ar(s) Funded: 2017-2022
Topic Area: Mental Health, Food Security, Access to Land, Knowledge Sharing / Education
Contact: Kukik Baker, project manager
Partners: SmartICE, Arviat HTO and the Government of Nunavut Department of the Environment, Arctic Eider Society, CCHAP, CCPN, Community-based Climate Monitoring
Title: Young Hunters Program / Climate Adaptation Program
Action: In Arviat there are many climate related challenges. The land and sea are changing with the climate, causing problematic situations for travelling, hunting, and fishing. It also causes changes in the wildlife and plants, affecting the overall ecosystem and the foods and activities that Inuit rely on for health and wellness. The programs addressing this through the Aqqiumavvik Society look at collecting and sharing information about local wildlife. This helps keep a record of what is changing or different and also informs the community about the safety or potential risks involved. Using SmartIce technology, the team also monitors the thickness of the sea ice to track the safety and keep the community informed so that they can make safe decisions about travelling on the ice. With the Young Hunters Program the youth participants are learning about how to participate in this data collection and how to use it to make safe decisions while engaging in activities on the ice or involved with wildlife and plants.
Results: The information collected helps the community to understand what needs to adapt in order to continue to engage with the changing environment. For some of the data we are able to obtain information about the safety to inform the public about whether certain abnormalities in wildlife are safe to interact with or consume. The Young Hunters Program teaches skills to the younger generation based on traditional knowledge within the context of the current climate and changes to the environment. Many of the traditional ways of understanding the environment place an emphasis on adaptation, knowledge sharing, and continued learning through experience. This is the approach taken with the climate adaptation programs; data collection is shared to help everyone understand how to continually adapt and learn.
We also have manuals for climate adaption and young hunters programs available to help other communities implement similar programs of data collection, information sharing, community engagement and learning.