Access to Land
Communities throughout the Arctic are reporting warmer and shorter winters, which have implications for the ice season and consequently on the access to local territories and resources by community members. Communities dependent on ice for travel and subsistence practices are experiencing unpredictable conditions which are creating challenges for travel safety and food security. Thawing permafrost and melting ice can pose health risks by hindering access to country foods, which are an important component of First Nations and Inuit diet for spiritual and nutritional well-being.
Travel safety is of concern as communities are experiencing high accident rates and loss of equipment. Indigenous Knowledge is often passed on by word of mouth and its reliability is heavily dependent on the knowledge of seasonal changes and weather patterns. Alterations in seasonal norms are impacting the nature of conventionally used ice paths and are forcing hunters to replace them with uncharted passageways. Hunters are sometimes finding themselves in dangerous situations where high risk choices are being made which may have been avoided
Since 2008, several Inuit communities have identified that increasing access to Indigenous Knowledge and other knowledge systems on ice conditions could help improve travel safety and increase food security. The following stories tell of communities engaging Indigenous Knowledge and the use of technology into ice monitoring programs.
“Communities dependent on ice for travel and subsistence practices are experiencing unpredictable conditions which are creating challenges to travel safety and food security.”
Click on a link below to check out how these communities are engaging in climate change adaptation!
Nisga’a, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in & Gwich'in
Nain & Hopedale
Whapmagoostui & Kuujjuaraapik