The social science research lab will significantly enhance our capacity to understand the unique cultures of northern communities by digitally integrating information on the land and the people through mapping, oral histories, cultural practices, and public policy. The knowledge we gain about these northern communities will help industry, government, communities and other scholars to understand how the affects of their decisions may affect the viability of northern communities. 
Research supported by the infrastructure will lead to new insights and policy advances with respect to the relationships among land, culture, and the sustainability of communities.  The sustainability of northern, rural, a remote, and Aboriginal community is a key concern in Canada and globally.  The approach taken here, which includes cultural, land use, historical and social factors as well as more traditional economic determinants, is novel, highly innovative, and promises significant advances.