5 April 2019
Dr Tristan Pearce, Kristin Emanuelsen, MA Candidate and Miguel van der Velden, Journalism-Sustainability student recently returned from the Canadian Arctic where they were working on community-based research projects. The Nunamin Illihakvia: learning from the land project focuses on the transmission of knowledge related to subsistence hunting, sewing and Inuinnaqtun language among generations. Kristin’s MA research addresses a community priority to better understand the importance of sewing among Inuit women today, noting that before moving into permanent settlements in the early 1970s, sewing was necessary for survival. Like in other traditional societies globally, life in the Arctic is changing, and this research seeks to understand how culture is responding to these changes through the activity of sewing. Miguel van der Velden worked with students and educators on the project “school in a modern Arctic” with a goal of documenting efforts to make the school more culturally relevant and appropriate for Inuit students. Some of the efforts the school is doing include, matching the school calendar with a cultural calendar so that units are taught in appropriate seasons and take advantage of on-the-land learning opportunities and developing and implementing culturally responsive exams and other assessments. Tristan also worked on the Tooniktoyok project, which involves local hunters tracking their harvesting activities in real time using GPS and bi-weekly interviews to document changing conditions, challenges experienced, coping mechanisms and costs.
Nunamin Illihakvia video: