Keynote 1: Building Globally Interoperable Data Infrastructure: contributions from the Arctic data community 


The polar regions, including the Arctic, are of increasing interest to the world because of their linkage to global climate systems, importance as sensitive ecosystems, geo-political strategic importance, opportunities for economic development, and home to Indigenous populations and other residents.  Polar data are required by the arctic community to support research on topics such as climate, food security, atmosphere, land, oceans, ecosystems, ice and snow, permafrost, and social systems; and by the operations community to support impact assessments, engineering design, safe navigation and operations, risk management, emergency response, weather forecasting, and climate  change adaptation. These activities contribute to environmental protection, heritage preservation, economic development, safety of life and property, and national sovereignty. 

 Mobilizing and maximizing the value of Arctic data requires data infrastructure that can serve and mediate data for a wide range of different users and applications.  Developing useful and usable infrastructure requires attention to system design and emergence at many different levels: foundational data storage, management and preservation; methods and technologies for transforming and mediating data; representation and portrayal for different audiences; use of emerging technologies such as online platforms, machine learning, semantics and natural language processing; ensuring respectful and ethical use of data and infrastructure. 

 In this paper we build on the activities and experiences of the international Arctic and polar data communities, primarily through the activities of the Arctic Data Committee, but including partnered initiatives with the Antarctic and broader global data communities.  More specific examples and conclusions are drawn from the work of the Canadian Consortium on Arctic Data Interoperability.  From these experiences, we share a number of lessons learned: 

  •  Despite the existence of mature standards (e.g. ISO/OGC) a wide range of different standards and related technologies are in use in the community and must be considered in the design; 

  • Effective implementation of multi-tiered infrastructure, requires co-design that engages all relevant actors; 

  • Data infrastructure is a socio-technological “ecosystem” of interrelated parts.  Systems thinking is required for sound design and influencing of emergent phenomena; 

  • The human (social and organizational) and technical dimensions of infrastructure development are equally important in the development process. 

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Peter Pulsifer
Associate Professor
Carleton University

Bio: Peter Pulsifer   

Peter Pulsifer is a specialist in geomatics and cartography, with a particular focus on supporting interoperability.  Although this includes technical considerations related to data syntax, format and structure, we must also consider sharing across differences in world view, discipline, language, culture and other differences.  For almost two decades, he has been active in the coordination of international polar data activities and currently chairs the Arctic Data Committee, and is the  Technical Co-Lead of the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability. 


Keynote 2: Beyond SDI – Putting knowledge in the hands of citizens 


Spatial data infrastructures (SDI) are one of the most significant advancements for coordinating, sharing, and accessing geospatial data and services. Over the last few years, we, as a global community of geospatial experts, have made great progress towards enabling the geospatial aspect of information to be recognized as a powerful integrating principle – as an enabler for contextualizing diverse data in so many domains. And when data integration lies at the heart of decision-making, analysis and prediction, it’s no surprise that the conversation – everywhere - is shifting from data and services to knowledge and insights.This keynote addresses the vision of going beyond SDI to putting knowledge in the hands of citizens, providing examples of success stories in Canada, sharing key principles based on the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) from the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and OGC’s own technology forecasting insights -  all while underscoring the criticality of interoperability and partnerships to achieve and sustain the vision.

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Nadine Alameh, Ph.D.
CEO | Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
Mobile: 1-703-501-3074 | Office: 1-301-637-5875 | | @opengeospatial

Bio: Nadine Alameh

Dr. Nadine Alameh is the CEO of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international organization dedicated to making Location information Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). Dr. Alameh is a recognized leader in the field of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), with experience in a multitude of domains including Aviation, Earth Observations, Public Safety and Defense. Prior to OGC, she held various roles in industry from the Chief Architect for Innovation in Northrop Grumman’s Civil Solutions Unit; to CEO of a small international Aviation data exchange business; to senior technical advisor to NASA’s Applied Science Program. Dr. Alameh graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in Information Systems Engineering, and 2 Master Degrees in Civil Engineering and Urban Planning with a concentration in Geospatial Information Systems. 

