Brock partners with Government of Northwest Territories to co-create environmental courses

Brock University is working with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) to support sustainability and enhance environmental knowledge in the northern Canada.

The three-year partnership between Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories, is focused on collaborating and co-creating courses and building on each organization’s strengths and experiences to create an innovative certificate program that will be support sustainability leaders in the NWT.

“Brock University is committed to contributing positively to the communities around it, and that extends well beyond Niagara,” said Brock University Interim President Lynn Wells. “This is an exciting opportunity that will benefit our faculty and students, but equally important is the positive impact it will have for those working and living in the Northwest Territories.”

Brock University will provide its unique practical and academic insights into environmental and sustainability science theory and constructs, which will complement training already available to GNWT staff. ENR will provide a critical understanding of northern environmental issues and commitment to working with co-management partners, communities, Elders, land users and youth in program development and service delivery.

Both Brock and the GNWT will leverage other existing partnerships to ensure course content is tailored to the North. The project team will engage with Indigenous governments and organizations to ensure curriculum for ENR staff is grounded in Northwest Territories Indigenous knowledge and culture, and Northern voices and perspectives, in ways that are meaningful, respectful and reciprocal for all involved.

“This partnership is about assisting in building capacity to address environmental circumstances being experienced by individuals in the Northwest Territories,” said Ryan Plummer, Director of the ESRC. “Helping to create additional opportunities for professional development within the GNWT is an initial focus.”

The main goals of the partnership include co-creating:

  • A professional development social science course grounded in many ways of knowing, through engagement of many partners, to support the continued advancement of sustainable community building.
  • Co-creating accessible courses that will be part of a non-credit certificate to provide additional learning opportunities related to environmental leadership in the Northwest Territories.

To begin achieving these goals, a co-created needs assessment questionnaire has been deployed to all employees who work for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources within the GNWT. The results of the needs assessment will help the members of the partnership steering committee at the GNWT and Brock to create valuable content that is tailored to the needs of staff and relevant for environmental stewardship and management in the North.

Both organizations are looking forward to collaborating and creating educational content to complement the great work that is already being done with respect to environmental leadership at Brock, within the GNWT and across the Northwest Territories.

To learn more about this initiative, please visit the partnership web page.

For more about potential custom learning solutions and professional studies from Brock, email Continuing Education at

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