Inspired Research.
Real Impact.

Laurier Research in Canada’s North

Researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University embrace complex challenges. Together with northern governments, Indigenous communities and international peers, Laurier faculty and students are solving urgent problems and enhancing well-being in the North.

Impactful Ice Road Partnerships

As Arctic temperatures rise, Laurier’s Homa Kheyrollah Pour, the Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Environmental Change, is collaborating with northern Indigenous communities to ensure safe winter travel.

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Read: Tip of the Ice Road

Using ground-penetrating radar, drones and satellite imagery, Homa Kheyrollah Pour is mapping the best path for essential ice roads.

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Watch: Guardians of Great Slave Lake

In the wake of tragedy, Łutsël K'é Dene First Nation turned to Laurier for real-time ice thickness monitoring.

Northern Canada is one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth. Climate change is affecting northern ecosystems at an accelerated pace, from more intense wildfires to declining water quality, thawing ice and changes to wildlife habitats. These changes have immense impacts on all people in the North, especially Indigenous communities whose traditional ways of living are being threatened.

As the 2023 wildfire season illustrated, now is the time to help communities adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change. With a dedicated research office in Yellowknife, more than 50 research sites across Northern Canada and a longstanding partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Laurier researchers are on the ground, in remote communities and at the tables where decisions are made.

Through inspired research, Laurier is making a real impact in Canada’s North.

Media Resources

Laurier researchers are eager to share their findings with the world. Visit the Media Resources page for high-resolution images and b-roll footage, background information, media contacts and the searchable Experts at Laurier database.

Support NWT Relief Efforts

Following a devastating wildfire season in the Northwest Territories, Laurier continues to work with partner communities during recovery. If you would like to support the broader emergency response, please consider donating to the United Way NWT Emergency Response Fund.

Northern Research Priorities

Climate Change Adaptation

Informed by the concerns of residents, researchers are addressing ice road safety, water security, forest fires, northern wildlife biology and carbon storage.

Indigenous Environmental Stewardship

Laurier researchers are co-creating best practices for environmental and data management that affirm the role of Indigenous peoples as stewards of their ancestral territories.

Northern Food Security

In association with the UNESCO Chair on Food, Biodiversity and Sustainability Studies at Laurier, faculty and students are working with communities to build sustainable local food systems.

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Confronting a Fiery Future

As wildfires intensify across the Northwest Territories, Jennifer Baltzer is working with local partners to protect forest ecosystems and surrounding communities.

"Our government doesn't have the resources to investigate all of the questions that we and our residents have.

"Our partnership with Laurier really increases the scope and reach of what we can do to address those needs."

Julian Kanigan, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change, Government of the Northwest Territories

Make an Impact

Laurier researchers are making a real impact in Canada’s North. They are creating and sharing knowledge with residents and decision-makers to combat climate change, improve community safety and well-being, and provide new development and training opportunities for local people.

But they cannot do it alone. They rely on partnerships with governments, industries and communities, and significant funding for research equipment, resources and travel.

You can help. Join Laurier and our collaborators as we build a stronger, sustainable future for Northern Canada and our planet.