Navigating the New Arctic Collaboratory: Yellowknife Research Design

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, governance, sustainability, arctic conditions

Principal Investigator: Poelzer, Greg (1)
Licence Number: 17031
Organization: University of Saskatchewan
Licensed Year(s): 2022
Issued: May 12, 2022
Project Team: Elaina Guilmette, Dave Schneider, Oscar Zapata, Robert Orttung, Andrey Petrov, Marya Rozanova-Smith

Objective(s): To organize wide-ranging collaborations among the international Arctic research community that will facilitate convergent research and theorizing on the natural, social, and built environment transitions taking place in and around Arctic cities now and in the future.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.5238.

Arctic cities face multiple challenges from social and economic transformations, deteriorating infrastructure, a changing environment, and pressures on their governance systems. To respond effectively, mayors, city councils, agency leaders, local citizens and residents, and other stakeholders need a clear set of indicators to help them understand changes in Arctic conditions and provide guidance in devising infrastructure and governance strategies to achieve future prosperity and spur sustainability.

This Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Collaboratory expands upon a database of indicators on various topics in numerous cities on natural conditions in the Arctic. Indicators introduce a shared vocabulary with explicit measures and assumptions that allow scholars and others across disciplines to interact while providing a foundation for theory building and testing.

The Measuring Urban Sustainability in Transit (MUST) NNA Collaboratory partnership brings together municipalities, Indigenous organizations, industry/utilities, non-profit organizations, and academic partners. The goal seeks to organize wide-ranging collaborations among the international Arctic research community that will facilitate convergent research and theorizing on the natural, social, and built environment transitions taking place in and around Arctic cities now and in the future.

A crucial component of our trip is to understand the context in which the city exists. The research team will develop a detailed case study that includes a history of the city’s development, an overview of the city economy (main industries and employers; challenges and changes over time), population and demographic trends, and an understanding of the development of the city’s design (central features, transportation, development as the city expands, urban design and planning). The research team will also examine how Yellowknife relates to the different levels of government including the Northwest Territories, Canadian government, and global entities.

The purpose of the (3) 90minute – 8-10 participant focus groups will be to get a better sense of community values which will be audio recorded and transcribed. The research team will plan focus groups with residents of the city to determine their perspective. The focus group will be in person and held in a publicly convenient community space (i.e., town office, community hall). In the case that interviews must be online, we will employ Zoom’s platform to conduct the interviews.

The purpose of the 60-minute individual interviews conducted by the research team will be to acquire knowledge from subject area experts and determine the key concerns and priorities of the Yellowknife stakeholders. These meetings in Yellowknife will be in person and held in public community spaces (i.e., town office, community hall). Interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed by the research team.

Policy Reports, Papers, and Student Theses: All policy briefs, major presentations, and other papers and reports will be made available to NWT stakeholders and community organizations.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from May 11, 2022 to December 31, 2022