CNS Press Releases New Book on Visual Arts in the North

Lakehead University's Centre for Northern Studies (CNS) is pleased to announce the release of its latest book, Visual Arts in the North. The work is edited by Patricia Vervoort, Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts.

Visual Arts in the North is a collection of six essays representing different approaches and different interpretations of some of the art found in or inspired by the North. They demonstrate that a range of artistic skills and means were utilized by a variety of artists concerned with ideas and images of the "North." As these essays pursue this theme, it becomes obvious that the "North" has many meanings and many interpretations. Most publications treat Canadian art history as belonging essentially to urban locations and leave the impression that nothing exists, let alone art, between Toronto and Winnipeg. The essays in this volume attempt to fill this gap in Canadian art history and to demonstrate that art production exists outside of the large Canadian cities.

The Centre for Northern Studies publishes original peer-reviewed, high-quality academic books in all areas relating to Northern Ontario, the Provincial Norths, the Territorial Norths, and the Circumpolar World. If you are interested in submitting a project for consideration, guidelines can be found on this site.

Graduate Students Receive $15,000 in Federal Funds for Northern Field Research

(March 30, 2011 - Thunder Bay, ON)  Six graduate students at Lakehead have been awarded $15,000 for field research support in Northern Canada. The funds are granted through the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP), a Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development program administered at Lakehead by the Centre for Northern Studies (CNS). NSTP aims to promote interest in northern studies, and provide opportunities for advanced and graduate students to obtain experience and professional training in the North.

"Over the past two years, Lakehead students have been awarded almost $35,000 to offset the cost of conducting field work in the Canadian North,” states CNS Director and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Northern Studies Programs Committee, Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu. “Our student's continued success at these highly competitive grants underscores the ongoing significance of our university in northern research.”

"Graduate students pursuing research in Northern Canada are participating in one of the core areas that distinguishes Lakehead from most other research-intensive Canadian schools," adds Dr. Philip Hicks, Dean of Graduate Studies.

Projects supported this year include:

  • David Finch, MES in Northern Environments and Cultures, "Customary Patterns of Animal Use and Disposal in Fort Severn"
  • Ryan Garnett, MES in Nature Based Recreation and Tourism, "Incorporating 3D Visualization into Wilderness Perception Mapping"
  • William Halliday, MSc in Biology, "A Comparative Analysis of Transborder Effect of Predation Risk on Lemming Habitat Use"
  • Jocelyn Inksetter, MES in Northern Environments and Cultures, "Women's Work: Balancing Subsistence and Wage Labour in Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut"
  • Charlie Mattina, MES in Nature-Based Recreation and Tourism, "Vulnerability in Canada's North: Understanding a Community's Adaptive Needs to Climate Change"
  • Mary Jane Moses, MSc in Biology, "Impact of Grizzly Bear Lemming Habitat Use"

Lakehead Researchers Receive $2.5 Million in Funding for Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic

(February 25, 2011 – Thunder Bay, ON) Minister Goodyear announced today that Dr. Chris Southcott, together with a team of Lakehead researchers, has been granted $2.5 million to investigate the social, environmental, and economic challenges facing Arctic communities in Canada and the rest of the circumpolar world.

This Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) funding comes through its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program. The grant will build on existing SSHRC-funded work on northern communities, to establish an international network of researchers from a broad range of disciplines and organizations including communities, government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations. Contributions from other sources increases the total funding for the project to over $6 million.

This team of Lakehead researchers believes that a new approach to resource development is possible in today's northern communities. With recent changes, including self-government, recognition of land-claims, co-management of resources, and environmental regulation, the arctic region and its communities can manage resource development in ways that improve the health and well-being of northern communities while preserving the region's unique environment.

"The project brings the best northern social science researchers in the world together with northern communities to try and find new ways to ensure that a larger share of the benefits of resource development stay in the North with fewer costs to communities," says team leader Dr. Chris Southcott, Professor of Sociology. "The large number of Lakehead researchers involved in the project shows the clear strength of northern social science research at Lakehead University."

Once the network is established, it will fund a series of research projects around themes of sustainable regions, sustainable communities, sustainable cultures, and sustainable environments. The projects will measure and analyze the impacts of resource development and find ways of assisting Arctic communities to deal with these impacts through a range of new and innovative development and policy tools.

According to Rui Wang, Vice President, Research, Economic Development and Innovation, "This significant funding reflects the research excellence and leadership of Lakehead's researchers in northern community studies. The collaboration between our researchers with researchers in other institutions and a number of community and government partners has been critical in winning this research grant and, more importantly, will also assure the success of this Major Collaborative Research Initiative."

