Photo of Gita J. Ljubicic (née Laidler)

Gita J. Ljubicic (née Laidler)

Learning from Indigenous knowledge about arctic environments; Working with and refining cross-cultural research ethics and methods; Contributing to community efforts to mobilize Indigenous knowledge to inform decision-making

Degrees:Honours B.E.S. (York), M.Sc. (Queen’s) Ph.D. (Toronto)
Phone:(905) 525-9140 x ext. 23517


Dr. Gita Ljubicic is a Geographer with training in the natural and social sciences, who works primarily at the intersection of cultural and environmental geography. Her work is driven by a deep commitment to respecting and learning from Indigenous knowledge alongside science in order to address complex socio-ecological issues. She and her research team are dedicated to a cooperative, community-driven approach to research that involves developing and fostering working relationships with Indigenous experts and organizations throughout all stages of the research process. Gita has primarily worked with Inuit community members and organizations in Nunavut, but through collaborations she have been involved in research with Inuit, Métis, and First Nations communities across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Québec), and Nunatsiavut (northern Labrador).

Gita has worked with Inuit communities and academic partners to learn from Inuit knowledge about sea ice, caribou, plants, and water in relation to implications of climate change, importance in northern livelihoods and wellbeing, and contributions to decision-making from local to national scales. In all projects the research process itself is an important focus, where she and her team explore: i) collaborative approaches to research; ii) ethics of informed consent in a cross-cultural context; iii) participatory mapping and knowledge representations; and, v) qualitative data management practices. Taken together, the outcomes of learning from Indigenous knowledge, and working together effectively, contribute to efforts to bring together diverse perspectives and evidence for more representative decision-making. Gita and her research team have been engaged in various environmental monitoring, co-management, eduction, and cultural heritage initiatives as an important means of mobilizing research results.

To learn more about Dr. Ljubicic visit, and for the StraightUpNorth team visit

Select list of publications:

Stewart, E., Liggett, D., Lamers, M., Ljubicic, G., Dawson, J., Thoman, R., Haavisto, R., and Carrasco, J. 2019. Characterising polar mobilities to understand the role of weather, water, ice and climate (WWIC) information. Polar Geography, online (

Carter, N. A., Dawson, J., Simonee, N., Tagalik, S., and Ljubicic, G. 2019. Lessons learned through research partnership and capacity enhancement in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland in Canada). Arctic, 27, 4: 381-403. (

Robertson, S., and Ljubicic, G. 2019. Nunamii’luni quvianqtuq (It is a happy moment to be on the land): Feelings, freedom and the spatial political ontology of well-being in Gjoa Haven and Tikiranajuk, Nunavut. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 37, 3: 542-560. (

Ljubicic, G., Okpakok, S., Robertson, S., and Mearns, R. 2018a. Uqsuqtuurmiut inuita tuktumi qaujimaningit (Inuit knowledge of caribou from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut): Collaborative research contributions to co-management efforts. Polar Record, 54, 3: 213-233. (

Ljubicic, G. J., Okpakok, S., Robertson, S., and Mearns, R. 2018b. Inuit approaches to naming and distinguishing caribou: Considering language, place, and homeland toward improved co-management. Arctic, 71, 3: 309-333. (

Oberndorfer, E., Winters, N., Gear, C., Ljubicic, G., and Lundholm, J. 2017. Plants in a Sea of Relationships: Networks of Plants and Fishing in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut (Labrador, Canada). Journal of Ethnobiology, 37, 3: 458-477. (

Kelley, K. A., and Ljubicic, G. J. 2012. Policies and practicalities of shipping in arctic waters: Inuit perspectives from Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Polar Geography, 35, 1: 19-49. (

Grimwood, B. S. R., Doubleday, N. C., Ljubicic, G. J., Donaldson, S. G., and Blangy, S. 2012. Engaged acclimatization: Towards responsible community-based participatory research in Nunavut. The Canadian Geographer, 56, 2: 211-230. (

Laidler, G. J., Hirose, T., Kapfer, M., Ikummaq, T., Joamie, E., and Elee, P. 2011. Evaluating the Floe Edge Service: How well can SAR imagery address Inuit community concerns around sea ice change and travel safety? The Canadian Geographer, 55, 1: 91-107. (

Krupnik, I., Aporta, C., Gearheard, S., Laidler, G. J., and Kielsen-Holm, L. (eds.). 2010. SIKU: Knowing Our Ice, Documenting Inuit Sea-Ice Knowledge and Use. Dordrecht: Springer. (

Laidler, G. J., Ford, J., Gough, W. A., Ikummaq, T., Gagnon, A., Kowal, S., Qrunnut, K., and Irngaut, C. 2009. Travelling and hunting in a changing arctic: Assessing Inuit vulnerability to sea ice change in Igloolik, Nunavut. Climatic Change, 94: 363-397. (

Pearce, T., Ford, J., Laidler, G., Smit, B., Duerden, F., Allarut, M., Andrachuk, M., Baryluk, S., Dialla, A., Elee, P., Goose, A., Ikummaq, T., Joamie, E., Kataoyak, F., Loring, E., Meakin, S., Nickels, S., Scott, A., Shappa, K., Shirley, J., and Wandel, J. 2009. Community Collaboration and Climate Change Research in the Canadian Arctic. Polar Research, 28: 10-27. (

Laidler, G. J., Dialla, A., and Joamie, E. 2008. Human geographies of sea ice: freeze/thaw processes around Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Canada. Polar Record, 44, 231: 335-361. (

Laidler, G. J. and Ikummaq, T. 2008. Human geographies of sea ice: freeze/thaw processes around Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. Polar Record, 44, 229: 127-153. (

Laidler, G. J. and Elee, P. 2008. Human geographies of sea ice: freeze/thaw processes around Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada. Polar Record, 44, 228: 51-76. (

Laidler, G. J., Treitz, P. M., and Atkinson, D. M. 2008. Remote Sensing of Arctic Vegetation: The relations between NDVI, spatial resolution, and vegetation cover on Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut. Arctic, 61, 1: 1-13. (

Laidler, G. J. 2006. Inuit and scientific perspectives on the relationship between sea ice and climate: the ideal complement? Climatic Change, 78, 2-4: 407-444. (