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Professor Stéphane McLachlan will lead a novel study exploring the pros and cons of hydropower development on the environment and Indigenous communities across Canada. // Photo: FreeNatureStock

Professor Stéphane McLachlan will lead a novel study exploring the pros and cons of hydropower development on the environment and Indigenous communities across Canada. // Photo: FreeNatureStock

Working together to solve modern problems

September 13, 2016 — 

Four University of Manitoba researchers are among the recipients of the latest $163-million funding announcement from the Government of Canada.

On Sept. 9, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) announced support for social science and humanities related research projects that build knowledge and foster collaboration in a wide range of disciplines. The funding is being awarded through the Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants, Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants programs.

The largest of the U of M projects is headed by professor Stéphane McLachlan and it involves representatives from 22 Indigenous communities, 20 non-governmental organizations, and eight universities in Canada and one in the US. The project is named Wa Ni Ska Tan, which is Cree and Ojibway for “Wake up” or “Rise up” and it examines the positive and negative implications of hydropower development for the environment and nearby Indigenous communities across Canada.

Hydropower plays a crucial role in energy development within Canada, yet the implications of and community responses to hydropower are still poorly understood. The overall goal of this cross-sectoral research alliance is to better understand the impacts of hydropower on environments and Indigenous communities and to support communities when responding to and mitigating any negative impacts. Additional information can be found at the Wa Ni Ska Tan website.

The U of M researchers who received the latest SSHRC support are:

  • Stephane McLachlan, professor in the department of environment and geography, received a $2,500,000 SSHRC Partnership Grant for his project Wa Ni Ska Tan.
  • Julieta Frank, an associate professor of agribusiness and agricultural economics, received a $98,622 SSHRC Insight Grant to investigate the cost of liquidity in electronically traded agricultural commodities.
  • Usha Mittoo, a professor of accounting and finance, received a $92,220 SSHRC Insight Grant for her cross-sectional and cross-country study that will examine post-crisis financial regulation, financial flexibility, and firms’ access to financing.
  • Chad Lawley, an associate professor of agribusiness and agricultural economics, received a $174,783 SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to examine returns on land conservation investment in Canada.

 

“These researchers, and this SSHRC funding program, acknowledge the fact that many modern problems can be solved only by working across disciplines, and with communities throughout the country. I congratulate them on their successes and we look forward to the seeing the results and impacts of these creatively designed studies,” says Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.

The Honourable Kristy Duncan, Minister of Science, announced this latest round of SSHRC funding at an event at York University. SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. It supports about 8,300 research projects annually.

“SSHRC’s support of these projects helps ensure the continued and unique contribution of humanities and social sciences research to guide informed decision-making at all levels within Canadian society,” says Ted Hewitt, president of SSHRC. “This research informs our thinking about critical social, cultural, economic, technological and environmental issues and contributes to building a better future for Canada and the world.”

 

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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