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04CE - Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Applied to the Design of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS)

23 May 2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

The Canadian High Arctic Station (CHARS) in Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay) is scheduled for completion this year. At 84,000 m2, it is the largest single facility in the Canadian Arctic. The vision of the client (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada [INAC]) was a world-class, leading-edge Arctic science and technology research station, with a particular emphasis on integrating it, in every possible way, to the Inuit community. Canadian Arctic research stations are usually far removed from their neighbouring Inuit communities.

At the suggestion of the community, the Station was designed using the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) principles. Literally translated as “What should be known,” this holistic set of principles represents the world view of the Nunavut Inuit. These principles were articulated by the Nunavummiut to guide their decisions concerning the governance and development of their territory. The IQ principles, along with unwavering community engagement in the dialogue process, allowed for a truly meaningful visioning exercise. This weighed heavily on the design of the Station. The CHARS stands as a road map, setting an example to follow when working with Indigenous communities.

Learning Objectives

    1. Learn about Canada’s biggest Arctic Science and Technology Research Station.
    2. Learn about Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles.
    3. Understand how to apply Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles to architecture.


Alain Fournier, Architect OAQ, OAA, ALBNL, NWTAA, AANB

Alain Fournier is a founding partner of EVOQ Architecture. Since 1983, he has cumulated over 30 years of experience working with the Inuit and First Nations. He has worked in the Canadian Arctic’s Inuit Nunangat territories (Nunavik, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut) and has also worked with the Cree of Eyou Istchee, the Mi’gmaq, the Maliseet, the Innu and the Kanien’kehá:ka. Alain regularly gives lectures to his architectural peers in Canada and abroad on the subject of management, design and construction of architectural projects with the Inuit and First Nations.