Dr. Chris Furgal talks about his Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Group.
Dr. Chris Furgal talks about his Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Group.
Diana Kouril,ab Chris Furgal,bc Tom Whillansd
aSustainability Studies Graduate Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
bHealth, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
cIndigenous Environmental Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
dEnvironmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
Corresponding author: Diana Kouril (email: dianakouril [at] trentu.ca)
Abstract: Community-based monitoring (CBM) is receiving much attention from the research community, particularly in Arctic and Subarctic regions of Canada and other circumpolar regions. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of the trends and patterns in its use within the literature and a documented need to improve environmental CBM efforts in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. A systematic literature review was conducted of CBM publications in peer-reviewed and grey literature to provide a synthesis of trends on the topic and to clarify key elements that are needed to operate an environmental CBM program in Arctic and Subarctic regions. Both sets of literature show a significant growth in the publication of CBM studies over time, with a high proportion of research taking place in North America and in the field of environmental sciences. More CBM studies are reported in connection to First Nations and Inuit groups, as compared to other Indigenous groups. Thirteen key elements of environmental CBM programs, commonly reported in the literature focused on Arctic and Subarctic regions, were identified in the analysis. Specifically, traditional and local ecological knowledge (TLEK) was a unique component highlighted in Arctic and Subarctic sources and a specific feature observed in studies focusing on Indigenous groups. The identification of such key CBM elements serves as a resource to guide current and future environmental CBM initiatives in northern regions and elsewhere. Future research on this topic should contrast and compare literature findings with existing environmental CBM programs and provide more case studies to show the process and utility of environmental CBM initiatives in the Arctic and Subarctic, particularly with use of TLEK and the ways to facilitate it within a CBM program.
Key words: community-based monitoring, Arctic, Subarctic, systematic literature review, Indigenous peoples.
Dr. Chris Furgal, an associate professor of Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies at Trent University, has received the 2015 Mentor Award from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and ArcticNet Students Association.
“It was a huge honour to receive the award and be recognized for an aspect of my work in the North that I truly love – working with and learning with and from my students and other young researchers,” said Professor Furgal. “I have been very privileged to have some great mentors during my undergraduate and graduate degrees and early stages of my career both at the University and in the Inuit communities and regions in the North with whom I work. I really just try to emulate the great example they have set for me in providing support, encouragement, guidance and access to opportunities to students and other young researchers so that they may create their own success.”
The award recognizes the time and energy that mentors dedicate to early career researchers working in the North, as well as their efforts in building a supportive community. Prof. Furgal, who is also the director of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group (HEIC) at Trent, accepted the award at the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting in Vancouver.
Prof. Furgal was one of six nominees for the award. He was nominated by members of Trent’s HEIC research group, with letters of support provided by colleagues and community leaders across Canada. The mentor award review committee noted that Prof. Furgal’s nomination stood out among the six submissions, which were all of excellent quality.
Shirin Nuesslein, a research assistant and administrative coordinator of the HEIC group who helped spearhead the nomination said, “What makes Chris an incredible mentor to me is that he approaches everything he does through the lens of capacity building. He has a special perception for seeing the potential in individuals and the ability to gently guide us towards it with trust and encouragement and at a pace commensurate to our capacity.”
“Our professors get a lot of professional recognition for their research and academic work, but often the work they do behind the scenes goes unnoticed,” added Kristeen McTavish, a graduate student in the Sustainability Studies program and member of the HEIC group. “Chris works tirelessly as a mentor for all of his students and his colleagues and it was important for us to have that officially recognized.”
Dr. Furgal’s gift was a book, presented by the HEIC group, filled with photos and personal messages from more than 50 people across Canada who supported his nomination. “It’s up to the nominators to choose a gift and we thought such a book would be the most meaningful to give to him,” Ms. Nuesslein explained. “It’s a very unique collection of memos and photos from a wide range of people including both mentees and mentors of Prof. Furgal.
Posted on Monday, December 21, 2015. Click here to view original article in Trent News.
Article written by Mentor Award committee member, Nikolaus Gantner, and originally published here.
