bank of the river with trees covered with rime on a winter morning

Empowering Informed Ice Travel for Indigenous Communities

Providing training to effectively monitor sea-ice conditions in support of more informed travel on ice.

Project Overview

Updated January 23, 2024

The Problem

Climate change is causing landfast sea ice in the Canadian North to be thinner, form later and break up earlier, resulting in increasingly dangerous over-ice travel that compromises food security and physical and mental health of Inuit in Arctic communities. For Inuit, sea ice is not only a hunting platform and winter highway; it is a fundamental part of their identity and culture. 

How We Are Solving It

SmartICE operates the world’s first set of climate change adaptation tools to integrate traditional knowledge of ice with advanced data acquisition, remote monitoring technology and earth observation mapping. Their ice-monitoring technology utilizes SmartBUOYS: stationary sensors inserted into the ice to measure ice thickness and snow using thermistors. Additionally, SmartQAMUTIKs/SmartKAMUTIKs (incorporating both dialect spellings all other regions of Inuit Nunangat and the Nunatsiavut region), are sled-based sensors towed behind snowmobiles to provide real-time ice and snow thickness measurements to the operator along community trails. 

SmartICE will create learning and employment opportunities under this dedicated program for 8-15 northern community members. Participants will be trained to safely and effectively monitor sea-ice conditions in support of more informed ice travel for Indigenous communities in northern Canada. Curriculum and content will be developed for long-term use in future training programs. 

Project Lead

Project Partners

  • pinngauq logo
  • Govt Canada CWDP Logo