Improving Access to Water Quality Data 


Diverse water monitoring programs led by communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, academic research groups, and watershed organizations are generating valuable information to track the health of Northern freshwater ecosystems. Yet these datasets can be difficult to access and, in some cases, are not available at all. DataStream is designed to address this challenge by providing an online platform for sharing and accessing water quality data that is free and open for anyone to use. Designed with communities, researchers and decision-makers at all levels in mind, DataStream brings water quality monitoring results together in one place, where they can be accessed through a map interface and easy-to-create visualizations. DataStream was first launched in the Mackenzie River Basin where it was developed through a unique collaboration between The Gordon Foundation and the Government of the Northwest Territories. 

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Lindsay Day
DataStream Program Manager
The Gordon Foundation
11 Church Street, Suite 400
Toronto, ON  M5E 1W1 

 Bio: Lindsay Day

Lindsay joined the Gordon Foundation in 2017 and is the Program Manager for DataStream. In this role she works with communities, governments, researchers and other collaborators to continually grow and improve DataStream, an online open-access platform for sharing water quality data in Canada. Lindsay holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from McGill University and an MSc in Population Medicine from the University of Guelph. 


Development of a Web-based GIS platform for sharing research findings with Northern communities 


As part of the Canadian Space Agency’s Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science program, a team of researchers and students will be travelling to Canada’s high Arctic to study geological formations of interest. The geological environment there is potentially similar to the geological environment on the planet Mars. Sharing research findings with the public, including Northern communities, is a key component of the project. To that end, we are developing a Web-based platform to present the project, the team and the research findings. The platform will include a geographic information system so the public can view geospatial data of interest, such as geological maps, high spatial resolution images and topographic data. The data will be hosted on a server and published according to Web Map Service and Web Feature Service specifications via the MapServer open source platform. Once the project is complete, virtual meetings will be held with Northern communities to share the research findings via the Web-based platform. The platform architecture will be reused in other Northern research projects in order to facilitate knowledge sharing with local communities. 

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Myriam Lemelin
Canada Research Chair in Northern and Planetary Geological Remote Sensing
Assistant professor
Department of Applied Geomatics
Université de Sherbrooke
1-819-821-8000 #62299

Bio: Myriam Lemelin

MyriamLemelin is a professor with the Department of Applied Geomatics at the Université de Sherbrooke. She also holds the Canada Research Chair in Northern and Planetary Geological Remote Sensing. Her work focusses on the study of the composition and properties of soil on the Moon, Mars and various asteroids using remote sensing observations. Among other things, her research seeks to locate and quantify resources that are present (minerals and ice) from the perspective of basic research (to better understand the evolution of the solar system) and applied research (to benefit future exploratory missions). Some of the research is being conducted in the terrestrial Arctic region, whose terrain is similar to that of the planet Mars. 



Permafrost Data A Web-based platform for sharing permafrost research data gathered in Nunavik by the Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) 


The CEN has gathered, and continues to gather, considerable amounts of climate and permafrost temperature data in Nunavik, especially in the 14 Inuit communities in the region. The CEN has also produced numerous digital maps of soil conditions and natural risk classifications. Permafrost-related constraints for development in Northern communities, the remoteness of villages, upgrades to broadband networks and the growing popularity of the Internet in the North are driving interest in a process for sharing this scientific knowledge with the public. A Web-based platform was initially developed with the community of Salluit, where permafrost-related land use constraints are particularly severe. Improvements suggested by users were incorporated into the platform. The approach was then expanded to other communities. By using ArcGIS Online, we were able to design simple interactive Web-based applications tailored to different peripheral formats for viewing layers of thematic geographic information, climate and soil temperature data, and other relevant information. The data are shared without restrictions, not only with construction and land use planning stakeholders in Nunavik, but also with communities and interested members of the public. 

