Research Axes

INQ's scientific programming was put together by over 150 researchers and representatives of various Indigenous organizations and peoples.

It was a task that required hundreds of hours of work, preparation, and discussions. The programming is the result of a unique, wide-reaching collaborative effort.

Consult this document:

Axis 1

Societies and Culture

Improve our knowledge of social and cultural issues of Northern Quebec by studying different development models as well as heritage, identities, territoriality, knowledge, living environments, and governance. This priority also emphasizes the planning of research agendas, compliance with ethics protocols in Indigenous settings, and the decolonization of research.

The co-directors of this research axis are Professors Thierry Rodon and Émilie Fortin-Lefebvre.

Axis 2


In keeping with the themes and priorities identified by people in the North, and using a partnership approach, this priority focuses not only on research into illness and disease, but also on resilience, adaptation, and the positive aspects of health. Intervention research, both clinical and population-based, aims to identify optimal solutions and best practices to improve the health of northern populations and reduce health-related inequities.

The co-directors of this research axis are Professors Cathy Vaillancourt and Faiz Ahmad Khan (interim).

Axis 3

Ecosystem Functioning and Environmental Protection

The ecosystems of high northern latitudes are feeling the combined effect of accelerated socioeconomic development, strong demographic growth, and global warming. This priority examines the consequences of such stresses on marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems in order to preserve and protect the food security and well-being of people living in the North. This research priority explores global warming, thaw, freshwater, food security, and the greenhouse effect, with an emphasis on coastal environments.

The co-directors of this research axis are Professors Philippe Archambault and Esther Lévesque.

Axis 4

Infrastructure and Technology

Developing Quebec’s North will require new technologies and infrastructure adapted to its harsh environment characterized by a cold climate, remote communities, and melting permafrost. To address the needs of northern communities, this priority explores issues including the rapid implementation of telecommunications channels, development of environmental technologies to ensure the protection of the potable water supplies of northern communities, the development of infrastructure adapted to harsh environments, and the conversion and management of waste from a standpoint of health and sustainable development.

The director of this research axis is Professor Louis-César Pasquier and Jean-Pascal Bilodeau.

Axis 5

Natural Resources

The North’s ecosystems are home to considerable forest, mineral, hydroelectric, and wind resources. This priority looks at the economic value of natural resources while taking into account the extreme vulnerability of northern ecosystems to climate change and the impact of human activity. In keeping with the aspirations of northern communities, it will study and document overexploitation, seek to achieve social acceptability, and encourage the local spinoffs of economic activity. Through optimization and planning, this priority seeks to develop tools that will ensure that strategic resources in the North are developed in a sustainable manner.

The co-directors of this research axis are Professors René Therrien and Jasmin Raymond.