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On April 16 and 17, the National Science Foundation hosted Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) meeting through a virtual venue. The goals for the meeting were to: accelerate the rate of dissemination of ideas among researchers; build an intellectual research core to address NNA challenges; and enable enhanced research collaborations. Research Analyst Mary Beth Jäger (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), was in attendance to represent NNI and to share lessons learned from her work with Indigenous Food Knowledges Network (IFKN). The Artic is a newer area of collaboration for NNI, and there is a lot to share and learn around governance and policy as they relate to northern, Indigenous communities. The impact of Covid-19 on science and research fields was also discussed, as it is unsafe for Native villages to have outside visitors. Jäger stated,
“I appreciated the opportunity to attend and to become more familiar with the Arctic research community, which included several Indigenous scholars. I found it interesting to learn what researchers planned or were doing in terms of data governance with their research particularly if people were working with Indigenous communities. I was curious to learn who was considering or practicing Indigenous data sovereignty and governance. In a break out session, I shared a bit about Indigenous data sovereignty and governance and other ways NNI strengthens governance."
NNI looks forward to being a part of future conversations with native villages and researchers as they continue to examine ways to build capacity and strengthen institutions, while also placing primacy on cultural and Indigenous knowledge.
Images from the Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions, September 2018: a lake in Finland (Image credit: Brie VanDam), and a Finnish mushroom (Image credit: Mary Beth Jäger)