2. Please list up to five of the most important knowledge gaps in Canada's North that Polar Knowledge Canada can help to address in its next 5-year research plan for 2020 to 2025 through investments in natural, social and/or health sciences research.
Increase focus on medicine and medicinal food research: identify which factors are limiting preventing Inuit access to traditional foods and medicine and identify effective counteraction to these factors. This is the most important for 3 reasons:
- disease are arising everyday that the rest of the country, and the world has eradicated such as TB
- Inuit are able and should be able to be self-sustaining and live healthy lives as Canadians
- these public health crises leave Canada behind in world standing.
- Need to get more people involved in contributing to research and raise potential research topics.
- community activities in the North are especially needed to inspire youth and young adults.
- Indigenous languages are a critical issue right now.
- The people who want to preserve and teach language don't have enough resources or high quality teaching tools.
- The people who want to learn are depending on these few resources available to them to learn and need more resources and better access to resources.
3. Please list up to five priority needs or gaps that you think are important in developing, testing or mobilizing technologies for use in Canada's North that you think Polar Knowledge Canada can help to address in its next 5-year research plan for 2020 to 2025.
- Need for a public internet database to share knowledge, increase involvement and contribution to research and discuss potential research topics.
An Indigenous knowledge section including case studies, anecdotes, cultural traditions relating to Indigenous food and medicine
- Same knowledge expressed biochemically, whenever possible with explanation of related chemical reactions. This can help to identify plant compounds still undiscovered and initiate progress in the fields of molecular biology, botany, medical and others.
- Need Indigenous language translation database, with Indigenous fonts
- There is a need to increase access to a knowledge database using solar panel technology and local servers, antennas.
4. Please list up to five of the most important knowledge gaps in Canada's North that you think community-based research and/or monitoring could help to address.
- Indigenous medicine and medicinal food as prevention and treatment specific to a disease is a knowledge gap that can be closed with self-conducted case studies and relationships with diet and well-being monitored firsthand by individuals, and this data can be collected and reviewed.
- Sharing individual cultures with one another is integral to preserving culture in this case, with preserving Indigenous culture being another gap that needs closure.
-This could be done conveniently with records, notes and results recorded in an online database.
- The gaps of individual knowledge of Indigenous language can be reduced with programs with community involvement.
5. Please list up to five of what you think are the most important ways in which Polar Knowledge Canada can strengthen community-led research and/or monitoring in Canada's North.
- Provide the necessary tools (computer equipment, off-grid power) and a community space equipped with internet access.
- Research: Coordinate and collaborate with molecular biology researchers; for example at CCNM in Ontario or Boucher Institute in B.C. or Alberta School of Public Health, any universities or other who may wish to study and document indigenous medicine.
- Monitoring tools can be improved with user submitted information online in an accessible web format.
- Improve web translation services for Indigenous languages
6. Please list up to five priority issues in Canada's North that you think Indigenous knowledge can help to address.
7. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do better to support the documentation, archiving and sharing (when appropriate) of Indigenous knowledge?
- Curation of all data in digital format in a museum grade CMS with the ability to use fonts that enable reading and writing in Indigenous languages.
- Support members of Indigenous communities' involvement
- Maximize accessibility with translation services
- Install hardware: Internet access, local servers, off-grid renewable energy systems such as solar, computer equipment
8. How can Polar Knowledge Canada better support and assist in removing barriers that may limit the full and respectful recognition of Indigenous knowledge as a valid way of knowing?
- Connect molecular researchers for example those at CCNM in Ontario or Boucher Institute in B.C. with indigenous community research to integrate indigenous knowledge into institutional knowledge. An example of this process would be: the community members document a sample of a mushroom species reported to have therapeutic value. Molecular biologists will examine the elements and report the chemical makeup. The resulting data can be stored in the Indigenous knowledge database so it will be accessible to other researchers and communities.
To maximize the accessibility of the data and the efficiency of the research process, point 2) as described below is a crucial factor:
- Facilitate efforts to develop research database project, in which a Indigenous language dictionary will enable Indigenous communities to learn, share and teach Indigenous knowledge.
9. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do to improve awareness among researchers of knowledge gaps that northern communities, organizations, governments and other decision-makers have identified as important?
Create a centralized database which all can refer to and can be updated with accountable information. This will support the following identified knowledge gaps:
- Community statistics, studies and feedback
The connection to the community brings awareness of these knowledge gaps, and also the information needed to close those gaps. Therefore a forum of knowledge from community members is essential.
10. What do you think are the most effective or innovative tools or approaches to share findings gained from research and/or Indigenous knowledge and ensure it is used in decision-making?
