COVID-19 update

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In light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ArcticNet continues to work for and support its researchers, stakeholders, and end-users. We will update this page regularly with information for our researchers and HQP, communities and partners. Please contact us with any questions or concerns about COVID-19 and its impacts on your work. 


Overview on COVID 19 effects on ArcticNet research and field work

Organized by Samantha Burke, Arctic Change 2020

COVID 19 took the world by force in early 2020, just as plans for Arctic field activities were solidifying. It quickly became clear that research in the North would not be business as usual in 2020. With territorial and provincial travel restrictions, university moratoriums on field work, and physical distancing requirements, the prospect of conventional data collection quickly diminished. Although disappointing for many, limitations and prohibitions on field research were necessary to prevent the spread of COVID 19 to remote northern communities. COVID 19 has posed major obstacles to continuity of long term programs, time sensitive data collection, funding deliverables, and maintaining relationships. However, Arctic research is unpredictable by nature, and despite the unforeseen constraints imposed by a global pandemic many northern research groups were able to adapt and thrive. To get a better understanding of the pervasive effects of COVID 19 on northern research, we reached out to stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to participate in a video interview compilation. Here, you will hear from students, professors, government scientists, northern residents as well as Indigenous research partners about the challenges, successes, and lessons that can be learned from this unprecedented event.



Recherche nordique en temps de pandémie: défis et opportunités [in French]

Organized by Sentinel North and ArcticNet, with the collaboration of Institut Nordique du Québec, Québec Océan, Centre for Northern Studies, Amundsen Science, Centre interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches autochtones, Kativik Regional Government and Makivik Corporation

Organized as part of the Institut Nordique du Québec’s Journées nordiques, this panel brings together researchers and northern representatives from all disciplines to discuss the challenges and opportunities triggered by the unprecedented health crisis caused by COVID 19. The objective was to learn collectively from this crisis in order to better adapt research in the North for years to come. This activity was made possible thanks to the close collaboration of several northern research entities from the academic sector and regional organizations.





Regional Updates

The health and safety of communities is our top priority. As we become aware of changes, we will continue to post updates about the four land claims regions of Inuit Nunangat, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon here.


Field season in many regions has been impacted; please check with the respective region before proceeding with fieldwork plans.


Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) has formally requested that only those required for essential services travel into the ISR. The IRC COVID-19 Resource Page will be updated throughout the pandemic.



As noted in the Premier’s update, all research in Nunavut is suspended. Strict travel restrictions for Nunavut dictate that only residents and approved critical workers may enter after serving a 14-day isolation at one of the four southern hubs. Travel to Nunavut for research is not permitted. Researchers who intend to visit Nunavut in 2020 are advised to postpone travel until the Government of Nunavut and individual municipalities have lifted their current restrictions. The Nunavut Research Institute has temporarily suspended its research support services.


Northwest Territories

As noted by the Government of the Northwest Territories, any resident arriving in the Northwest Territories must self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith only. It is not permitted to self-isolate in a small community. Visitors are not permitted to enter at this time. Please visit Aurora Research Institute’s website for more information as well.



As noted by the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS), non-essential travel, including research, must be postponed until further notice. Strict travel restrictions, in a joint statement with the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), for Nunavik dictate that only patients travelling for medical appointments and approved critical workers may enter after serving a 14-day isolation. Those exhibiting symptoms, who have travelled abroad, or who have been in contact with an individual who is COVID-19 positive will not be permitted to enter. Mineral Exploration and field studies in Nunavik guidelines are availabe here



As noted by the Nunatsiavut Government, non-essential travel, including research must be postponed until further notice. Strict travel restrictions dictate that essential workers travelling from Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to all communities. Those travelling from outside of the province are required to self-isolate in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for 14 days before travelling to any Labrador Inuit community. Upon arrival in a community, they must again self-isolate for another 14 days.


The Nunatsiavut Government Research Advisory Committee (NGRAC) will issue a notice and notify researchers when travel is permitted. The NGRAC is available to support researchers and offer guidance. They are contactable at with any questions.



As noted by the Government of Yukon, non-essential travel, including research, is to be suspended until further notice. Any individuals entering Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days and sign a declaration upon entry to the territory.



Current Research Projects:

The ever-evolving nature of the pandemic will impact most, if not all funded projects. As noted above, health and safety is our top priority. Researchers should not attempt any northern travel or field work until the regional governments have announced that it is safe to do so. This protects you, your students, and the communities in which you work.


The suspension of field work will, in many cases, affect your planned project timelines, deliverables and budgets. To adjust your project timeline and budget, please contact Claude Lévesque. All adjustment requests will be evaluated by our governance committees on a case-by-case basis in light of these exceptional global circumstances.


If your project employs HQP, we strongly encourage you to consider other research support work they can provide to continue their employment during the suspended field season.



Arctic Change 2020

In December 2020, Arctic Change will make history by going virtual for the first time ever. ArcticNet’s international Arctic science conference takes place every 3 years, bringing together researchers and partners from around the world. This year, we’re taking the conference to you! Building on the success of our previous Annual Scientific Meeting while facing the realities of our times, we are pulling out all the stops to reach a bigger audience than ever before. The ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence and our partners warmly invite the global Arctic community to join us—from wherever you are—at the Arctic Change 2020 Virtual Conference.


Any required changes to the date(s) and timing of the conference will be posted here and on the Arctic Change 2020 website.



ArcticNet Staff

The ArcticNet administration team has been working remotely since March 13, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Please reach out to us via email with any questions, concerns, or suggestions on ways to support the Network through this exceptional global crisis. See Administration for our contact information.


ArcticNet daily staff meeting.


Other Assistance and Information:

These links direct to external sites. ArcticNet is not responsible for their contents.


CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit)

Tri-Council COVID-19 Statement




Mental Health Support

General Information – Government of Canada

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)

Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC)

Parks Canada (extension of Closure of Parks Canada places in Nunavut, May 28 2020) 



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