Research chair

Dr. Peter Kikkert

Dr. Peter Kikkert is the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Arctic Policy in the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Assistant Professor in the Public Policy and Governance program at St. Francis Xavier University. Kikkert’s research focuses on safety, security, sovereignty, and governance issues in the polar regions. He has published on the evolution of international law in the Arctic and Antarctic, the Canadian-American defence relationship in the North, the possibilities and challenges of Arctic transportation, and histories of rural and isolated communities. He has also written extensively on the historic and contemporary role of the Canadian Armed Forces in the North and leadership within the Canadian Rangers. His current research program explores how to strengthen search and rescue and emergency response capabilities and bolster community resilience in the Canadian Arctic.

Kikkert completed his PhD in history at Western University in December 2015. While completing his doctorate he held a two-year appointment (2012-2014) in the Bachelor of Education program at Aurora College in the Northwest Territories, where he taught Circumpolar, Canadian, and Indigenous Studies. From January-August 2016, he held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at Trent University’s Frost Centre for Canadian and Indigenous Studies. In September 2016, he accepted a position as Professor of Public History at Sheridan College, where he stayed until coming to StFX in July 2018. Alongside his current duties at StFX, Kikkert is also a research fellow at the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at St. Jerome’s University, and currently serves as the deputy chair of its Circumpolar and Indigenous Affairs Research Group.

Through his research and teaching, Kikkert has had the privilege to live and teach in the North, sail the Northwest Passage, observe Operation Nanook (2011), participate in training patrols with the Canadian Rangers, and travel on the land, ice, and waters of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories with community-members and Elders.

Selected Publications

“In Search of Polar Sovereignty, 1900-1959.” In Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic. Ed. Wilfrid Greaves and P. Whitney Lackenbauer. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming 2019. 23 pgs.

“The Militarization of the Arctic to 1990.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Arctic Policy. Ed. Ken Coates and Carin Holroyd. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2019. 22 pgs. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“An Important International Crossroads: Implementing Canada’s Arctic Priorities in Strong, Secure, Engaged.” Workshop Report for Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces. Submitted December 2018. 61 pp. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

Familiar Fields to Foreign Soil: Three Rural Townships and the Great War. Norwich: Norwich and District Museum and Archives / South Norwich Historical Society, 2018. 390 pp (With Jennifer Arthur-Lackenbauer and P. Whitney Lackenbauer).

Tracks North: The Story of Exercise Musk Ox by John Lauder. Arctic Operational History Series, vol. 5. Antigonish: Brian Mulroney Institute on Government, 2018. 80 pp. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“Finding Ihuma: Inuit Leadership Norms and the Canadian Rangers.” In Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Operations, 1941-2015: Historical and Contemporary Lessons Learned. Eds., Adam Lajeunesse and P. Whitney Lackenbauer. Frederickton: The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Peace, 2017. 370-386.

“‘Men of Frontier Experience’: Yukoners, Frontier Masculinity and the First World War,” The Northern Review 44 (Spring 2017): 209-242. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“Lester Pearson, the United States, and Arctic Sovereignty: A Case of Un-Pearsonian Diplomacy?” Mike’s World: Lester Pearson and Canadian External Relations, 1963-1968. Edited by Asa McKercher and Galen Perras. Vancouver: UBC Press. 2017. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Adam Lajeunesse)

Lessons in Arctic Operations: The Canadian Army Experience, 1945-1956. Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) No. 7. Calgary and Waterloo: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies/Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism, 2016. xxviii, 251 pp. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“A History of Ikaluktuuttiaq.” In A Guidebook for Research with Nunavut Communities. Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay) Edition. Cambridge Bay, NU: Polar Knowledge Canada/Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq (Kitikmeot Heritage Society), 2016.  14-31. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

Legal Appraisals of Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty: Key Documents, 1904-58. Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) No. 2. Calgary and Waterloo: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies/Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism, 2014. xliv, 337 pp. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“The Dog in the Manger – and Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie: The United States, Canada and the Sector Principle, 1924-1955.’” The Arctic Ocean: Essays in Honour of Donat Pharand. Edited by Suzanne Lalonde and Ted McDorman. Leiden: Brill, 2014. 216-239. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“Archipelagic Analogs? Indonesian Baselines, Canadian Arctic Sovereignty, and the Framing of Mental Maps, 1957-62.” International Journal of Canadian Studies 50 (December 2014): 227-52. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

“The Disappointing Arctic: Will More Shipping Dreams Be Shattered on the Ice?” Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 43, no. 4 (October 2012): 539-552.

“Promoting National Interests and Fostering Cooperation: Canada and the Development of a Polar Code.” Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 43, no. 3 (July 2012): 319-334.

“Constructing a Role: The Royal Canadian Air Force in the Arctic, 1945-1953.” In De-Icing Required! The Canadian Air Force’s Experience in the Arctic. Ed. W.A. March. Sic Itur Ad Astra: Canadian Aerospace Power Studies Series vol.4. Trenton: Canadian Forces Air Warfare Centre, 2012.

“Rising Above the Rhetoric: Northern Voices and the Strengthening of Canada’s Capacity to Maintain a Stable Circumpolar World.” The Northern Review 33 (Spring 2011): 29-45.

“Sovereignty and Security: The Department of External Affairs, the United States, and Arctic Sovereignty, 1945-68.” In Serving the National Interest. Ed. Greg Donaghy and Michael Stevenson. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2011. 101-20. (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer). E-book available at

“1946: The Year Canada Chose Its Path in the Arctic.” In Calgary Papers on Military and Strategic Studies: Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security Historical Perspectives. Edited by P. Whitney Lackenbauer. Calgary: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, 2010. 69-110. E-book at

The Canadian Forces and Arctic Sovereignty: Debating Roles, Interests, and Requirements, 1968-1974. Waterloo: Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies / WLU Press, 2010. x, 378 pp.  (With P. Whitney Lackenbauer)

Media Contact:

Cindy Mackenzie

Phone: (902) 867-2401

Fax: (902) 867-5400


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