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Sarah Gauthier
PhD Candidate in geographic sciences
Departement of  geography
Centre for Northern Studies
Université Laval, Québec (Qc)

Bios: SarahGauthier and Michel Allard

SarahGauthier has a fellowship from Sentinel North and the Habiter le Nord Québécois partnership. Through her PhD studies in geographic sciences at Université Laval, Sarah is expanding her knowledge of periglacial geomorphology and is acquiring a range of GIS-related expertise. This applied research, which is being conducted under the direction of MichelAllard in close cooperation with the CEN, involves designing a Web-based tool for sharing permafrost-related knowledge in support of land use planning in the Inuit community of Salluit in Nunavik. 

Michel Allard: 

MichelAllard is a professor with the Department of Geography and has been a member of the CEN since 1979. A full-fledged geographer, Michel has dedicated part of his research to the vulnerability of Northern communities in the face of climate change. This research, conducted in partnership with Indigenous and Inuit communities in Nunavik and Nunavut, has resulted in technological advances supporting the resolution of permafrost-related engineering challenges in the North. 



Indigenous knowledge and speech technology 


This presentation will outline the progress CRIM has made in automated transcription of audio from Indigenous languages. Automated transcription of Indigenous languages is part of the language technology project launched by NRC (Indigenous Language Technologies). In this presentation we show the progress we have made in automatically transcribing Inuktitut and Cree. We will also outline methods and tools CRIM has made available online in order to facilitate future development in other Indigenous languages. The automated transcription tools can be used to search for mentions of locations and geographical names in recorded archives, or map locations from spoken commands. 

 CRIM is leading the development of, a national climate SDI. Climate projections are available for analysis, visualisation and download, but are also communicated in the context of various sectors and topics, such as human health, transportation or agriculture. Speech technology applied tos indigenous languages can help with production of indigenous knowledge, a key data source for regional assessments and cumulative effects analysis. 

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Tom Landry
Senior advisor, Partnership and business development
CRIM – Computer Research Institute of Montréal
405, avenue Ogilvy, bureau 101, Montréal (QC) H3N 1M3
Téléphone : 514 840-1235 #2657 

Gilles Boulianne
Director, Speech Recognition Team

Vishwa Gupta


Vishwa Gupta (Ph.D., Clemson University, 1977), Gilles Boulianne (B. Ing., Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, 1984, M. Sc., INRS-Télécommunications, 1988, Ph. D. École de technologie supérieure, 2020)Tom Landry (M. Sc. in Electrical Engineering, Université Laval, 2012)

Vishwa Gupta is part of CRIM's team since 2005. He has been active in speech recognition for broadcast news and shows, speaker diarization for both broadcast and telephone audio, keyword spotting for call center applications, speech/music/noise discrimination for broadcast audio, content-based audio/video copy detection, and automated advertisement detection. 


Since joining CRIM in 1998, Gilles Boulianne has been conducting research in signal processing, speech and speaker recognition, and their applications such as audio document indexing, automated transcription and live captioning. He is particularly interested in the intersection of Bayesian probabilistic approaches and deep learning, and in unsupervised or weakly supervised learning methods. 

Tom has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of applied computer fields including E-Learning, geomatics, industrial automation, E-Commerce and machine vision. He was project manager of the PAVICS research platform, dedicated to Canadian climate scientists. He is one of the leads of and of Data Analytics for Canadian Climate Services (DACSS), financed by CFI. Internationally, he is CRIM's official liaison with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and has been contributing to the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) for five years. 


Strengthening community-based technical capacity for regional land use planning 


In the NWT, regional land use planning is a collaborative process involving Indigenous governments and organizations (IGOs), the Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government. Regional land use plans provide direction on what type of land uses are allowed within a given area. The Department of Lands leads the GNWT’s participation in regional land use planning.  External engagement has identified the need to strengthen the GIS capacity of IGOs for their meaningful participation in public planning processes. Common issues identified through external engagement include: software and licencing costs, challenges accessing public spatial data, and the need for technical training on spatial data collection, management and analysis. The Department of Lands has undertaken initiatives to strengthen the GIS capacity of IGOs. This presentation will highlight some of the challenges and accomplishments noted along the way. This information is of interest to organizations that are working to address spatial data infrastructure needs and gaps in northern and remote communities. 

