Minister Vandal announces appointments to the Board of Directors of Polar Knowledge Canada

Press release from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

November 10, 2020 — Gatineau, Québec — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Science and Indigenous knowledge working together is key to developing the evidence-based policy that will help Northerners and all Canadians adapt to changing conditions and plan for the future. Knowledge and innovative research of the Arctic is vital to addressing the unique challenges and impacts of climate change in Canada’s North and strengthening the resilience of northern communities. As the world adapts to the new reality of COVID-19 and its impact on Arctic communities, the important work of Polar Knowledge Canada is even more pressing.

Today, the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, announced the appointment of a new President & CEO of Polar Knowledge Canada, Ms. Jennifer C. Hubbard, and four appointments to the organization’s Board of Directors, including Mr. Joe Kunuk as Chairperson as well as Dr. Karen Barnes, Ms. Kimberly Fairman, and Ms. Jacqueline Pepper-Journal as Board members. All appointments are for a period of five years.

Members of the Board will continue their important work in ensuring that scientific research and Indigenous knowledge inform decision making in the North, while also supporting environmental stewardship, sustainable development, the health of Indigenous and northern communities, and job creation.

The Government of Canada remains committed to working with territorial governments, Indigenous northern partners as well as individuals, other organizations in the North and Arctic, and members of the international science community to advance Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic, strengthen Canadian leadership in polar science and technology, and promote the development and distribution of knowledge of other circumpolar regions, including Antarctica.

The appointees were all selected through the open and transparent GIC selection process and demonstrated the necessary knowledge, experience and determination to successfully fill these critical roles at Polar Knowledge Canada.


“The Government of Canada understands that we must continue working towards renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, tackling the challenge of climate change, promoting economic development, and creating jobs for the middle class. The Polar Knowledge Canada Board of Directors is making good progress towards these broader priorities in the North, and I want to congratulate those selected who will be joining the team as they work to continue to advance these priorities. Your contributions and leadership will play a vital role  in informing  the important work of Polar Knowledge Canada and I am confident that your participation will contribute significantly to its ongoing success as Canada continues to strengthen its leadership in Arctic, Northern, and polar science, research and innovation.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • Polar Knowledge Canada is led by a President and a Board of Directors comprising nine members, including a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, all appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Northern Affairs.
  • The Board’s responsibilities include approving the organization’s science and technology plan as well as annual work plans and budgets. The members of the Board are appointed on a part-time basis.
  • A Governor in Council (GIC) appointment is one made by the Governor General, on the advice the Cabinet. The appointments range from heads of agencies and chief executive officers of Crown corporations to members of quasi-judicial tribunals.
  • Consistent with the Government of Canada’s commitment to encourage continued trust in Canada’s democracy and the integrity of its public institutions, applicants were recruited through an open and transparent process and screened carefully for their eligibility and suitability for the role.
  • Polar Knowledge Canada is responsible for advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic, strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology, and promoting the development and distribution of knowledge of other circumpolar regions, including Antarctica.
  • Polar Knowledge Canada operates the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. It is a world-class hub for science, technology and innovation in Canada’s North and provides scientists from across Canada and around the world with a world-class Arctic research facility to conduct cutting edge Arctic research year-round, in collaboration with local Indigenous peoples.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Allison St.Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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Date of publication: 11 Nov 2020

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