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Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Janine Chiasson, Communications Officer, at 807-343-8177 or Or contact Eleanor Abaya, Director of Communications, at 807-343-8372 or

SSHRC is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its three funding programs – Talent, Insight and Connection – SSHRC enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 8,280 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated February 25, 2011


Arctic Adventure

Lakehead students have exciting opportunity to participate in exciting exchange!

Erin Collins,
News Editor, The Argus

November. December. January. February. Winter in Thunder Bay seems to drag on forever. Wind-chill, frostbite, and stalled cars are just a few delights that accompany this time of year. It's perfectly normal for all Thunder Bayers to start dreaming of pineapple drinks on faraway islands, lazing in the sand, and getting a nice tan.

The worst thing about winter is the monotony. Same old, same old. Same temperature, same snow, same wind, same place. But what about the same weather in another place?

What if you could spend a semester abroad furthering your education while having the experience of a lifetime? That sounds anything but monotonous.

January-February is admittedly the most difficult of times to contemplate an exchange opportunity in the Circumpolar North (Hawaii or Jamaica may seem more enticing). However, the chance to go abroad and explore another place while earning credit is the opportunity of a lifetime. And well worth the snow and cold that may follow you there.

This exciting exchange is available through the North2North Circumpolar Student Mobility Program. Established in 2003, this program is promoted and provided by the University of the Arctic (UArctic), a collection of international schools throughout the eight countries of the Circumpolar North. UArctic is a firm believer that in order to learn something, you need to live it, and books or videos can't replace real-life experience.

Lakehead University is a proud member of this unique initiative and so far has had nine students participate (however, more spots have been available). The North2North exchange isn't only geared toward certain academic programs, it's open to everyone.

A successful undergrad applicant may be placed in Finland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, or Iceland. During their placement, students will take a variety of courses, which may focus on culture and society, ecology, economic development, adaptation of technology in the circumpolar region, and other exciting and relevant topics.
For those who are concerned about the costs – likely the majority of interested students – have no fear!

"Students pay tuition to Lakehead University, which means they are still OSAP eligible and keep their scholarships," says Dr. Michel Beaulieu, site coordinator at Lakehead. "In addition, successful applicants will receive a mobility grant to facilitate their stay at the host institution."

Participating students also have the opportunity to earn credit while having their adventures. The courses offered by the UArctic are assigned credit values based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which can then be used by the student's home institution to assign credit using its own system. While the student needs to make sure all requirements to earn the credit are met, the Registrar's office needs to approve the credit and allow for its transfer.

Dr. Beaulieu expresses that candidates for this opportunity a) will be studying in the UArctic Program b) are studying in another program with a strong northern emphasis, or c) can demonstrate how their academic goals can contribute meaningfully to the Arctic region.

As well, Dr. Beaulieu adds that ideal applicants "are dedicated to contributing to [their] northern community and the Arctic region, generally have an open-minded attitude to other cultures and ways of life, and have relevant personal experience that would enable [them] to make the most of [their] exchange experience."

If this sounds like you, don't miss out! The North2North Exchange isn't a vacation on the beach, it's so much more. Through this program, you have the opportunity to learn in a fellow circumpolar country, find out what it means to be a student of the North, and become an educated and active citizen of this unique piece of the planet. Bon voyage.

For more information, please visit

Director of the Centre for Northern Studies elected as an Officer The Champlain Society's Council

Director of the Centre for Northern Studies and Associate Professor of History Michel S. Beaulieu has been elected as an Officer The Champlain Society's Council. Founded in 1905 by Sir Edmund Walker, the mandate of the society is to increase public awareness of, and accessibility to, Canada's rich store of historical records. To date, over 170 volumes of the highest academic calabre have been published by the society, with many older ones now forming the core of its Digital Collection.

The Council of the Society includes some of the country's finest scholars and community leaders, who offer guidance and advice to the Society. More information about the Champlain Society can be found at

Canadian Northern Studies Trust Award 2011-2012

The Canadian Northern Studies Trust (CNST) is the student awards program of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS). The Trust was established in 1982 to further the Association's mandate to advance knowledge and understanding of Canada's North by offering student awards for exceptional northern-based research. The CNST fosters scholars and scientists with northern experience and enhances educational opportunities available for northern residents to obtain postsecondary education at Canadian colleges and universities. For further information, please visit the ACUNS website. The deadline for the CNST Award is January 31, 2011.

