The Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) owes its existence to the initiative and perseverance of Louis-Edmond Hamelin (1923-2020), a visionary geographer, to promote research in Quebec's Great North. At the University Council of April 14, 1961, the creation in principle of the CEN was adopted. In a ministerial order (no. 1684) of August 2, 1961, the Government of Quebec, headed by the Honorable Jean Lesage, showed its interest in the creation of the CEN and confirmed an initial funding of $24,350.00 for this center (a sum equivalent to $223,182 in 2021 taking into account inflation). This center was also under the responsibility of the Minister of Natural Resources at the time, the Honorable René Lévesque. At the University Council of December 20, 1961, the CEN became the first official research center of Laval University. Mr. Louis-Edmond Hamelin became the Founding Director and the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CEN.
Sixty years after its creation, the CEN is not only the oldest research center still active at Université Laval, but also a Regroupement Statégique financed by the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and which brings together 83 researchers from 14 universities. The CEN's actions remain driven by the values of multidisciplinarity and inter-institutional collaboration. The amalgam of expertise of its research members includes animal and plant ecology, microbiology, paleoecology, limnology, geomorphology, hydrogeology, geology, civil engineering and archaeology. CEN's mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of northern regions by improving our understanding of these environments and our ability to predict the changes that affect them while training highly qualified personnel. Today, the CEN plays a central and structuring role for northern research in Quebec by operating two networks of research infrastructures unique in the world: 1) the Qaujisarvik network, which is composed of nine research stations that facilitate access to the North for researchers and 2) the SILA network, which is composed of more than a hundred stations monitoring environmental impacts in northern Quebec and the eastern Canadian Arctic. The CEN has acquired an enviable reputation with the Inuit and the Cree, which results in trusting relationships and facilitates research in the North for the co-construction of projects with Northerners and the advancement of knowledge on land and resource management.
To mark its 60th anniversary, CEN management is pleased to launch a video to promote northern research and the role of CEN
Centre d’études nordiques (CEN: Centre for Northern Studies) invites all CEN members and collaborators to submit their best photos in the three following categories. 2021’s edition aims to celebrate the ideology of its founder, Louis-Edmond Hamelin.
Tribute to its founder. This category aims to illustrate the ideology of the CEN’s founder, Louis-Edmond Hamelin for whom CEN’s mission was to « savoir le Nord » (know the north), « faire le Nord » (do the north), « dire le Nord » (say the north), « par et pour le Nord » (for and by the north).
CEN in pandemic. This is a special category for 2021 that aims to image the reality of CEN’s research team during the exceptional context of the pandemic. The photos can be set on the field, at the university or at the laboratory, etc.
Peoples' choice award.
Thanks to all participants!
Click on the following link: Concours photo du 60e du CEN : édition hommage à Louis-Edmond Hamelin
To celebrate its 60th birthday, the CEN invited all its members to publish in a special issues of its journal, Ecoscience. As a result,13 teams that responded positively and submitted an original research article for the special issues, covering all the research axes of the CEN.
This brand new scholarship was launched in 2021 to recognize the importance of Professor Louis-Edmond Hamelin, founder of the CEN, for its interest to study the North. Reflecting Hamelin's ideologies, this award is intends to recognize initiatives that contribute to "Knowing the North" (generating knowledge to better understand the North), "Doing the North" (contributing to the development of the North for the North) and "Telling the North" (sharing knowledge of the North and contributing to its visibility). The Founder's Award will be presented annually at the CEN Annual Conference to a CEN student or student-represented team for outstanding contributions to northern research.
The first recipients of the Founder's Award are Sophie Dufour-Beauséjour and Valérie Plante Lévesque who completed their PhD project at INRS. The two researchers carried out a project entitled "Communication and community relations in the context of the Nunavik ice monitoring project". Sophie and Valérie carried out this community communication project in parallel with their fieldwork on the ice pack in Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq between 2016 and 2018. The communication activities carried out by the two PhD students included:
On their own initiative, they also: