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Polar appointment

MI director appointed to Polar Knowledge Canada board of directors

Campus and Community

By Leslie Earle

Gerald Anderson has been appointed to the board of directors of Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) for a five-year term.

POLAR was created by the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act, which came into force in 2015.

Gerald Anderson
Gerald Anderson

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is a new research facility located in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, dedicated to science and technology in the North.

Under the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), POLAR and CHARS are responsible for advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology.

Mr. Anderson is currently the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s director of development and engagement and serves as vice-president Indigenous for the University of the Arctic (UArctic).

“I am honored by this appointment and the opportunity to advance the mandate of Polar Knowledge Canada,” said Mr. Anderson. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to make a contribution and work with the board to advance Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic.”

The board’s role

The Polar Knowledge Canada board of directors consists of nine members appointed by the governor in council to hold office on a part-time basis.

The board oversees POLAR’s science and technology plan as well as annual work plans and budgets. Those appointed have knowledge or experience that will assist POLAR in carrying out its purpose, having regard to the ethnic, linguistic and regional diversity of Canada’s Arctic.

Polar Knowledge Canada and its CHARS campus was established to attract Canadian and international scientists to work on science and technology issues in Canada’s North and provide a technology development centre, traditional knowledge centre and advanced laboratories.

Its purpose is to advance knowledge of the Canadian Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship and the quality of life of its residents and all other Canadians; promote the development and dissemination of knowledge of the other circumpolar regions, including the Antarctic; strengthen Canada’s leadership on Arctic issues; and establish a hub for scientific research in the Canadian Arctic.

Indigenous activities

Mr. Anderson was born in L’Anse aux Meadows, N.L., and joined the Fisheries and Marine Institute in 1987. Since that time he has worked in various roles with Indigenous groups in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, and Nunavik, primarily focused on establishing fisheries and marine education and training programs.

Mr. Anderson helped developed fisheries and marine training plans for Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Innu Nation, Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and the Labrador Métis Nation. He worked closely with the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River, N.L., to develop and deliver a long-term fisheries and marine training program.

In February 2015 he was recognized with the Indspire Award (formally known as the National Aboriginal Achievement Award) in environment and natural resources for his work to strengthen fisheries and marine education in Nunavik, Nunavut and Labrador. In 2016 he was appointed an ambassador with the Arctic Inspiration Prize.

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