Formally launched in January 2009 the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) was built to enhance the capacity of Saskatchewan’s northern communities through northern-tailored education programs and an extensive community-applied research program. ICNGD's research and outreach activities currently focus on northern governance, health and social development, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development, capacity building, and resource development and environmental management in Northern Saskatchewan, the Provincial Norths, and the Circumpolar North.

Effective July 1, 2013, the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of the Vice-President Research authorized a new governance arrangement for the ICNGD, which saw the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) assume responsibility for providing administrative and academic oversight to the centre, in accordance with university policies. This new arrangement strengthens the capacity of both units by providing greater research and training resources for the centre, and by strengthening the school’s capacity to engage with the centre’s networks in the North. 

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