Dr. Chris Furgal, Associate Professor at Trent University (Peterborough, ON), won the APECS Canada-ArcticNet Student Association Mentor Award 2015.
The Mentor Award review committee received six nominations in September, which it assessed and ranked throughout the month of October. During two conference calls the committee reached a consensus-based decision.
Chris was nominated by his graduate students, while colleagues and community leaders provided a number of letters of support. His nomination stood out among the six excellent submissions, although the committee noted that all nominations were of excellent quality. You can learn more about Chris’s research here and about his Health Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group here.
Chris accepted the award during the ArcticNet ASM 2015 meeting banquet on Thursday, December 10th, 2015. Award Committee Chair Dr. Nikolaus Gantner (APECS Canada) and Rudy Riedlsperger (ArcticNet SA) introduced the awardee to the 700+ delegates.
During the ceremony, the inaugural winner of the award, Eric Loring (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami) was spontaneously invited on stage to hand over the prize, a photo book filled with pictures and messages from the supporters of his nomination, on behalf of those closely working with Chris (see below).
We would like to thank all individuals and organizations who contributed to the six nominations for this 2015 award competition.
A new Call for Nominations for the 2016 Mentor Award will be circulated in early 2016. We are currently looking for 2-3 Award Committee members. Please visit here to find out more about the award and contact ehPECS or ArcticNet SA for more information.
For the 2015 Awards Committee,
Dr. Nikolaus Gantner
Chair, 2015 APECS Canada-ASA Awards Committee
Members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities research group participated in the 2015 Arctic Change Conference in Vancouver between December 8th -11th, 2015.
The full program of the conference can be downloaded here: http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/asm2015/
The Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments (NASIVVIK) together with its co-publisher, the former Inuit Tuttarvingat of the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO), is pleased to announce the release of the final edition of the Journal of Aboriginal Health (JAH), Volume 9, Issue 2. This final edition of JAH is a Special Issue dedicated to sharing research, community stories and perspectives specific to Inuit health and well-being. It is published in English and Inuktitut syllabics. This Special Issue of the JAH spans diverse topics from Elders’ and seniors’ perspectives on climate change and implications for Inuit health, to the impacts of medical travel on Inuit residents in Nunavut.
This edition celebrates the original mandate and vision of JAH to present evidence-based, peer-reviewed research findings, along with community perspectives and stories on Inuit health realities and initiatives. As the final edition of JAH, this marks the end of a national publication produced by an Aboriginal-governed organization, and its continuation with an exciting new international mandate and focus represented by the International Journal of Indigenous Health (IJIH) and its publisher, the Aboriginal Health Research Networks Secretariat (AHRNetS).
JAH and now IJIH are available online, free and open-access: here. Written permission of the publisher is required for any use of Volume 9, Issue 2, other than personal photocopying.
A limited number of print copies are available upon request, they will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. If interested, please send your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the JAH Volume 9, Issue 2 Co-Publishers
Inuit Tuttarvingat was one of the three national Aboriginal population-based centres of the NAHO. For 12 years, the Inuit, First Nations and Métis Centres at NAHO worked to raise awareness and advance the cause of Aboriginal health in Canada. NAHO closed in 2012.
The Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments, Centre created in 2002 with a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute for Aboriginal Peoples’ Health (CIHR-IAPH), is based at Laval and Trent Universities and is focused exclusively on capacity building and training for research related to environment-health relationships of importance to Inuit communities and populations.
About the International Journal of Indigenous Health, IJIH
With the close of NAHO, the Journal for Aboriginal Health continues to exist under its new title the International Journal of Indigenous Health and with its new publisher the Aboriginal Health Research Networks Secretariat (AHRNetS) based at the University of Victoria, BC. This peer-reviewed, online, open-access Journal was established to advance knowledge and understanding to improve Indigenous health by bringing knowledge from a diverse intellectual traditions together with a focus on culturally diverse Indigenous voices, methodologies and epistemologies.
Photos of research group members at the 2014 Arctic Change Conference held in Ottawa, Ontario, between December 8 – 12, 2015.
Members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities research group are currently participating in the 2014 Arctic Change Conference, taking place in Ottawa between December 8th -12th, 2014.
