Community Projects

These are some of the latest projects we are working on. Thank you to our funders and partners for their support in helping make these projects a success!

Sikumik Qaujimajjuti – Augmenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge with Geospatial Technologies to Mitigate Travel Risk in Arctic Communities

This project includes the development of a holistic, culturally appropriate, and sustainable training curriculum that provides Inuit youth the skills they need to interpret satellite imagery and create ice travel safety maps for their community. Local map production will build community engagement and transferable skills for youth, while ensuring enhanced integration, preservation, and transfer of local traditional knowledge. The project is piloting in Pond Inlet and Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, and Nain, Nunatsiavut with plans for expansion to more SmartICE serviced communities across Inuit Nunangat. Read the full project press release here.

Funded by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF). Other contributors include Pinnguaq and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC).

Pilimmaksaqniq Sikulirijimik (New Operator Training Program) – Building an Inclusive Workforce in Arctic Ocean Technology

This project includes the co-development of a holistic, culturally contextualized training curriculum to address the barriers faced by Inuit in remote northern communities and promote inclusion and participation in the ocean economy. Grounded in Inuit Societal Values and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ), the curriculum will blend IQ with digital and technical skills to provide the resources necessary to operate technology that monitors ice conditions, empowering communities to develop strategies to adapt to climate change. The train-the-trainer component of the curriculum is critical to project success, and Inuit SmartICE staff will deliver pilot training to Inuit within their own communities of Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut and Nain, Nunatsiavut in the 2021-2022 ice season, with hopes to expand to the broader SmartICE community network in the future.

Funded by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program. Other contributors include Pinnguaq Association, Nunavut Fisheries Association, Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and Arctic Bay Adventures.

Mobilizing Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit for Ice Travel Safety

Climate change has caused unpredictable ice travel conditions for Inuit in Inuit Nunangat. This has led to more accidents and search-and-rescue incidents during the ice season. The colonization of Inuit has also resulted in generations denied the experience of learning from their Elders how to safely travel on ice. It is Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) learned from extensive experience on the ice, and passed down through generations, that teaches youth how to plan, prepare, identify, and test the ice for safety while traveling has become even more essential with climate change. We are helping to support communities in documenting and sharing their IQ for sea ice safe travel to raise awareness and mitigate travel risk among younger and less experienced ice users. Youth are facilitating knowledge sharing workshops, developing products to share this IQ, and learning how to interpret satellite imagery to monitor ice travel routes and dangerous areas based on local IQ. This project originally piloted in Pond Inlet has now expanded to the Inuit Nunangat communities of Arctic Bay, Arviat, Gjoa Haven, Nain and Qikiqtarjuaq.

Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

Community Ice Climate Data Summaries and Trends

In consultation with community, annual summaries of community ice climate data are being developed. This will create the opportunity for multiyear ice climate data to be viewed and compared for each piloted community. The ice climate data compared from year to year will raise awareness of the potential impacts of changing climate on ice travel conditions in communities (e.g., ice thinning, changing seasonal ice patterns) and lead to greater adoption of travel safety measures that ultimately mitigate the increasing travel risk. Data reports can be found on our Ice Trends page. Once piloted and evaluated, the service availability and value will be communicated to all SmartICE communities and to a wider public and science audience.

Funded by Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS).

Sikuttiaq (Good Ice) – Empowering our Communities to Map Rough Ice and Slush for Safer Sea-Ice Travel in Inuit Nunangat

For Inuit, sea ice is a hunting platform, a travel highway, and part of their culture and identity. Changing climate is negatively affecting sea-ice characteristics that determine safe and efficient travel for Inuit, such as roughness, thickness, and slush. Consequently, there are increased travel accidents, search-and-rescue incidents, and impacts on mental health, food security, and cultural practices. Our Inuit-led project team will combine satellite data (optical and micro-wave frequencies), state-of-the-art uncrewed airborne vehicles (UAVs, or drones), and most importantly Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit knowledge, values, and worldview) to co-produce new information on sea-ice roughness, snow roughness, and slush for SmartICE’s Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (community ice travel safety maps; see our Ice Safety page). The production of these maps will be piloted in our partner communities and eventually expanded across Inuit Nunangat. Our approach will be grounded in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and include a co-designed Inuit training program for UAV-based sea-ice monitoring to augment the mature environmental data collection developed by SmartICE. With our Arctic Eider Society partner, Inuit Nunangat communities will be able to access in near real-time these new map products through the Indigenous Knowledge Social Network platform ( Read the full project press release here.

Thank you to the CINUK partners and funders – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), Polar Knowledge Canada, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Parks Canada Agency, and Fonds de recherche du Québec

Best Practices: A Guide for offering Work Integrated Learning experiences in the North

This best practices guide has been designed to provide insights for employers interested in promoting partnerships and pre-WIL and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities within Northern Indigenous communities. This guide will provide tips and suggestions for employers based upon best practices that are informed by Inuit ways of knowing. The following framework is designed to provide support to employers to work with Inuit and Northern youth and to be an asset for employers towards developing a skilled and self-renewing Inuit workforce.

You can view the full guide book below.


If your interested in collaborating with SmartICE, please see our Research Collaboration Policy