The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) was established in 2019 to support the resilience and health of Canada’s mountain peoples and places through research partnerships based on Indigenous and Western ways of knowing that inform decision-making and action.
CMN is generously supported by Canada’s research granting agencies through a five-year, $18.3 million grant from the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Combined with contributions from diverse partner organizations, this funding represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to position Canada as a global leader in mountain systems research at a time when Canada’s mountain systems are undergoing rapid and uncertain change.
Why Study Canada’s Mountain Systems?
Canada’s extensive mountain systems provide a wide range of benefits to Canadians such as fresh water, biodiversity/ biocultural diversity, natural resources, energy, shelter, recreation, and cultural and spiritual connection and healing. These benefits and values are delivered far beyond mountain landscapes and into the valleys, lowlands, and coasts to which mountains are meteorologically, hydrologically, biologically, and culturally connected.
Mountain systems also serve as Sentinels of Change at multiple levels – from local to global. In Canada and around the world, mountain systems are experiencing rapid and disruptive change that foreshadows serious impacts that will be felt more broadly over time.
While Canada has considerable expertise in mountain systems research, at present it is not coordinated, research collaborations are limited, non-academics are not consistently involved in its prioritization, design, and implementation, and there exist substantial hurdles to its uptake.
Furthermore, Indigenous knowledge and research approaches and methodologies have historically been devalued and constrained in an institutional context dominated by Western research approaches. For these reasons, our capacity to comprehensively observe, study, forecast, and adapt to rapid changing mountain systems remains limited.
To achieve our vision and goals, deliver on our mission, and live our values, we will focus our time, effort and resources on activities that fall within four reinforcing and supportive program strategies aligned with the NCE Program Criteria:
- Knowledge Mobilization
- Networking and Partnerships