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Noni Paulette
Senior Land Use Planner
Department of Lands
Government of the Northwest Territories

Bio: Noni Paulette

Noni is a life-long northerner with a BSc in Geomatics from the University of Victoria. Having a background in spatial studies he works for the Land Use and Sustainability Unit with the Department of Lands for the Government of the Northwest Territories. Travelling throughout the north has provided him with the opportunity to address northern based challenges with other people who also realize how special this place is. 



Creating Spatial Data Standards and Methodologies for Land Use Planning in the Sahtú Settlement Area, Northwest Territories  

Création de normes et de méthodologies de données spatiales pour l’aménagement du territoire dans la région du Sahtú, Territoires du Nord-Ouest 


The Sahtú Land Use Planning Board (SLUPB) developed an appendix to the Sahtú Land Use Plan (SLUP). This document includes GIS standards and methodologies used for defining SLUP zoning, along with physical limits zone descriptions.  This was released on May 5, 2020 for sequential approvals by the SLUP’s Approving Parties as part of the SLUP 5-year review amendment application.  To-date, it has received one of the three approvals required for it to take effect.  As the SLUP was pieced together through different initiatives throughout the years, this project was devised to correct inconsistencies with how SLUP zones were described and spatially formulated, including defining standardised datasets on which SLUP zones are based.  Once the amendment is approved, with the methodologies and standards for defining SLUP zoning and physical limits zone descriptions there will be more certainty in the Sahtú Settlement Area for community members, stakeholders, development proponents, and regulators.  These all use the SLUP to determine appropriate land uses over an area of 283,000 km2.  As this level of detail and standards have not been applied in land use plans elsewhere in Northern Canada, the SLUPB is a pioneer in creating and defining its spatial data. 

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Justin Stoyko, MSc.
GIS Analyst/Planner
Sahtu Land Use Planning Board
P.O. Box 235
Fort Good Hope, NT  X0E 0H0
Phone: +1 867 598-2055
Toll Free: 1-877-331-3364
Fax: +1 867 598-2545


Bio: Justin Stoyko

Justin works as the Sahtú Land Use Planning Board’s GIS Analyst/Planner and is currently the only full-time staff.  He has lived in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories for the past 6 years, and enjoys taking hikes with his husband and their dog, and in normal times, travelling.  At present, one of his hobbies includes the learning of a fourth language. 


Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure: Phase 1 – User Needs Assessment Summary of Findings and Phase 2 – Knowledge Products and Tools, User Testing, and Recommendations. 


Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) commissioned a User Needs Assessment (UNA) study for the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) led by GeoConnections. The study explored user needs across a broad range of current and potential CGDI users from western, northern, and eastern Canada. The study took place between January and March 2018 and explored issues related to geospatial data access, discovery, sharing, and use with private and public sector practitioners, community users, researchers, and Indigenous Nations. 

Phase 1 findings and recommendations were presented in the report Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) User Needs Assessments (Hatfield Consultants 2019). These findings were validated with participants and their priorities for addressing the recommendations were assessed. Subsequently, short-term priority recommendations identified from the UNA were addressed in Phase 2 (2019-2020). 

A compendium of knowledge and communication products and tools were developed including a CGDI Factsheet, a plain language CGDI Primer, a CGDI Cookbook of simplified ‘how-to’ recipes; and a series of CGDI Starter Kits. These products and tools were tested with a subset of geospatial users in northern British Columbia and northern Quebec to gather feedback on their utility and useability. 

This presentation provides an overview of the key findings and outcomes of this project. It aims to share information and inspire potential future development of tools and resources to support users of the CGDI in Northern and remote communities. 

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Olivier Tsui, M.Sc. | Manager – Geomatics
Office: +1 (604) 926-3261 

Robin Sydneysmith, PhD | Associate Partner, Human Environment Group
Tel: +1.604.926.3261


Robin Sydneysmith, PhD, Olivier Tsui, MSc. 

Dr. Robin Sydneysmith is an environmental sociologist and Associate Partner with Hatfield. He has over 25 years’ experience in applied social research and community and Indigenous engagement. Robin is interested in the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of environmental change and resource management and specializes in qualitative data collection and analysis and participatory integrative assessment techniques. He was the lead author of the CGDI User Needs Assessment - Part B which focused on Indigenous communities’ use, access, and challenges with geospatial data across Canada.  

