Expose Inuit students to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research careers with Canada's only synchrotron.
The Canadian Light Source has partnered with the Arctic One Health Network Project (University of Saskatchewan) to develop a science adventure that engages teachers, students, and communities. The Arctic Fox Project creates a unique opportunity to incorporate land-based hunting and trapping, synchrotron science, mainstream science principles, and Traditional Knowledge.
High School, Adult Basic Education, or Post-Secondary
Virtual and/or On-site
Students combine their community’s Traditional Knowledge (TK) to explore the elemental differences between marine and in-land fox diets using synchrotron light. As mentioned, this project includes land-based portions as well as treaty rights, sample preparation, Elder/Traditional Knowledge Keeper (TKK) lead environmental timelines, beamtime, learning how to interpret graphs, and exploring Indigenous career paths in STEM. The project also examines the environmental impact of the Arctic and how the fox can teach us about sustainable resources.
The Canadian Light Source is proud to offer the Arctic Fox Program and we acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience to make this possible.
Project Protocols & Indigenous Ethics
The Canadian Light Source Indigenous Education projects followed Traditional Protocol and Ceremony with Traditional Knowledge Keepers Stewart Prosper, Yvonne Chamakese, Joseph Naytowhow, and Métis Nation of Saskatchewan Cultural and Education Director Lori Skjeie and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Senior Researcher/Analyst - Science & Math, Dale Worme.
The Canadian Arctic One Health Network (CAOHN) addresses complex challenges at the interface of human, animal, and ecosystem health by engaging multiple disciplines and non-academic stakeholders in the North. Through this project, they will build on their existing network of researchers and community partners to monitor, model, and mitigate One Health threats across the changing Canadian North. CAOHN builds northern capacity for wildlife health surveillance and country food safety through development of TelePath North, which combines Local Ecological Knowledge with wildlife pathological expertise to directly address wildlife health and food safety concerns of northern residents. CAOHN will build on existing relationships with northern communities, remote veterinary service programs, long-term research projects and field sites, and TriCouncil funded network investigator research programs to form the CAOHN.
Bernie is the CLS Education Coordinator for Indigenous Programs. Bernie creates valuable hands-on opportunities for students to explore Traditional Knowledge and mainstream science. The Arctic Fox, Bison, and Berry projects are three land-based learning opportunities that CLS offers. Bernie provides supports for educators and students by matching Indigenous Science mentors, community Traditional Knowledge and Language Keepers, Elders, and other community resources to each unique science project. Her knowledge of Indigenous communities, matriarchal family structure, and experience in intergenerational learning, assist teachers to create exciting science adventures where Indigenous Knowledge is the foundation.
Kayla is a PhD Graduate student from the Department of Microbiology from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Kayla’s graduate project focuses on wildlife health and explores how warming temperatures impact diseases transmitted by insects in the Arctic. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites that rely on insect transmission have become a growing wildlife and public health concern in northern Canada. Kayla’s project focuses on testing wildlife for viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by insects and have the potential to cause disease in humans. By understanding the distribution of these pathogens in Arctic wildlife, we can determine if they are present near communities and can use the results as a baseline to see if prevalence increases in a rapidly warming Arctic.
These projects can be developed together with the students, teachers, mentors, and CLS Education staff anytime during the school year. Sessions, listed below, are scheduled by the teacher with the Project Lead and can be adjusted to fit various timeframes. Through this process, students will participate in a science experience gathering Arctic Fox samples and den soil samples (only with appropriate Hunters and Traditional Trappers). Project sample kits are mailed to the school. Students connect to CLS through various online platforms and are guided through the sample preparation within their classroom. Samples are then mailed to CLS and processed during beamtime (virtual and in-person options available; dates for beamtime may vary). All data and results of the experiment will be shared with the class and teacher for presentation and future use.
Session Length: ½ day for each session or 3 full days
Project Options: Virtual or On-Site; Both available
Coming to CLS Tips: See What to Expect on our CLS Website
Curricular Connections: Traditional Knowledge, Land-Based, Indigenous Science, STEM Career, Periodic Table of Elements, TRC Call to Action (Science), Soil Science, Sustainable Resource Management, Inherent Rights & Trapping Connections
Resources: See our Virtual Classroom Website
Additional CLS Educational
Resources: See our Virtual Classroom Website
Are you interested in participating in the Arctic Fox Program or have questions? Email our Education Coordinator - Indigenous Programs to learn more.