- Indigenous language dictionary AI with English and French translations
- Indigenous knowledge database involving community and researcher participation (This would include 5 sections: Indigenous language dictionary, botany, food recipes, chemistry, community health case studies and monitoring)
- Scientific studies discussed with peers online in social media platforms referring to database collection of scientific papers raises awareness of issues and allows others to make an informed decision.
11. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do to better encourage and support interest among elementary, middle school and high school students in science, technology, and engineering and related career opportunities?
By involving students as part of the community database project, their participation will familiarize them with scientific methods and be motivated by their passion for Indigenous lifestyle and health.
A foundation in molecular biology will:
- Connect Indigenous traditions to math, science and technology
- understand how and why these traditions evolved,
- dissect to the base level how they work.
- make important scientific discoveries in unexplored areas of science specific to the North possible
12. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do to strengthen support for students interested in pursuing a career as a polar researcher, technology developer, technician or other research support function?
Increase accessibility to information and awareness that this knowledge exists:
- Create online language translation database
- Improve infrastructure to make internet use more accessible
- Curate Indigenous knowledge in an internet accessible database
13. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do to better encourage and support the involvement and leadership of Indigenous and northern-based individuals, groups, organizations and communities in all stages of the research process?
- Establish online language translation database
- Improve infrastructure to make internet use more accessible
- Curate Indigenous knowledge in an internet accessible database
14. Please list up to five of what you think are the most important ways in which Polar Knowledge Canada can strengthen support for Canadians to begin and sustain their involvement in Antarctic research.
Polar can utilize Indigenous knowledge and way of life to increase an understanding of biochemical reactions necessary to life in extreme cold weather conditions to make it easier to cope in the following areas:
- Emergency techniques and treatments (and sustainable daily methods): medical, food gathering, water and resource collection
- Long term food and diet plans tailored for extreme cold weather, including special revisions to the RDA for people in cold conditions. see NIH Vitamin D and Selenium recommendations:
Vitamin D: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28768407
Both these areas can be supported by a centralized database of Indigenous knowledge. The database will be a tool to researchers in any cold climate, specifically the above information on how to thrive in such conditions.
15. Please briefly describe any barriers that you have experienced that have limited opportunities for Canadian collaboration with international researchers.
- Mainstream services such as Google and Facebook do not translate text into Indigenous languages. While doing online research and looking up common Inuktitut words, a translation does not show. This is a huge barrier as there is no existing service to translate Indigenous languages.
- Lack of information: There is no centralized database of Indigenous knowledge, history and words. Currently information must be obtained from obscure sources that are hard to find and have minimal information at best. Short of personally interviewing people, there is no reliable method to conduct research relating to Indigenous people and history, and so obscuring the very details of our country.
16. What do you think Polar Knowledge Canada can do to strengthen Canadian collaboration with international researchers?
- Eradicate disease in a timely, efficient manner. No researcher wants to go to a place known for having a current TB outbreak.
- Establish text translation services for Indigenous languages to English and French.
- Open communication channels by increasing internet access in the North.
17. What would you like to see Polar Knowledge Canada achieve 10 years from now? Please list up to 5 potential accomplishments.
- Establish off-grid internet in Canada's North and community internet access points, with local servers that update to a main server when a network connection is possible; at very least communities should have access to a local server copy of the database AI.
- Establish national encyclopedia of First Nation knowledge, concentrating on Inuit first as the most vulnerable population.
18. Do you have any additional comments or feedback? If so, please provide it here.
Update RDA: as sgguested by NIH, vit D should be raised to 8,000 IUs a day, and selenium, and public should be educated about natural high sources available to them.
Social impacts: the database project would help preserve Indigenous language, and help teach language to other Indigenous communities.
language database AI will ease current demand on resources such as finance and labour. example: database AI will be a resource to both teachers and students. serving as a tool or platform for translation and related services.
Internet access and the database AI project will encourage community activity involvement and discussion, with activity being critical to youth health and safety.
- Indigenous medicine should be available as an option for all
- Indigenous people should have free access to an online database system to store and share data and knowledge.
- Make an effort to put all indigenous knowledge online in one place, accessible and accountable by all Canadians, with submitted information publicly accountable.
- Change policy to make available preventative medicines and food, including all those of indigenous origin. These medicines should be available and in stock at public centres: hospitals, community centers, schools. An example is Chef Rebecca Veevee's leadership in the "Serving Country Food in Government-Funded Facilities and Community Program" - this program has potential to be extended throughout indigenous territories.
Lipinski 2015: http://www.journalrepository.org/media/journals/BJMMR_12/2014/Dec/Lipinski632014BJMMR14858.pdf
Nunavut TB: http://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674food_vitamins_could_help_curb_tb_in_nunavut_researcher/
Bhullar, K.S. (2017). Nutritional Intervention for Active Tuberculosis: Relevance to Nunavut Tuberculosis Control and Elimination Program. Journal of Pharmacology Reports, 2:1.