Iqaluktuuttiaq, also known as Cambridge Bay, is located on the south coast of Victoria Island. Cambridge Bay is the administrative and transportation hub of the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, which means it is the largest community in the region with a population of approximately 1,766 people who are predominately Indigenous (approx. 83% Inuit). Almost one-third of the population is under the age of 15 and approximately 50% under the age of 25. Cambridge Bay has experienced a population increase of 23% over the last decade, and is expected to continue, due to nearby mining activity and is now home to CHARS (Canadian High Arctic Research Station). [cambridgebay.ca]
While our focus will be on Cambridge Bay itself, our local partners (CHARS, Ikaarvik) will also facilitate engagement of young people in other communities such as Kugluktuk (pop. 1450). Residents of Cambridge Bay and researchers are noticing changes in climate that are influencing both the physical and social environment. Observations include changes in sea ice and permafrost melt, vegetation adaptations, wildlife migration patterns and disease, weather, and the ways in which people are impacted by these changes. While these observations are noticed on a local and global scale, the priorities of Cambridge Bay, like any community, lie within the perceptions and worldview of the people who comprise the area undergoing change. As a global community, bridging western approaches and Indigenous worldviews while acknowledging the history of research within Indigenous communities is paramount to responding to community priorities. Engaging with the local people, especially youth, to collectively design and deliver successful and meaningful research projects as locally advised, inclusive and participatory will ensure that needs for research are met.
The youth advisory in Cambridge Bay has named the project the OVAYUK youth project.
Philip Jefferies is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre. Phil completed his bachelors and masters in psychology at the University of Exeter in the UK, and his PhD at Dublin City University in Ireland. His research focused on how persons with disabilities live with and use assistive technologies and what it means to be ‘just normal’. He has held lecturing positions in Ireland and Fiji and undertaken a range of diverse research roles. Phil is interested in areas of resilience, mental health and well-being, assistive technology usage, and advancing methodologies.
Senior Advisor Minerals Oil and Gas Management
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI)
Child & Youth Outreach Worker
Manager, Social Service Program
Nunavut Arctic College