Olivier Tsui is a Senior Geomatics Scientist and Manager of Geomatics at Hatfield. He has over 15 years of consulting and research experience focused on the applications of geospatial technology to support environmental monitoring, assessment, and management. Prior to Hatfield, Olivier also worked as a researcher focusing on UAV applications for the Canadian forestry sector. He was a co-author on the CGDI User Needs Assessment - Part A which focused on the use, access, and challenges with geospatial data amongst non-indigenous Canadian users. 


Implementation of an Official Land Rights Infrastructure in Nunavik (Cadastre and Land Register) 


In 2017, the Government of Québec provided Nunavik with an official land rights infrastructure by making Québec’s cadastre and land register accessible to Inuit landholding corporations, northern municipalities and their citizens, as well as investors. Implementation of the infrastructure has involved the creation of some 4,000 lots in the Québec cadastre across 13 northern villages in response to specific needs expressed by major stakeholders in Nunavik, including Makivik Corporation, the Kativik Regional Government, and the primary owners of these Inuit private lands, i.e., Nunavik landholding corporations. Major government-initiated land reforms coupled with cutting-edge technology have enabled the government to modernize land register management. Furthermore, online register services have allowed government officials and Québec citizens to work together more closely. Implementation of this project would not have been been possible without the support of each of the Nunavik landholding corporations and the excellent collaboration between the parties. Everything also testifies to the confidence in Québec registers as tools for the administration of private Inuit lands, for the benefit of all. 

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Éric Bélanger, a.-g.
Head of Land Surveys and Boundaries
Office of the Surveyor General of Québec
Department of Energy and Natural Resources
5700, 4e Avenue Ouest, bureau G-309 
Québec (Québec)  G1H 6R1

Bio: Éric Bélanger

Éric Bélanger is a Québec Land Surveyors (QLS) member since 1993 and Chief of Surveys and Territorial Limits of the Office of the Surveyor General of Québec since 2016. He was also Chief of Boundaries and Aboriginal Territories (from 2004 to 2009) and Coordinator of Quality and Development (from 2009 to 2016) at the Office of the Surveyor General of Québec.


How remote sensing responds to the needs of Northern communities for safe travel, water quality, and economic growth. 


Floe edge monitoring by satellites provides information to communities across the Arctic for safe travel on ice. Since 2003, C-CORE has worked with communities on understanding radar data of community ice environments and their risks. Automating analytics for delineating land-fast ice from radar satellites is being trialed in Grise Fiord, Pond Inlet, and Clyde River in advance of expanding to all Arctic communities.  The Slave River and Delta Partnership identified several water quality and quantity gaps that remote sensing could address. Since 2016, C-CORE has been working with GNWT and communities to provide water quality in SR&D and the Great Slave Lake. The project brings together satellite data with community-based sampling and provides online maps of current and historical water quality parameters. The pandemic amplified the need for high-resolution remote sensing data to replace field campaigns for search and rescue, field research or habitat mapping. A community-based approach to RPAS remote sensing is underway by partners in NWT (Igutchaq UAV and Aurora Research Institute) and Nunavut (ArcticUAV). This includes training-certifying pilots to operate from communities and deliver revenue-generating services.  The presentation will describe the approach, the critical role the partners play, and the path ahead for the three areas. 

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 Paul Adlakha, PEng
Managing Director, LOOKNorth

Bio: Paul Adlakha

Paul Adlakha joined C-CORE in 2007 as a senior business development executive. Since 2011 he has led C-CORE’s LOOKNorth Centre of Excellence, which fosters remote sensing innovation and commercialization for the North and Canada’s SMEs.  Paul is an electrical engineer with over 30 years for experience in senior business development and operations management roles with technology leaders in the defence and aerospace, oil and gas, communications, and remote sensing sectors. He is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


The First Nations Principles of OCAP® and First Nations Data Sovereignty 


The First Nations principles of OCAP® are a set of standards that establish how First Nations data should be collected, protected, used, or shared. They are the de facto standard for how to conduct research with First Nations. Developed in 1998, the OCAP® principles are collectively owned by First Nations for their own benefit and interpretation. 

