People & Culture

Passing the Mic, Part 1 — The Canadian High Arctic Research Station

Episode 54

Join podcast host David McGuffin in the first of three episodes exploring Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut and the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station. In this episode: Arctic research, the blending of traditional Inuit knowledge with Western science, and more.

  • Feb 15, 2023
The Canadian High Arctic Research Station. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Canadian Geographic)
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“Indigenous people have the knowledge. And if we work together with scientists, we can come up with so much more than what only Inuit know or what scientists know. It’s a great tool.”
– Jeannie Ehaloak, Polar Knowledge Canada

David McGuffin and the last sunrise of 2022 in Cambridge Bay, at 11:49 a.m. on Nov. 28. (Photo: Tanya Kirnishni/Canadian Geographic)
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We’re thrilled to bring you the first of three episodes from our December 2022 visit to Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, where we visited with the community and spent time at the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station. CHARS, as it’s known, is an effort to move the center of gravity for science and research in Canada a little further north, according to David Hik, Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Programs with Polar Knowledge Canada, which operates the station. In this fascinating episode, we’ll explore the $250-million, state-of-the-art facility, which opened in 2019. We’ll talk to people involved on how this represents a new chance to blend traditional Inuit knowledge with science in an effort to overcome some big issues, not least of which is the impact of climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising at a rate six times faster than in southern Canada. 

Passing the mic

The visit to Iqaluktuuttiaq saw Canadian Geographic and Polar Knowledge Canada team up to deliver a podcasting workshop for local Inuit youth, empowering them with the tools and know-how to tell their own stories in their own voices. Working with Explore host David McGuffin in the recording studio at CHARS, the youth learned the basics of conducting interviews, recording sound, and editing clips together to create a finished podcast. Watch the video below to learn more.

The opening music in this episode is performed by a Cambridge Bay group called Huqqullaarutit Unipkaangit, which means “Stories Told Through Drum-Dance Songs.”

If you enjoy this podcast and the stories we bring you, please consider donating to the 2nd Annual RCGS Polar Plunge, being held on March 6 in support of the RCGS and storytelling that makes Canada better known to Canadians and the world.


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