Research Directors Report 2016

August 2016

This past year has been a productive and active time for the ReSDA network with new projects, new collaborations and information sharing activities. ReSDA has been featured prominently at a number of events. This past year provided an opportunity to work with the Arctic FROST network and participate in a series of workshops across the North, including St. Petersburg, Russia; Kuujjuaq, QC and Nome, Alaska.  ReSDA was also a keynote event at the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in May. In this panel presentation a number of perspectives were heard on the impacts of resource developments on Indigenous peoples in Canada’s North as well as comparison to regions in West Africa. Some other events that provided opportunities to share ReSDA information included the Land Claims Coalition conference (December 2015), Western Regional Science Association Conference (February 2016), the Nunavut Mining Symposium (April 2016) and to the Arctic Institute of North America Speakers Series (April, 2016).  There have been a number of community presentations facilitated through our partner institutes including a presentation at the Aurora Research Institute, Yukon College as well as in Happy-Valley Goose Bay through the Labrador Institute. We were pleased to have an opportunity to share the network activities with communities in Nunavik through the hosting of our annual workshop in Kuujjuaq.

We have just started ReSDA’s sixth year and while our research and work with communities has produced much knowledge that we are now bringing back and sharing with our community partners, each research project is producing new questions that need answers. Recent discussions with our partners and with researchers show a desire to continue the work of ReSDA past our normal end date of 2017. While SSHRC Partnership grants cannot be renewed, because we are funded under the now ended Major Collaborative Research Initiatives Program, we have been informed by SSHRC that we are eligible to be funded under the Partnership Grants program for a new period of seven years. After discussions with many of our key partners we have decided to start the process to submit a SSHRC Partnership grant proposal next year. We have built a strong network of partner organizations and researchers, a network that has helped a number of new exciting projects funded independently of ReSDA such as the MinErAL project out of Laval University, the Tracking Change project out of the University of Alberta, and several other projects that may be funded this year. We hope to put together a new version of ReSDA that builds on the synergy provided by these projects. In particular, partners have talked about the need to have a project that continues to find ways to maximize benefits from non-renewable extractives but that more directly finds ways to use these benefits to enhance renewable resource development. Over the coming months we will be discussing this idea further with partners and researchers. We welcome input on new research and knowledge sharing project ideas.