Who Does Northern Policy Institute Work For?

July 22, 2014 - Simply put, we work for you, the people of Northern Ontario. We have an independent Board that sets our strategic direction and a staff that implements it, but that direction and the decisions related to it, are informed by the views of every northerner that connects with us.

Whether you live in the east or west, north or more north, Northern Policy Institute wants to hear your opinions, thoughts, ideas, dreams, and more. Northern Policy Institute believes a mandate based on this type of open discourse will raise the level of democracy and hold politicians and policy-makers accountable for their decisions.

Because Northern Policy Institute works for you, we have been building ourselves from the ground up to facilitate interactive communications with all citizens. We have a myriad of ways that you can get involved and get your voice heard, and we encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity.

First and foremost, you can join Northern Policy Institute. Become a part of the Institute by signing up here on our website to be considered for our Advisory Council, Research Advisory Board and Board of Directors. Each of these units play an important (but different) role in supporting the work and strategic direction of Northern Policy Institute.

If you know something that we don’t, tell us. Northern Policy Institute is already working with various partners at Lakehead, Laurentian and Nipissing to construct both a Northern Data Bank and a bank of known Northern data sources. But we want your input too – if you know of a regularly collected data set that measures work, life or play in the north, let us know.

Northern Policy Institute is also reaching out to all stakeholders, organizations and individuals to make us aware of publications and/or research geared towards the north. Our goal is to compile and organize a searchable Online Library of Northern Research Studies to complement our Northern Data Bank – both of which will be openly accessible to the public.

Additionally, since we are committed to publishing independent, evidence-based and peer-reviewed research and analysis on a regular basis, we are always looking for authors, readers and researchers. If you are interested, or can recommend policy experts, feel free to let us know. In other words, share your knowledge with us – whether it be data, research or experience, we want to hear about it.

Another way for you to get involved is by following us on Twitter (@Northernpolicy) or liking our Facebook page (/NorthernPolicy). We want to keep you up to date with the issues that are most important to you, so let us know what policy areas are critical to you and your community. In the near future we will also be going live with our online newsletter – we encourage you to subscribe and stay up-to-date with the strides and tides that Northern Policy Institute is making.

Want to have your voice heard in a more formal setting? Volunteer to be considered for membership on one of our six pan-northern standing consultations.

Each consultation will have a different form and focus, suited to the participants, but intended to achieve a similar end: regular ongoing two-way discussions between Northern Policy Institute and our northern communities. Some of these consultations will take the form of group sessions held via blended electronic and in-person sessions up to four times per year, others may be a series of one-on-one meetings, others may never meet in person. All consultations will involve a briefing on recent Northern Policy Institute publications, work underway or being commissioned, and work being considered. Participants will also be invited to offer their thoughts on potential new policy priorities, areas to expand existing work, and potential resources (data and people) to carry the work forward. They will also have the opportunity to share with fellow consultation members a quick update on THEIR work.

The consultation will be made up of key leaders and decision-makers in the following six groups:

  1. Federal/Provincial
  2. Municipal
  3. Aboriginal
  4. Civil Society
  5. Private Sector
  6. Online Citizens Panel

Furthermore, Northern Policy Institute will often host or participate in conferences, keynotes, workshops and other events in your community. If we have not been there yet, invite us! Then invite us back.We will make every effort on our part to make our presence known to you and to regularly ask you and your neighbours for ideas to make your communities better or about barriers keeping you from growing or investing.

Northern Policy Institute has many ways for you to get involved and get your voice heard. We encourage you, your friends, your foes, and all of Northern Ontario to take full advantage of this opportunity. After all, what we do DEPENDS on what you want us to do. Be a part of us. Share your knowledge with us. Keep up to date with us. TELL US where you think our resources should be spent.


Authored by Northern Policy Institute’s Senior Policy Analyst, James Cuddy.

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