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Uqsuqtuurmiut inuita tuktumi qaujimaningit (Inuit knowledge of caribou from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut): Collaborative research contributions to co-management efforts

  • Gita Ljubicic (a1), Simon Okpakok (a2), Sean Robertson (a3) and Rebecca Mearns (a1)

Abstract

Caribou (tuktuit) are embedded in northern life, and have been part of Inuit culture and seasonal rounds for generations. In Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homelands), tuktuit are the most prevalent of country foods consumed, and remain interconnected with Inuit values, beliefs and practices. Despite co-management mandates to consider Inuit and scientific knowledge equally, the intertwined colonial legacies of research and wildlife management render this challenging. In Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut), community members identified the importance of documenting Inuit knowledge in order to be taken more seriously by researchers and government managers. To address this priority we worked with Uqsuqtuurmiut (people of Uqsuqtuuq) to articulate which types of tuktuit are found on or near Qikiqtaq (King William Island), provide a historical perspective of tuktuit presence/absence in the region, and describe seasonal movements of tuktuit on and off the island. In reflecting on potential intersections of our work with the Government of Nunavut strategy “Working Together for Caribou”, we identify several considerations in support of Qanuqtuurniq (information and knowledge acquisition): defining information needs, recognising and valuing Inuit knowledge, and developing and implementing credible research. By sharing lessons from our collaborative process we aim to contribute to broader cross-cultural research and co-management efforts in Nunavut.

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References

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