CNS Members Explore Social Impacts of Forestry: Comparing Declining Industry in Canada and Finland to Boom in Uruguay

(December 21, 2010 – Thunder Bay, Ontario) Lakehead History Professors Drs. Michel Beaulieu and Ronald Harpelle, both members of the Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies (CNS), attended an international seminar, meetings, and workshops in Montevideo, Uruguay from December 7 to 16. The goal of the conference was to discuss natural resource communities and forestry in Canada, Finland, and Uruguay.

The researchers are examining the social impact of a declining forest industry in Canada and Finland in the context of Uruguay's booming pulp industry. A number of forest industry giants are making or planning to make massive investments in Uruguay's pulp production and the plantations associated with it, which creates questions about what northern communities in Canada can learn from the experience of the industry's decline in Finland and the corresponding development of new single-industry resource communities elsewhere in the world.

"We want to look at how northern communities can adapt to the changes taking place and what role governments can and should play in this transition," says Dr. Beaulieu, noting the researchers' main priority in attending the conference was to explore community development and resilience in the global pulp and paper industry. Entitled La situación y perspectivas de la agroindustria forestal y celulósica en Canadá, Finlandia y Uruguay, the conference is the product of a SSHRC Research Development Initiative sponsored by the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República (Uruguay), and the CNS.

The December conference also included Lakehead's former Finnish Chair Hanna Snellman, as well as Dr. Thomas Dunk and Dr. Bruce Muirhead, former Lakehead faculty.

For approximately three years, Drs. Beaulieu and Harpelle, Dr. Chris Southcott (Sociology), and a network of researchers from other universities in Canada, Finland, and Uruguay, have examined resource development and the consequences and impacts arising from the growth of a thriving global forest industry. As Dr. Harpelle notes, "Today's forest industry in Northern Ontario faces challenges and is undergoing important changes, although neither are occurring in isolation." In May 2010, this network of researchers conducted the first international seminar in Thunder Bay under the sponsorship of Lakehead's CNS and the Canadian International Council.

Drs. Beaulieu and Harpelle also travelled to Uruguay as part of an AUCC-IDRC Canada-Latin America and Caribbean Research Exchange Grant, which supports small collaborative research activities that contribute to the creation, dissemination, and sustained application of knowledge. Dr. Beaulieu, Director of the CNS, explains that "By participating in these and other activities, members of the CNS are working to ensure that Lakehead's expertise in northern development research plays a significant role in the growing field of north-south collaborative international research, particularly in the southern cone region."

While in Uruguay, Drs. Beaulieu and Harpelle celebrated nineteen years of Canadian cooperation in the development of sustainable coastal development as guests at an event organized by the IDRC and the Canadian Embassy in Uruguay. Additionally, they presented the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República, with a collection of the CNS' publication series, met with students and faculty to strengthen the CNS' international links, and undertook fieldwork in the Uruguayan countryside.

(L - R) Dr. Thomas Dunk and Dr. Michel Beaulieu present the changing nature of labour in Northern Ontario forest communities to Uruguayan representatives

Lakehead's Centre for Northern Studies Represented at Recent Polar Bear Recovery Strategy Workshop

(November 11, 2010 – Thunder Bay, Ontario) Two researchers from Lakehead University's Centre for Northern Studies, Dr. Martha Dowlsey and Dr. Harvey Lemelin, recently attended a workshop proposing to develop a Polar Bear Recovery Strategy in Ontario.

The meeting, held in Timmins from October 28 to 29, was hosted jointly by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. First Nation representatives from communities located along the Hudson and James Bay coasts, agency personnel, and researchers from across Canada were invited to the two-day workshop which aimed to developing a recovery plan for the species which was recently listed as threatened in Ontario. The plan is expected to be released to the public by early next year, with the entire process wrapping up by fall 2011.

The workshop came several months after the release of the research report Giving Voice to Bear: Cree Observations and Documentation of Wabusk in Ontario, co-written and co-published by researchers from the Fort Severn First Nation, the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute (KORI), and the Centre for Northern Studies at Lakehead Univeristy, as well as a recently accepted journal article by the same research team entitled Wabusk of the Omushkegouk: Cree Interactions with Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) in the muskeg of Northern Ontario in the interdisciplinary journal of Human Ecology. Both the report and journal publication document Cree knowledge of polar bears in Ontario from multi-disciplinary perspectives.

