(Jane George/Nunatsiaq News, 7 May 2012) -- At a time when many northerners say they’re tired of being researched by people from the South, a program has worked on developing home-grown northern researchers and policy-makers. Over the past two years, the Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Program, has helped about a dozen young northerners, aged 25 to 35, undertake and complete their own research projects.
“The program shows we have our own people in our own communities who can do research,” said the Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Program director (and former Nunavut MP) Nancy Karetak-Lindell, in a recent interview. The program, offered through the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation with support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, provided 14 northerners with two-year fellowships of $25,000. Fellowship applicants, who were not required to be university students or graduates, suggested their own projects.
“We didn’t want to tell them the areas that they wanted to work in,” Karetak-Lindell said. “I wanted to be surprised. I wanted them to tell us what they wanted to work on.”
The legacy of the fellowships will be the fellows’ ability “to create positive changes together for our people.” At the end of the IPY conference, Karetak-Lindell, in her closing remarks, also issued a challenge to the indigenous community: “to define priority areas we want to research, recruit our own people to conduct research, support our young people to pursue further education to become scientists, record our knowledge and use it to make our own people healthier, more self-sufficient and be recognized again as the rightful stewards of our land, animals and the environment.” The Jane Glassco fellows are a step in that direction, she said, so that “we, the people, have to matter. We want to be more important to researchers, our country and the world than the polar bear and the seal.” But to do that, “the onus is on us to be the future, to study the Arctic, and more sure this takes place,” Karetak-Lindell said in an interview.
Posted by Amanda Graham – 9 May 2012; 11:07:02 AM – Permalink
Tagged: Arctic, News, Research