Below is a schedule of the group members’ poster presentations and oral presentations. The complete program can be downloaded here.
Poster presentations (Canada Hall – Room 303)
Brigitte Evering (Poster #6) “Curriculum Development and Delivery for Science–Traditional Knowledge Learning on Environmental Issues in the North: A Review of the Yukon College Source Water Protection Course Experience”
Eric Lede (Poster #370) “A Climate Change and Public Health Needs Assessment Report Card for the North”
Kristeen McTavish (Poster #14) “Inuusuktut Qaujisarnilirijut: Inuit Youth Seeking to Gain Health Knowledge”
Shirin Nuesslein (Poster #46) “Evaluation of the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments: Impacts of the program on capacity enhancement in the field of Inuit environmental health research”
Janet Kivett Knight (Poster #80) “Participant and End User Perspectives on the ArcticNet Integrated Regional Impact Study (IRIS) as a Science to Policy Mechanism”
Paul McCarney (Poster #17) “Research, Management, and Community Priorities for Ringed Seals in Nunavut”
Emily Willson (Poster #35) “Addressing the ‘need’ for sustainable food security initiatives: Exploring Inuit perspectives of food needs in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut”
Jennie Knopp (Poster #22) “Understanding community-based monitoring of arctic char from the community perspective”
Cedric Juillet (Poster #36) “Food Insecurity in Inuit Communities: Supporting decision making through Bayesian Modeling”
Laura Martinez-Levasseur (Poster #9) “Dealing with limitations and biases when documenting Inuit Knowledge of Arctic marine species: the example of walrus in Nunavik (Quebec, Canada)”
Oral presentations at topical sessions
T26. Health and Well-Being in Arctic Communities: Advancements in Practices, Processes and Outcomes (Room 206; Co-chairs: Chris Furgal, Eric Loring)
Time: 10:30 to 12:00 (T26A), 13:30 to 15:00 (T26B), 15:30 to 17:00 (T26C)
T09B. Arctic Wildlife Co-Management Challenges and Solutions – Bringing Together Inuit and Scientific Knowledge (Room 210)
T45. The Interface Between Science and Policy in the Arctic: New Perspectives on Knowledge to Action (Room 211; Co-chairs: David Hik, Chris Furgal, Aynslie Ogden)
T23. Energy Security for Arctic and Remote Communities
TONDU, J.M.E. et al. Working with Northern Communities to Build Collaborative Research Partnerships: Perspectives from Early Career Researchers. ARCTIC, [S.l.], v. 67, n. 3, sep. 2014. ISSN 1923-1245. Available at: <http://arctic.journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/arctic/index.php/arctic/article/view/419%E2%80%93429/4465>.
Trent University News article to be viewed here
Dr. Chris Furgal, an associate professor in the Indigenous Environmental Studies program at Trent, will share his research about how indigenous communities will adapt to climate change as one of several “fascinating ideas” presented at the “What Matters Now” event on Wednesday, May 21 at Kingston’s City Hall.
Professor Furgal joins four other top Ontario university researchers for the final stop of this year’s Research Matters free speakers’ series, run by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). The series aims to showcase how university researchers are improving the health, happiness and richness of life around the world as well as helping government, businesses and communities make informed decisions.
“Research Matters highlights the tremendous breadth and value of university research being conducted right here in Ontario,” says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of the COU. “It’s no exaggeration to say that university research changes lives, and we want the public to take as much pride in that accomplishment as our universities do.”
Prof. Furgal recently received national attention for a report he co-authored about the food security plight of northern Canadians. The report, entitled Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge, was released March 27 by the Canadian Council of Academics and quickly received national coverage from CBC News, Sun News, and other media outlets.
The study paints a picture of how challenging it is for Aboriginal people living in northern and remote communities to access safe, nutritious food on a regular basis. It describes food security in the north as a serious and complex issue with significant implications for health and wellness, especially for the Inuit. “Quite simply put, things need to be done now and on a large scale to address this critical issue in Aboriginal health in Canada,” Prof. Furgal said.
Hosted by public broadcaster Piya Chattopadhyay, the “What Matters Now” event will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and can be watched on a live stream online.