Background

The North: Challenges and Innovation

Researchers from Quebec and elsewhere in Canada have been active in the North for over half a century. From marine ecosystem protection to the loss of sea ice, they study the issues—and there are plenty of them!—affecting the North. Perhaps it would be more accurate to speak of the Norths, given the world of diversity and contrast that exists between the 49th parallel and the Arctic of Nunavik. Climate change, industrialization, and modernization have dramatically impacted the environment, economy, culture, and health of populations within this region.

Building on their wide-ranging expertise in the natural, social, health, and engineering sciences, Quebec and the rest of Canada have, over time, become world leaders in northern research. A consensus has grown within the scientific community that this expertise needs to be brought together to assist decision-makers and societies in tackling the challenges the North presents.

The result is the Institut nordique du Québec (INQ), bringing together the best northern and Canadian arctic research talent to work toward ethical and harmonious development of Northern Quebec and the Canadian Arctic. The project, which was officially announced in fall 2014, came about through an unprecedented academic partnership spearheaded by Université Laval, McGill University and Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), in close collaboration with the public and private sectors.

Northern Quebec in Figures

Area of

1.2 million km²

72%

of Quebec’s
surface area

Over

200 000 km²

of forest

Over

75%

of Quebec’s hydroelectric
capacity

Over

120 000

people

1/3

of the population of
Aboriginal origin

4

Aboriginal nations (Inuit, Cree, Innu,
and Naskapi) in
31 communities

32

Non-Aboriginal communities
(James Bay,
Lac Saint-Jean, and Côte-Nord regions)

215

Université Laval,
McGill University,
and INRS researchers
working on northern
issues

Institut nordique du Québec
Vice-rectorat à la recherche et à la création
Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, local 1036
1045, avenue de la Médecine
Université Laval, Québec (Québec)
G1V 0A6

Contact:

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