Director's Message

Maribeth Murray

Welcome to the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA), Canada’s first and longest-lived Arctic research institute. AINA was created by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a not-for-profit, research and educational organization and we are proud to have been a part of the University of Calgary since 1976.

In 2020-21 we are celebrating AINA’s 75th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of our Kluane Lake Research Station in Yukon. Our mandate is to advance the study of the North American and circumpolar Arctic through the natural and social sciences, the arts and humanities, and to acquire, preserve and disseminate information on the physical, environmental and social conditions in the North. We strive to meet that mandate through research, education and public engagement and through our data and information services, and respected interdisciplinary academic journal Arctic which we have published continuously since 1948. 

In 2019 we produced a revised Strategic Plan for the Institute, refining our mission and goals and focusing our in-house efforts on sustainable development and social enterprise, conservation and biodiversity, and data management, sharing, and analysis. We work in partnership with northern and Indigenous organizations, University-based and other researchers, governmental and non-governmental institutions, the private sector, and all others interested in Arctic science and Arctic issues from across Canada and around the world.

AINA coordinates the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability, and we have been a non-governmental approved Observer at Arctic Council since 2004. We are privileged to contribute to the activities of several of the Arctic Council’s Working Groups, and to coordinate the biennial Arctic Observing Summit in partnership with the International Arctic Science Committee and the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks initiative.

The Arctic Institute is a unique institution within Canada, and I am honoured to serve as Executive Director. The Institute continues to evolve as we grow our programs, partnerships and staff. The challenges faced in Canada’s North and around the circum-Arctic are great, but they are not insurmountable. Indeed, we look forward to the future and collaboratively building and mobilizing the Arctic knowledge needed for the benefit of all.