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Real Ice Cambridge Bay, Nunavut Expedition - Community Engagement Factsheet


As part of our Cambridge Bay Field Test, we set out to meaningfully engage with multiple local indigenous individuals and organisations before, during and after conducting our research in Cambridge Bay. We adopted this approach to share our research, network within an Arctic community and invite people to share feedback on our initiative. We wanted to understand the needs and wants of the community by hosting events dedicated to sharing our research and inviting input from the audience. As a result, we received invaluable insight into the changing sea ice conditions witnessed by people and excellent questions surrounding the Real Ice initiative.

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DESIRED CONDITIONS - People want sea ice to return to ‘predictable’ conditions. Communities also need snow for transportation on sea ice using a Skidoo.


HOW TO ENGAGE/NETWORK WITH ORGS/BUSINESS - With the Executive Director of the Kitikmeot Chambers of Commerce (Talia Maksagak), we learned how to engage with Cambridge Bay's community/business/organisations.



Community Consultations/Networking

Events specific to Cambridge Bay should be held in known community gathering points like the community hall, Elders Palace, and CHARS main room. Complimentary food/drinks should be offered to encourage people to join the session. Events should be advertised in the most frequented buildings in town, and researchers should hire someone to translate the content into Inuinnaqtun where possible.


TRANSPORTATION ON SEA ICE - In Cambridge Bay, there are two main trails for snowmobiles to transverse across the sea ice. Hunters use sea ice trails to travel in search of food.

To carry out our research, we established a good working relationship with the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) and the Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trapper Organization (EHTO) guides, who offered essential tools and services on the sea ice.


  • The presence of sea ice directly impacts caribou distribution/migration patterns on Victoria Island.

  • Arctic CHAR's seasonal distribution during the winter has changed due to warming freshwater lakes/rivers.

  • The Musk-ox population has reduced in Cambridge Bay and the surrounding area for almost a decade.

  • Warmer temperatures;

    • Sea ice is now becoming late to appear at the start of Winter (November-December) and earlier to disappear in late spring (May/June)

    • Community foundations and the Arctic landscape are changing due to permafrost melt.

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