This past week saw Nic and I heading to Ottawa for the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of ArcticNet. The event, which took place at the Shaw Conference Centre, brought together more than one thousand people to share and discuss a variety of projects spanning public health, surveillance and monitoring, tech, ecology, climate change, ice formation and loss, and more.
The week was rather busy, with most days ending later in the evening than I expected given various team meetings, dinners, and the like. My original plan was to meet up with several friends who live in Ottawa, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Regardless, despite the long days, it was great to hear about research that was presented in the various sessions that I attended, particularly in co-management, and community-based monitoring.
The highlight, however, was getting to see the broader eNuk team, most of whom I don’t get to see on a regular basis (mostly because of where everyone is located). It was great to catch up and to chat about the project in person. It was made even better because, once again, we had the opportunity to celebrate our team members for their incredible contributions to Inuit and Arctic research.
Two years ago I was thrilled to watch as my friend and colleague, Inez Shiwak, was awarded the Inuit Research Award in recognition of her continued mentorship, guidance, and leadership of the eNuk research program, the My Word: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab, and more. This year, I had the opportunity to watch as another friend and colleague – Michele Wood – accepted the award for her work addressing food insecurity, smoking cessation, mental health, and many other public health issues in Nunatsiavut.
Considering the volume of work the two have led or contributed to, I can’t help but feel extremely lucky that I have had the good fortune of working with both for the last several years. They have taught me so much, not only about Inuit and Inuit culture but also about the importance of community-based and community-led research. Both of them have also been instrumental mentors to me and my students; guiding the work, pushing us to do better, and always working to ensure that the work we do is meaningful to the people of Nunatsiavut. I’m so incredibly proud of both of them.
In addition to this, I also got to celebrate as one of our team members, Alex Sawatzky, won first place in the poster competition. She won in the same category last year, which may be a first for ArcticNet. Given that she also defends her Ph.D. this coming Tuesday, I’d say that she picked a rather great way to finish up her degree.
Congratulations Michele, Inez, and Alex. I count myself lucky that I get to work with you and the rest of the eNuk team.