Navigating northern data

Date published: 2008-08-18 12:14:02 PM

Gérard Duhaime, a sociology professor at Université Laval and Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Conditions, has for decades studied living conditions in Arctic communities. Critical to his research is the collection of up-to-date socio-economic data, which gives him answers to critical questions such as how much people in the Arctic pay for food, how much fuel a fisherman uses or what it costs. These answers, in turn, lead to a deeper understanding of the role Arctic resources play in Canada’s economy and inform government policies on northern communities.

Supported by SSHRC, Duhaime and his research team have amassed data for circumpolar regions in nine countries to track indicators such as dwellings, education, health and vital statistics.

These data are now accessible through Arcticstat, a database that connects users with a wealth of information, including links to statistical tables in the agencies from which the data originated. Arcticstat, used by researchers in 60 countries, makes it possible to gather in one month the volume of data it would previously have taken a year or more to build.

Gérard Duhaime, sociology, Université Laval