For Dr. Dowsley, this workshop represented an opportunity to showcase and possibly implement findings from a partner-based, two-year, SSHRC-funded research project of which she is the principal investigator. Alongside Dr. Dowsley, research partners involved in the project include Fort Severn First Nation, KORI, and Dr. Lemelin. Using a Participatory Action Research model, the team is documenting Swampy Cree interactions with polar bears, and historic interactions between the Cree and the Ontario government regarding the species. "Polar bears are one of several species with very high subsistence and cultural value to the people of Fort Severn and Weenusk. The goal of our project is to build capacity in the communities to manage these resources," says Dr. Dowsley.

Dr. Lemelin attended the workshop as a representative of the Fort Severn First Nation and co-investigator on Dr. Dowsley's SSHRC project. The workshop culminated more than a decade of his research which examines human-polar bear interactions in Northern Canada and Northern Ontario. According to Dr. Lemelin, "Instead of inventing a brand-new polar bear management strategy, we now have the chance to build on the proposed Wabusk Co-Management Agreement drafted in the 1990s, which was pro-active and insightful though never ratified. We can now re-examine and update the agreement and incorporate some of the findings and recommendations from the research in Fort Severn and Weenusk," Dr. Lemelin explains.

Director of the Centre for Northern Studies, Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu, notes, "The research by Drs. Dowsley and Lemelin highlights the important and cutting-edge work being done at the Centre for Northern Studies, which contributes substantially to northern communities."

Media: Dr. Dowsley and Dr. Lemelin are available for media interview until 4:00 p.m. today, and Dr. Lemelin can speak to both French and English media. To arrange interviews, please contact them directly at 807-343-8430/, or 807-343-8745/ respectively.

Centre for Northern Studies Represented at the Polar Bear Recovery Strategy in Ontario

Two researchers from the Centre for Northern Studies at Lakehead University, Drs. Martha Dowlsey and Harvey Lemelin, took part in a workshop aimed at developing a Polar Bear Recovery Strategy in Ontario. [Read more] November 05, 2010

Centre for Northern Studies Publications and Members Nominated for Awards

The Centre for Northern Studies is pleased to announce that a number of its publications and members have been nominated for the 2010-2011 Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's regional publication awards. The nomination for these awards underscores the continuing success of the Centre's publication series and its members research dealing with the region.

The awards in four categories are given out for the best publications dealing with the history of Northwestern Ontario. Each 2 years, a great many excellent books and articles, both popular and scholarly, are written about the history of our region, yet so many authors of these works struggle for recognition. These awards are intended to help publicize such works, to recognize the excellence of local writers, and to encourage new authors to write about our history. The awards are made by independent panels of judges in each category.

Nominated for the J.P. Bertrand Award for best scholarly article on the history of Northwestern Ontario:

Chris Southcott's "Old Economy/New Economy Transitions and Shifts in Demographic and Industrial Patterns in Northern Ontario," published in Thomas Dunk's Transition in Marginal Zones in the Age of Globalization: Case Studies from the North and South (CNS Press, 2010)
Samira Saramo's "'A Socialist Movement which does not Attract the Women Cannot Live': The Strength of Finnish Socialist Women in Port Arthur, 1903-1933," published in Michel S. Beaulieu's Essays in Northwestern Ontario Working Class History: Thunder Bay and its Environs (CNS Press, 2008).
William Vinh-Doyle's "A Study of the Strike at Canada Safeway by Local 175 of the UFCW," published in Michel S. Beaulieu's Essays in Northwestern Ontario Working Class History: Thunder Bay and its Environs (CNS Press, 2008).
In addition, three articles by Centre for Northern Studies Director Michel S. Beaulieu have been nominated in 2 categories.

For the J.P. Bertrand Award for best scholarly article on the history of Northwestern Ontario:

"Finnish Kanadalainen Sosialismi: Towards an Understanding of Finnish Canadian Socialist Activity, 1900-1939." Faravid: Pohjois-Suomen Historiallisen yhdistyksen vuosikirja [Faravid: Journal of the Northern Finland Historical Association] 33 (2009): 107-126.
"Reacting to the Workers' Revolt: The Lakehead and the Winnipeg General Strike." Left History 14:1 (Fall 2009): 8-33.
For the George B. MacGillvray Award for best popular article focusing on the history of Northwestern Ontario:

"PRIMA IN LACUBUS: Over a Century of Naval Activity at the Lakehead." Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Papers and Records 37 (2009):146-59 which was co-written by fellow alumni Chelsea Degage and David Ratz.
Also nominated for the George B. MacGillvray Award for best popular article focusing on the history of Northwestern Ontario was "The Wobblies," by Donna Jeanpierre (Lakehead University Magazine, Spring/Summer 2010) which focusses on Beaulieu's work.