Promoting respect and working with Arctic Indigenous communities

Date Published

Since its inception, the NGEE Arctic project has worked hard to develop and promote a culture of safety, respect, and inclusion. 


The development of this culture is ongoing as the team continues to learn and grow from our shared experiences by engaging with, and listening to, our colleagues as well as the communities in which the team conducts its work. The NGEE Arctic project is fortunate to have several early career researchers who embrace this culture, which will continue to grow long after the NGEE Arctic project concludes.

New Science

A recent example of growing and promoting this culture took place on February 7, 2023. NGEE Arctic early career researchers Shannon Dillard and Julian Dann—both of whom currently serve as Co-Chairs of the US Permafrost Association’s (USPA’s) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee—hosted a virtual workshop entitled “Working with Indigenous Communities.” The workshop, attended by more than 80 people, featured talks from Dr. Charleen Fisher and Kaare Sikuaq Erickson.


These talks were followed by breakout room discussions that focused on barrier burnout, gestures of respect, and land acknowledgements. Feedback from the workshop was extremely positive. Notes and resources from both the talks and the breakout sessions can be found on the USPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page, along with a variety of other DEI- and Arctic-related resources. Moreover, Iñupiaq scholar Cana Uluak Itchuaqiyaq recently published a guide, “Equitable Arctic Research,” which can be downloaded from the following link: Dr. Itchuaqiyaq can also be followed on Twitter at @CanaItch.

Image with caption
Flier for USPA’s recent workshop that focused on best practices in working with local northern communities.

Flier for USPA’s recent workshop that focused on best practices in working with local northern communities.


This research was supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 as part of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Bolton

Colleen Iversen

Shannon Dillard

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