Activity Description:

A team of Indigenous scholars and western-science researchers from across Dartmouth College, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Northern Iowa, and University of Colorado Boulder propose to lead a critical and timely engagement process with Arctic Indigenous Peoples to inform and influence the Fourth International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP IV) and other key Arctic research planning initiatives. Given the prevalent attention to increasing equity and Indigenous leadership within co-productive and convergent Arctic research, there is a rising need for the direct involvement of Arctic Indigenous Peoples to guide the broad and growing global research agendas across their homelands. Accordingly, this project aims to explore a shared understanding of what “Indigenizing Arctic research” may look like in practice, what the intended benefits are to Arctic Peoples, science, and broader societies, and where there may be strategic opportunities for implementation. We have initially defined Indigenizing Arctic research as (1) developing platforms and mechanisms that provide opportunities to center Indigenous knowledge and self-determination in Arctic research planning and implementation, (2) improving science toward a more holistic and convergent understanding of complex Arctic social ecological-technological systems through interdisciplinary thinking and engagement of diverse knowledge systems, and (3) developing more Indigenous-led and -informed approaches for Arctic researchers, universities, funders, and partner organizations to more actively and collaboratively support stewardship, human rights, and healthy, vibrant Arctic communities.

Specifically, this project will (1) build upon a recent series of informal convenings with diverse Indigenous leaders and communities across the Arctic in Fall 2022-Winter 2023 to explore shared understanding on the definition(s) of “Indigenizing Arctic research,” (2) synthesize Indigenous perspectives on how to support long-term commitments toward Indigenizing Arctic research through Indigenous leadership, advancing education, and scholarly allyship by western scientists, and (3) develop a roadmap for Indigenizing Arctic research as a strategic contribution to the ICARP IV process, which may include structural elements for how longer-term Indigenous-led advisory and input mechanisms may support ICARP IV and other Arctic research planning and implementation processes, including the 5th International Polar Year. NNA Incubator funding will allow the Project Team to (1) establish and support an international, Indigenous-led Indigenous Advisory Group to design and lead meaningful engagement; and (2) host a series of Indigenous-led convenings that explore concepts for Indigenizing Arctic research to directly inform the ICARP IV process.


Main Organiser: 

Varvara Korkina Williams (Dartmouth College, USA), Dalee Sambo Dorough (University of Alaska Anchorage, USA), Tatiana Degai (University of Victoria, Canada), Melody B Burkins (Dartmouth College, USA), Matt Druckenmiller (University of Colorado Boulder, USA), Andrey Petrov (University of Northern Iowa, USA)


Type of Activity:

  • Workshop,
  • Townhall Meetings,
  • Community Listening Session,
  • Talking Circle,
  • Project


Dates and Locations: 

  • September 2023 - March 2025


Open / Closed Activity:

Mix of events and activities some by invitation only and some open





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