Standing for ownership, control, access and possession, OCAP® asserts that First Nations have control over data collection processes in their communities, and that they own and control how this information can be used. 

The First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) has been serving First Nations since 2010. In addition to co-ordinating the design and implementation of multiple First Nations-led surveys with on-reserve, Northern, and remote communities, FNIGC acts as stewards of the OCAP® principles on behalf of First Nations at the national level. 

This brief presentation will introduce OCAP®, and connect the principles to the idea and practical application of data sovereignty – including the need to apply these principles to geo-spatial data. Some examples of OCAP® in action will be shared. 

Aaron Franks
Senior Manager, OCAP® and information Governance
First Nations Information Governance Centre

Bio: Aaron Franks

Aaron Franks joined the First Nations Information Governance Centre as Senior Manager for OCAP® and Information Governance in May 2018. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Glasgow and worked with the Centre for Environmental Health Equity (CEHE) at the University of Manitoba and Queen’s University, and the Centre for Indigenous Research Creation at Queen’s. He has worked for many years as a formal and informal educator, a researcher, and an artist.  

In 2016-2017 Aaron was a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), working on the development of research policy and programming to “advance understanding of reconciliation”. In 2017-2018 he was Senior policy analyst in Indigenous post-secondary education at Universities Canada.  

Originally from Edmonton in Treaty Six territory, Aaron is of mixed British, Northern European, Mushkegowuk and Anglo-Metis descent and lives on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa with his wife Rebecca, their children Magda and Gil, and their dog Archie. 



The 5-year vision for the Arctic SDI 


The Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (Arctic SDI) provides an authoritative source for pan-Arctic geospatial information. Representing a cooperative initiative of the 8 Arctic nations, Arctic SDI is a critical resource for helping to solve the challenges facing the region, such as climate change. 

Arctic SDI has recently approved a new vision that sets a path forward for the next 5 years. This vision is framed around the concept of a “Digital Arctic” - bringing together diverse types and sources of information to fully digitally enable Arctic activities (e.g. policies, science, economics, etc.). This vision embraces new technologies like AI and bringing users to data while also respecting and empowering Indigenous traditional knowledge and data.  

Learn about this new vision and how it may inform SDI development in other jurisdictions and domains. 

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Cameron Wilson
Government of Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation

Bio: Cameron Wilson

Cameron Wilson holds a Masters in Geographic Information Systems from Carleton University. He was a sessional instructor of cartography at Carleton University.  

Employed with the Federal Department of Natural Resources Canada since 1997,  he has been a long-term a promoter of open data. He created Canada's open data website GeoGratis in 1999; an early catalyst of today’s open environment  

Currently he works on international systems integration, enabled by open standards. Cameron sits as a strategic member on the Open Geospatial Consortium and manages a team working with ISO, International Hydrographic Organization and the World Wide Web Consortium initiatives. He has developed methods to automatically catalogue Canadian and Pan-Arctic web services using a web harvesting approach. An important file is the 8 nation Arctic and Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure; integrating data from around our circumpolar Arctic. 

SIKU, The Indigenous Knowledge Social Network and mapping platform for ice safety and environmental monitoring 


SIKU, the Indigenous Knowledge Social Network, is an online platform and mobile app designed by and for Inuit. Across Inuit Nunangat, community members, Indigenous organizations, and researchers are increasingly using SIKU to implement their own community-driven research and stewardship programs, leveraging a wide variety of tools and services for mapping, sharing and archiving information about land, wildlife and (dangerous) ice conditions. Since SIKU’s launch in December 2019, the Arctic Eider Society has maintained engagement with the platform’s growing user base through remote engagement during the pandemic. Initiatives like the 2020 Goose Watch Competition and community-driven stewardship programs demonstrate how communities have been able to leverage SIKU to crowd source baseline data that facilitate monitoring of environmental change. We will discuss upcoming features in development, including improved GPS services to map real-time land use, and refined sea ice and terrestrial satellite maps that mobile app users can take offline to assist in navigation, travel safety, and planning hunting trips. We will conclude our presentation with a call for additional input towards ways that SIKU can best facilitate the parallel needs of individual contributors, projects, communities and Indigenous organizations for the long-term benefit of Inuit self-determination.

