Canadian Mountain Network: Indigenous Engagement and Indigenous-led Research (July 2017 – July 2018)


We have been working with the Yukon Government, University of Alberta, members of the Yukon CMN Working Group, and Yukon First Nations, among other communities and partners across Canada since the summer of 2017 to develop the Canadian Mountain Network’s full application to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) competition. In November 2017, our application was accepted at the Letter of Intent stage and we have been working diligently over the winter and spring to develop the full proposal.

If accepted to the NCE, the Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) will fund critical mountain research projects over the network’s five-year lifespan.

We are very excited to be working on this project as it takes an innovative approach to conducting research. The network will support three different modes of research: researcher-led, partnership-driven and Indigenous-led. AICBR is most excited about this third mode—Indigenous-led—as it works towards research in the spirit of Reconciliation in Canada.

In the spring of 2018, the CMN held a preparatory call for research project proposals and received a total of 42 quality proposals from communities, academic researchers and partnership groups across Canada. Of those 42 proposals, 14 will be funded if the CMN is successful in the NCE competition. The successful proposals were chosen evenly across the three modes of research and they represent a diversity of project types and locations throughout Canada.

Read more about the three modes of research here:

About the CMN:

The CMN is a collaborative effort of Canadian universities, governments, and Indigenous communities, dedicated to establishing an interdisciplinary mountain research network in Canada ( 

The CMN will bring together mountain communities across Canada with the University of Alberta as the host institution. The full application will be submitted in July 2018, following extensive consultations and development of the full application over the past 9 months. This initiative could lead to up to $75 million in funding over 5 years for the Network and its projects.

Norma Kassi, the Director of Indigenous Collaboration at AICBR, is one of the Co-Research Directors of the CMN. She has been working closely with Yukon First Nations since the CMN’s initial stages to help shape the Network.

Pending the Network’s approval, there will be opportunities for Yukon First Nations to lead and partner on research initiatives, have opportunities for training, capacity building, and ensuring that the Yukon’s research agenda is relevant to our territory.


The vision of the CMN is to support the sustainability of Canada’s diverse mountain environments through research—and the people and communities who inhabit them. As you know, we are all a part of the mountains here in Yukon and our Indigenous perspectives and understanding of change supports the resilience of our people, lands and waters.

The CMN is dedicated to supporting research across Canada that builds partnerships and collaboration. Here in the Yukon, we want to ensure that all research that takes place is relevant, shared, and leads to sustainable processes and results. The CMN would be a platform for networking, partnerships, training, and knowledge sharing. An important objective throughout its design is to ensure that Indigenous communities have ownership over the approach and outcomes of their research.


  • Norma Kassi, Co-Research Director, Canadian Mountain Network and Director of  Indigenous Collaboration | Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, Whitehorse, Yukon | (867) 334-4024 | |
  • Matthew Berry, Director of Partnerships Development | Canadian Mountain Network | University of Alberta | (403) 700-2822 | |


  • Yukon Government and the University of Alberta 


  • Yukon Government's Executive Council Office

  • University of Alberta