Whitney Lackenbauer

Canada Research Chair in the Study of the Canadian North

Tier 1 - 2018-07-01
Trent University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Examining the historical and contemporary forces that shape how we understand the Canadian and circumpolar Norths.

Research relevance

This research will improve academic, policy and public dialogue on historical and contemporary issues related to Canada’s North.

Understanding and Protecting Canada’s North

Canada’s North occupies a distinctive place in our national identity. The region is cast as a resource-rich “frontier of destiny,” a homeland to Indigenous peoples, a fragile environment in need of protection, and a source of national inspiration.

So how can—and how should—Canada balance its sovereignty, security and stewardship responsibilities to the North? And how can this be done in a way that protects national interests and values, promotes sustainable development and healthy communities, and facilitates circumpolar stability and cooperation?

As Canada Research Chair in the Study of the Canadian North, Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer is trying to answer these questions. He and his research team are exploring the evolution of Canada’s domestic strategies for the North as well as its international relationships with other Arctic and non-Arctic states. They are also investigating how northern communities have shaped—and been shaped by—different understandings of the region. They are trying to determine how our perceptions inform our priorities and policies for the North so they can gain the knowledge necessary to promote its sovereignty and security and enhance the resilience of northern communities.

Lackenbauer and his team want to shed light on the role that northern and Indigenous stakeholders should play in these discussions to better reflect community interests. Ultimately, they hope to encourage evidence-based policy-making that transcends traditional academic boundaries and disciplines and is animated by a strong commitment to social justice.