Aug. 7, 2019
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Cold Regions Research Centre is bringing international delegates from the circumpolar region and representatives from Indigenous communities together for a week-long conference in Yellowknife that will examine northern regions hydrology and the role of Indigenous communities in research.
The 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium and Workshop will be held Aug. 18-23, primarily at the Chateau Nova Yellowknife. Organizers are inviting the general public, particularly members of Indigenous communities, to participate.
“The idea of bringing researchers and Indigenous communities together is really founded in the idea that there are different ways of knowing,” said Professor William Quinton, director of the Cold Regions Research Centre and Canada’s chief delegate to the Northern Research Basins symposium. “Because the challenges of climate change are so great, we need to get everyone moving forward together.”
The Northern Research Basins working group, which is associated with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has been meeting in rotating host countries since 1975, typically once every two years. This is Canada’s fourth time hosting the symposium. This year’s theme will be engagement between Indigenous communities and researchers.
“This will be a great opportunity for Canada to showcase to the circumpolar community Laurier’s unique partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, as well as to highlight how our researchers engage with Indigenous communities, because although there is still a long way to go, I think Canada and the NWT in particular are leaders in this regard,” said Quinton. “Indigenous communities are facing the challenges of climate change day in and day out, so they need to be leading discussions.”
Organizers are especially keen to attract community members to panel discussions taking place Thursday, Aug. 22 and Friday, Aug. 23, which will focus on how communities and researchers can work as partners in learning. The earlier part of the conference will focus on northern hydrological science. Members of the public and media interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“By bringing people together from across the circumpolar region, we hope to nurture new collaborations, to learn about the experiences and perspectives of different communities and projects, and develop a more complete picture of how systems are changing in response to climate warming,” said Quinton.
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