion Code: RESDA12 in the promo code box or click here to access the promotion directly.
– Air Canada (http://www.aircanada.com)
– Canadian North is offering a 25% discount for workshop attendees. To make your reservation phone 800-661-1505 and quote convention code RSD12. You can check out dates and flight departures on their website at www.canadiannorth.com. Note: Canadian North does not fly into Yukon but connects a number of northern communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.
A block of rooms has been designated for workshop participants at the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel at a special conference rate of $112/night. Guest rooms may be booked by calling reservations at 1-800-544-0970 and ask for the block of rooms under “RESDA”. If you are using the online booking use group code RESDA112112. This block of rooms and special rate is only available until November 6th, 2012 so you must arrange your accommodation before this date. As space is limited it is recommended that arrangements be made early. The Westmark Hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport.
|Travel claim forms will be available on the ReSDA website and will be included with workshop packages|
- Introductory presentation – Building Sustainable Communities in the Arctic: the Resources and Sustainability in the Arctic Project. Dr. Chris Southcott, Lakehead University – click here
- Video recording of the workshop are available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/research-and-sustainable-development
- Gap Analysis information, outlines, abstracts, and presentations – click here
- Researchers gather to discuss development challenges facing Northern communities
Note: Travel claim forms are available here and will be included with workshop packages. You must confirm your eligibility for a travel subsidy. Those eligible and approved for reimbursement should submit completed travel claim forms with all required supporting receipts and information to:
Dept. of Sociology
955 OIiver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
ReSDA Coordination Office
Yukon Research Centre
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5K4