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Canadian Mountain Network - CMN

$18.3 million for 2019-24
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Canadian Mountain Network

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Executive Director
Monique DubéMonique Dubé

Co-Research Director
Norma Kassi Norma Kassi

Co-Research Director
Murray Humphries Murray Humphries

Board Chair
Joe Dragon Joe Dragon

Sustainability and well-being of our mountain places and peoples

The opportunity

Canada is a country of mountains. They watch over a quarter of our land mass and are essential to the environmental, economic, spiritual, socio-cultural identity, and well-being of Canada’s diverse peoples. However, mountain landscapes and communities, as well as places downstream, are facing unprecedented change pressured by: climate change; local, regional and globally-driven shifts in industrial, economic or recreational activities; and the increased movement of people within and through mountains. Although Canada has considerable expertise in mountain research, it is not always coordinated or interdisciplinary. To improve research outcomes and better enable their effective and comprehensive application and use, it is imperative that Canada coordinate its mountain research agenda and programs.

How CMN is seizing the opportunity

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) is Canada’s first national research organization dedicated to mountains. CMN’s vision is for all Canadians to benefit from state-of-the-art research, tools and training that embody multiple ways of knowing, so that decision-making and action can enhance the sustainability and well-being of our mountain places and peoples. CMN will pursue this research in the context of four critical challenges:

  1. The decolonization of policy and decision-making in mountain regions;
  2. The management of the impacts of change affecting mountain ecosystems and ways of life;
  3. The certainty that Indigenous ways of knowing and doing inform land use decision-making, policy and practice; and
  4. The support for mountain communities as they diversify their economies.

Among the results

  • CMN has increased Canada’s capacity to observe, monitor, study, and assess rapidly changing mountain systems to support the resilience and health of mountain peoples and places. In 2022-23 there were significant increases (over 200%) in CMN’s research network (investigators and collaborators) supported by 274 partnerships. Notably, cumulative cash and in-kind contributions to CMN’s work to the end of 2022-23 totaled $18.3 million, matching the NCE program’s original investment in CMN.
  • CMN has developed innovative governance and research that weaves together Indigenous and Western ways of knowing, doing, and being. Mobilization of this knowledge and experience has impacted policy, planning, and decision making in Canada contributing to Indigenous well-being and sovereignty and to Canada’s efforts towards reconciliation. One example from 2022-23 is the 61 products showcasing the braiding of Indigenous and western knowledges, a number that significantly exceeded CMN’s target.
  • CMN has created innovative training such as Land-Based Learning, multiple certificate programs, and land guardian training for academics, students, and Indigenous youth to prepare a new generation of mountain researchers and leaders, who will be able to bridge cultures, address mountain challenges and raise awareness of mountain issues and opportunities including Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship.

Connect with CMN


July 13, 2020