The Arctic is vitally important to Canada, making up sixty-eight percent of its coastline and playing a central role in its identity as a northern country. The loss of summer sea ice is opening the Northwest Passage to the commerce of which early explorers dreamed. The mythical qualities projected by questing Europeans have little resonance with those for whom the region is home. Rather, it is a known land, imbued with the rich spiritual connections that bind humans and animals within a single living landscape.
Louie Porta explores whether or not a changing Arctic creates a grand if fleeting opportunity to chart a new course in Arctic conservation and economic development by fully engaging the indigenous peoples of northern Canada.
Porta is Policy Director/Consultant for the Pew Charitable Trusts' Oceans North Canada Program. He has a master’s degree in resource and environmental management from Dalhousie University. He conducts interdisciplinary research in community-based resource management and co-management, community consultation practices in settled land claim areas, Arctic marine mammal and fisheries science/management, environmental assessment, and oil and gas rights issuance.
Sponsored by the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center.
Location: Moulton Union, Main Lounge