“It’s clear that there’s no easy solution or plan to reach sustainability in the Arctic; It requires an interdisciplinary approach. The fact that Trent was chosen to be a host for this conversation demonstrates the important role that the University is playing in the conversation.”
These observations are from second-year Geography and Environmental Science student, Paige Spurgeon who attended the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arctic Lecture hosted at Trent on December 5, 2017 as part of the think-tank, Polar Connection’s world tour of lectures and seminars to educate and engage people globally in Arctic issues.
The panel of experts at the lecture included: Innuteq Holm Olsen, Minister Plenipotentiary for Greenland in the US and Canada, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director of the First Peoples House of Learning and past president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada; Tony Penikett, former premier of the Yukon; Eva Hu, co-founder of North in Focus; Professor Tom Hutchinson, former chair of the Canadian Polar Commission; and Professors Heather Nicol and Chris Frugal of the Trent School of the Environment.
Moderated by Professor David Newhouse, director of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent, the lecture discussed the importance and priorities of various Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN in relation to the vast and diverse Indigenous people in the Canadian Arctic. Issues discussed included the need for access to adequate healthcare, food security, clean water and education, as well as the need to take a localized, interdisciplinary approach for all goals.
“Trent really started this conversation and has continuously played a vital role in the discussion,” said Prof. Nicol, coordinator of the event and an advisor on the board of Polar Connection. “From conferences about the Canadian University of the Arctic, to the impressive and renowned Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, and the programs of Indigenous Environmental Science/Studies, Trent as an institution and as home to individual scholars are actively having these conversations and moving them forward.”