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Joel Heath
President and co-founder
Arctic Eider Society 

Bios: Candice (Pedersen) Sudlovenick, Joel Heath, and Mick Appaqaq

Candice is a young Inuk who grew up in Iqaluit, Nunavut. A graduate of the Environmental Technology Program, Candice has been working in the enforcement field for the Government of Nunavut and most recently the Federal Government of Canada. Candice has been a part of the Ikaarvik Program since 2018, which focuses on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and the relationship between Inuit and researchers. Candice first joined the development team after participating in a training workshop in March 2019, and represented Arctic Eider Society at the United Nations Forum Convention on Climate Change in June 2019. Candice often represents SIKU in workshops, training sessions and conferences. She has spoken at the UN, participated in multiple interviews and trained numerous Inuit communities on the uses and technology of SIKU. 

 Joel is the Executive Director and co-founder of AES and is an accomplished Canadian academic and filmmaker and the 2014-15 Fulbright Chair in Arctic Studies. He has a B.Sc. Joint Hons. and M.Sc. in interdisciplinary biology from MUN, a Ph.D. from the Centre for Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University (in partnership with ECCC), and held an NSERC Postdoc in Mathematical Biology at the University of British Columbia. He has worked and lived in Sanikiluaq Nunavut since 2002 to support community priorities for capacity building, and has spent 19 winters on the sea ice with Inuit and Cree hunters in Sanikiluaq as well as Inukjuak, Umiujaq, Kuujjuaraapik and Chisasibi, learning Indigenous knowledge of terrestrial, marine and sea ice ecosystems. Through this position, he has worked with Inuit to help develop a network of community-driven research programs, curriculum for northern schools, directed/produced the 16x award winning film People of a Feather (, and most recently developed online and mobile technology for Inuit self-determination in research through SIKU: Indigenous Knowledge Social Media platform, winner of the Impact Challenge in Canada. He was presented with an award of community recognition for his service to Sanikiluaq by the Municipality of Sanikiluaq in 2015. In 2020, Joel was nominated and selected for the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship - a network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs whose work improves the lives of peoples across the globe.

Mick is a graduate of the ETP program and brings his education and experience to the AES team as an Environmental Technician. Based in Sanikiluaq, Mick helps local hunters and community members build SIKU profiles and contribute to the platform. Mick is an integral part of the SIKU Outreach Team and participates and leads many SIKU training sessions, workshops and press events, and will play a key role piloting new SILA for SIKU features on the land with Inuit hunters and youth.   


Guest Panelist:  Tracey P. Lauriault, Carleton University

Bio:  Ms. Lauriault, is Assistant Professor in Critical Media and Big Data, Communication and Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, Cross Appointed to the MA in Digital Humanities. Her work on open and big data as well as open smart cities is international, transdisciplinary and multi-sectoral. She is one of the founders of the new domain of critical data studies and of open data in Canada and has expertise in data infrastructures and spatial media. She serves on the multi-stakeholder forum for the Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network, is on the Board for Open North Canada, and is a research associate with the Manyooth University Social Science Institute in Ireland, the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University and the Centre for Law Technology and Society at Ottawa University.


Panel Moderator:  Simon Riopel

Bio:  Simon Riopel has been working in the geomatics field for more than 24 years in public and private organizations. As Senior Geomatics Advisor with the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation at NRCan, he works with data users and providers to identify and fill gaps in spatial data infrastructure related operational policies, standards and technologies in an effort to strengthen the interoperability, usability and sustainability of spatial data and maps at the national and international levels.

Simon is coordinating and leading activities to develop and sustain Canada’s SDI, the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), and the Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (Arctic SDI). He is the Chair of the Arctic SDI Data Working Group and a member of the Policy, Technical, Communication and Strategy Arctic SDI working groups.