Strengthening University-Community Connections in Sandwich Bay, Labrador

Labrador Campus, Memorial University

Grenfell Campus Master of Arts in Environmental Policy (MAEP) graduate students Jacey Zohr and Sophie Buchholz along with supervisors Dr. Amy Hudson and Dr. Kelly Vodden recently travelled to the Inuit community of Cartwright, Labrador in NunatuKavut territory to discuss research needs and opportunities and attend the opening of the Sandwich Bay Community Hub. After a flight from Deer Lake to Happy Valley-Goose Bay they made their first stop at the newly established Labrador Campus of Memorial University (see photo).

Laura McCardle, a representative from Climate Collective, also joined the group. The Climate Collective is a project led by the Johnson Geo Centre in St. Johns that focuses on building climate capacity within the youth in the province. Laura and Sophie met with two groups at the Cartwright school, including grades 7-9 and 10-12. The groups discussed climate change in the area as well as the changes that they would like to see in the community related to the environment.

NunatuKavut Community Council Research, Education, and Culture (REC) department also hosted two research sessions in the Sandwich Bay 50+ Club/Community Hub building. These sessions were an opportunity for community members to provide their concerns and opinions on current and future collaborative research opportunities. The first topic was climate change and the second was the Akami?Uapishk??KakKasuak?Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. Sophie and Jacey had the opportunity to get a better understanding of the communities’ priorities relating to each of their respective research projects. The last event of the weekend was Inuktitut Bingo, where host Melita Paul taught us the meaning of and how to pronounce many different words in the language. That evening the team enjoyed a delicious traditional dinner hosted by the ladies of the 50+ Club.

To wrap up the trip, the team celebrated the opening of the new Sandwich Bay Community Hub. The Hub, which is located in the 50+ Club building in Cartwright, is a collaborative project between NunatuKavut Community Council, Memorial University, and the Cartwright 50+ Club. This Hub will provide a space for members of the community to have access to resources from the university and other organizations and will serve as a base for people conducting research and/or educational activities in the area. First, the team took a tour of the town. They visited several sites of importance to Cartwright and the broader Sandwich Bay area, including a former US military base and the site of the former residential school of the Sandwich Bay area. Later that evening NunatuKavut Community Council hosted a community dinner to celebrate the Hub in the Cartwright gym. Dr. Hudson and Dr. Vodden were recognized for their dedication to the opening of the Hub and their work in the Cartwright community.

Thank you to everyone for welcoming us into the community! We cannot wait to be back! 🙂

For more on the Sandwich Bay Community Hub opening event see also:

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