Arctic Symposium

Canada’s Changing Arctic: Walking on Thin Ice

Arctic Symposium banner

Public Lecture
7-8:30 p.m., Sept. 21
IB120, University of Toronto Mississauga

10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 22
IB150, University of Toronto Mississauga

Parking is free for the symposium in Parking lots P4, P8 and P9.

Registration is closed

The Arctic is one of Canada’s iconic landscapes and has served as the backdrop for key events that have shaped Canada’s history, including the search for the fabled Northwest Passage and the ill-fated Franklin expedition, even lending one of its place names to Canada’s original megacorporation, The Hudson Bay’s Company. Crucially for Canadians today, the Arctic is once again at the center of many issues that will shape the future of our nation, including climate change, sovereignty and natural resource exploitation, among others. Therefore, the time is right to have a dialogue over these issues, particularly as the expertise required to address current Arctic issues spans a wide range of academic disciplines that traditionally may not work together or even exchange ideas.

A multidisciplinary group of departments at the University of Toronto Mississauga, led by the Department of Geography, are hosting this event aimed at exploring many of the pressing issues relating to Canada’s Arctic as part of UTM’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The event will begin with an evening public lecture (Sept. 21) on the discovery of the lost Franklin Expedition shipwrecks, followed by a one-day symposium featuring presentations by leading experts on a variety of issues affecting Canada’s Arctic, including polar bear conservation, Arctic sovereignty and climate change impacts on Arctic ecosystems and people. The organizers hope to promote this event to faculty, staff, students and alumni at UTM, other branches of U of T and community members in Mississauga and the GTHA are invited to participate and attend this event marking UTM’s 50th anniversary.


Public Lecture

Room 120, Instructional Center (IB)

7–8:30 p.m.

Explorers on Ice: The Last Mysteries of Sir John Franklin’s Third Arctic Expedition
Prof. Robert Park


Room 120, Instructional Center (IB)

10–11 a.m.
Investigating Arctic environmental change: the journey from understanding to action in all that we do – the I , the You & the We.
John England
University of Alberta
Expert in Environmental Change in Arctic Canada

11 a.m.–12 p.m. 
Arctic Sovereignty and the Relevance of History
Prof. Shelagh Grant
Trent University
Expert in Arctic Sovereignty

12–2 p.m.
Lunch Break

2-3 p.m. 
Collaborating to Improve Food Security in Nunavut
Shylah Elliott
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Nunavut Food Security Coalition
Expert on Northern Health and Food Security

3–3:15 p.m.

3:15–4:15 p.m.
The Natural History of Polar Bears and the Threat of Climate Warming
Dr. Ian Stirling
Canadian Wildlife Service and University of Alberta
Expert in polar bear ecology and conservation

4:15–5 p.m.
Round table discussion

5–6 p.m.
Evening reception (including Poster Session showcasing Graduate Student Research and refreshments)

Featured speakers


UTM Anthropology
UTM Biology
UTM Geography