My first trip to Iqaluit: Participating in the result Dissemination Workshop, June 2014

Jenifer Truong from U. of Guelph, recently had the opportunity to travel to Iqaluit, Nunavut to attend the result dissemination workshop to share some of the IHACC results on water and food security. She shares with us her first impressions and an overview of the various themes that were discussed. As someone who has never ventured out any other parts of Canada further than Ontario or Quebec, having the opportunity to go up North to Iqaluit was an incredible experience. We arrived to a bustling Iqaluit Airport. Although we were still in Canada, there were some very subtle differences that I noticed. For example, it was so cool to see signs at the airport in English but still mostly Inuktitut! I got settled into the student housing along with Anna, who had been here for the past couple of weeks doing research for her Masters. The next morning, we woke up early in the morning to go to the NRI to prepare for the IHACC Results Sharing meeting. It was a packed room with over 20 people in attendance attentively listening to the presenters. Dr. James Ford had a presentation about the current and future impacts and vulnerabilities in the Arctic. There are observed changes in sea ice, mammals, and observed health impacts as well, which is why adaption is vital! Sara Statham had a presentation on Iqaluit’s food system under stress in extreme winter, and Anna Bunce shared her current project examining experiences and adaptation strategies for Inuit women to environmental change. There was also a presentation on the opportunities and barriers to the sustainable management of caribou in Southern Baffin Island that Knut presented. Jamal Shirely from NRI shared their results on a monitoring program of microbial water quality in the Apex River. Lastly, Dr. Sherilee Harper had a research results update on AGI in Iqaluit. AGI has been a topic of major health concern due to its substantial under-reporting. It was very intriguing to learn about the Ecohealth approach to research and seeing all the possible determinants that contribute to increased potential to get AGI. The last part of the day included breaking up into discussion groups to gather everyone’s opinions on how to communicate these results to community members and stakeholders. Throughout the day, it was incredible to hear about the research being done up North and all of the ideas and suggestions the participants had! The next couple of days were filled with meetings, exploring, and sightseeing! Before I knew it, it was almost time to go back home! I will always remember how beautiful a place Iqaluit is, how friendly the people are, and how peaceful it was. I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel up to Iqaluit and experience everything that I did!