ARCUS partnered with the Alaska Native Science Commission to organize a session at the fifth meeting of the International Congress of Arctic Social Scientists (ICASS V). Seven collaborative partnerships, consisting of researchers both Western and Native, were presented as a foundation for working group discussions.

The session focused on the many productive and collaborative partnerships between researchers and arctic communities. Due to rapid changes in the social and physical environments of the Arctic and increased access to areas of the former Soviet Union over the last decade, Arctic communities have increasingly become the focus of research. The research agendas are driven not only by the interests of formal science but by arctic residents themselves. These circumstances have led to a change from the arctic community being an object of study to being a full research partner with a scientific agenda of its own.

Partnerships Between Researchers and Arctic Communities focused on the process of partnership: how it works, what the challenges are, how partners complement each other, and what the successes and failures are from each partner’s point of view.

The workshop was held as part of ICASS V at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. It was sponsored by the NSF Arctic Social Sciences Program and organized by a partnership between the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC) and the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).