CMN Operational Plan 2021-22

CMN Operational Plan 2021-22

Despite a year of unprecedented challenges on the global scale, the Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) has continued to move forward on its mission and mandate developing novel governance structure and processes and conducting research to better understand how braiding Indigenous and Western knowledge systems can advance our collective understanding of mountain systems, peoples, and their collective sustainability.

The Operational Plan for 2021-22 is a governance best practice and a requirement for the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program. This report outlines the progress made in 2020-21, performance relative to metrics, and the “go forward” plan for 2021-22 for the strategies identified in the Network’s Strategic Plan (Research, Training, Knowledge Mobilization, Networking and Partnerships, and Excellence in Management and Governance). Key highlights in 2020-21 for the CMN strategic areas include:

Research: On-going support for 14 research projects and development and implementation of a second call for proposals for CMN Knowledge Hubs across Canada.

Training: Progress on research internships, implementation of courses and workshops including those on ethical space and of course, on February 19, 2021, the CMN’s Co-Research Director Norma Kassi won the prestigious Arctic Inspiration Prize to advance land-based learning opportunities.

Knowledge Mobilization: International Mountain Day was a resounding success and several initiatives such as the Reconciling Ways of Knowing Webinar Series and Canadian Mountain Podcast are increasing the awareness and impact of the CMN.

Networking & Partnerships: The CMN supported the University of Alberta, our Host Institution, and its partners to develop a full application to the New Frontiers in Research Fund – Call for Proposals entitled, Arramat, Biodiversity Conservation and the Health and Well-Being of Indigenous Peoples.

Management & Governance: 2020-21 was another year of great progress including launch of CMN’s governance recruitment process, completion of Annual Governance and Management evaluations, reinstatement of our Indigenous Circle of Advisors, and development of thirteen policies and procedures including Conflict of Interest, Financial Procedures, and our Code of Conduct and Ethics Policy. The CMN also revised its Management Structure including hiring a new Executive Director.

On balance, performance in 2020-21 met or exceeded targets for metrics in each strategic area demonstrating the alignment of the Network’s investments with its goals and objectives.

The approved budget for 2020-21 was $4,425,876. Considering actual expenditures from Q1 to Q3 and forecasted spend to the end of March 31, 2021, the anticipated variance between the total approved budget for 2021-22 and the forecasted annual expenditures is ($227,014) or -5%. Given the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, this variance is anticipated and considered low risk.

As we look forward, 2021-22 is lining up to be a year to be proud of! Areas of emphasis will include streamlining governance administration, accelerated research through a series of new Knowledge Hubs across Canada, and increased connection across our existing research programs, the new Knowledge Hubs, the Co-Research Director grants, and the vision of the Arctic Inspiration Prize to advance research, training, monitoring, knowledge mobilization and communication of the work we do. In addition, Strategic Planning will be critical for the future including crafting of a vision for the next phase of the CMN after 2024.

Expenditures will grow from $4.20 million in 2020-21 to $5.36 million in 2021-22, reflecting the scale up of several activities including:

  • Research (e.g., Knowledge Hubs) with increased funding from $2.26 million in 2020-21 to $3.30 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year;
  • Networking (e.g., anticipated in-person Annual Meeting) scaling from $405,000 in 2020-21 to $575,000 in 2021-22; and
  • Training (e.g., Land-based Learning program) scaling from $333,000 in 2020-21 to $472,000 from 2021-22.

The CMN has covered a lot of ground in a very short time and due to the commitments and excellence of its staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, and Committees, Host Institution, and supporting partners and communities is well positioned for the years ahead. Strong values, consistent action, solid and novel governance, excellence in knowledge and research of mountain systems and peoples, and a strong dedication to advancing the understanding and braiding of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems is unmatched in Canada and a model for the international community.

The 2021/22 CMN Operational Plan was approved by the Board of Directors on March 31st, 2021

Contact us at for further info or a copy of the plan.