Go to page content

Values of all

Network of experts contribute to Arctic shipping initiative


By Jeff Green and Jackey Locke

The Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative has just received a historic investment.

Hear from Lisa Koperqualuk, president, Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada, explain the meaning of the word Qanittaq in the video below.

Now, meet some of the scientists and scholars who are contributing to the world-class project.

Photo essay

These world-renowned experts are teaming up to address and respond to an increase in Arctic shipping, the related environmental impacts affecting Arctic communities and to support Inuit communities’ needs for safe and cost-efficient resupply.

1/ Stephanie Meakin, senior science advisor, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada

"Inuit know Arctic waters better than anyone and their communities depend on a sustainable and healthy marine environment. Arctic shipping is increasing due to climate change and ice loss. This increased activity brings challenges. There is a need to ensure that ships and the costs for the critical resupply of communities are effective and sustainable. Inuit businesses and future economic development is also connected to a growing Arctic fleet that should be safe and efficient. This project will support Inuit leadership and communities in providing guidance on the future of Arctic shipping."

Photo: Submitted

2/ Dr. Wei Qiu, professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University

"As Memorial’s academic lead, I am thrilled to work with ICC Canada and our partners on innovative engineering and regulatory solutions for safe and sustainable Arctic shipping. We will develop novel design concepts and improve regulations to reduce underwater noise, emissions and other environmental impacts in future ship design and operation. Inuit communities play a key role in stewardship for Arctic shipping, and, accordingly, all our research will be in concert with Inuit priorities and contributions."

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

3/ Dr. Jackie Dawson, Canada Research Chair in Human and Policy Dimensions of Climate Change, University of Ottawa

"Climate change and combined with changes to geopolitics and world order make it more important than ever to gather a better understanding of our changing Arctic and to support sustainability in maritime transportation. I am thrilled to support the development of new discoveries and innovations using all ways of knowing and world class science."

Photo: Submitted

4/ Dr. Aldo Chircop, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

"Traditionally, the governance of Arctic shipping has occurred predominantly at the international (International Maritime Organization, London and elsewhere) and national levels (Ottawa) without Inuit involvement, even though the Arctic spans Inuit Nunaat, the ancestral Inuit homeland. Qanittaq presents an opportunity to rethink governance to ensure that Inuit interests and perspectives are at the centre of maritime governance. It is truly a privilege and exciting to be part of Qanittaq to explore and advance new approaches to how we regulate and administer shipping in Canada’s North in an equitable manner and in the spirit of reconciliation."

Photo: Submitted

5/ Dr. Suzanne Lalonde, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal

"Climate change-induced, sea ice melt in the Arctic has increased the chances of interaction between shipping and resource development activities on the one hand and traditional uses of the sea and ice by Indigenous peoples on the other. Yet Indigenous human rights have never been expressly factored into the development of the law of the sea. Specialists of both legal disciplines at the Université de Montréal will explore how Indigenous rights can be placed at the centre of maritime governance in Canadian Arctic waters."

Photo: Submitted

6/ Dr. Claude Daley, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University

"The Qanittaq project is a wonderful opportunity to connect with our partners and stakeholders and take our Arctic work here at Memorial to a new level. I’ve been working on the problems of Arctic shipping for a long time. I was part of the group that developed the international standard for construction of polar ships 25 years ago. The Qanittaq project team has the resources, connections and profile to build a new national and international consensus around the technical, social, environmental and legal challenges of safe Arctic shipping."

Photo: Submitted

7/ Dr. Brian Veitch, Cenovus Energy Research Chair, Memorial University

"This is an exciting opportunity that brings together a diverse group to pursue a shared vision. We plan to create a framework for the holistic evaluation of maritime shipping performance in the Arctic and use it to implement a set of practical tools that will change the shipping paradigm. The strategy is to advance a cleaner and more equitable shipping industry through regulatory and policy tools that reflect the values of all the stakeholders."

Photo: Submitted


The Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative is a global partnership co-led by Memorial and ICC Canada with the University of Ottawa as the institutional partner.

The Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative logo.

The project received a substantial investment of $91.6 million through the federal program, Canada First Research Excellence Fund — the largest research grant secured by either Memorial or ICC Canada.

To receive news from Memorial in your inbox, subscribe to Gazette Now.

Latest News

New frontiers

Memorial University entrepreneurs digitalizing the child-care industry

Board of Regents direction on protest activity

Divestment and joint statement discussed at July 11 meeting

A Coast Lines conversation

A Q&A with Coast Lines featured author Michael Crummey

Award-winning advancement

Memorial takes home hardware for whale interpretation, marine outreach

International collaboration

Memorial University makes agricultural, nursing connections in Pakistan

Student protest update

Additional information on Arts and Administration building access