Wilfrid Laurier University and the GNWT have recently signed a partnership agreement to continue working together for the next 10 years.

Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy said that the collaboration between Laurier and the GNWT has resulted in more benefits than anyone envisioned when the partnership began in 2010.

“Together, we have broken new ground in research important to Canada and the planet, trained many students and research associates and built state-of-the-art infrastructure that will facilitate research for years to come. Continuing our partnership will enable us to deepen our understanding of the challenges facing Canada’s North.”

GNWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Robert C. McLeod said that the GNWT-Laurier Partnership is a prime example of how researchers and the public service can work together to advance research priorities that respond directly to the needs, concerns and questions of northerners.

“By collaborating as learning partners, the GNWT and Laurier have fostered significant advancements in monitoring and research that ensure we are able to make decisions based on the best available scientific, local and traditional knowledge for the people of the Northwest Territories.”

The first decade of the GNWT-Laurier partnership has seen many milestones, including:

  • Opening Laurier’s Yellowknife research office to establish a year-round presence and deepen partnerships in the NWT.
  • Training more than 280 undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to date, some of whom have stayed to work in the NWT.
  • Leading projects in the NWT involving over 15 different universities across Canada.
  • Providing leadership in cold regions research through the Northern Water Futures project, a Global Water Futures-funded, NWT-focused consortium working to address the impacts of climate change and industrial activity on water resources.
  • Bringing Laurier students and northern high school students together through field courses and on-the- land camp experiences.
  • Research Council to strengthen community partnerships in the Sahtú region through shared on-the- land experiences.

“We expect our second decade of partnership with the Northwest Territories to build on our successes to result in even more profound research, deeper community-level partnerships, and more evidence-based initiatives that make a positive impact on people and ecosystems,” said Laurier’s Executive Director of Cold Regions and Water Initiatives, Professor Kelly Munkittrick.

The partnership agreement will continue until the year 2030.