ACCOUNTS FROM QIKIQTARJUAQ
The town-site of Qikiqtarjuaq began with the construction of a DEW line site -- a distant early warning line -- installed by the US army in the mid 1950s. Although there were Inuit who came to the settlement on their own, Qikiqtarjuaq became a hamlet in 1979. That’s shortly after the federal government relocated most of the remaining residents from nearby communities such as Kivitoo and Padloping Island. Now, the community has a population of around 500 people, 40 percent of whom are under the age of 18, according to a 2006 Statistics Canada report. Inuktitut remains the primary language of the community and Qikiqtarjuaq is considered one of the more traditional communities in Nunavut. Hunting and fishing continue to play an important role in the economy and the culture of the community. Consequently, the sea ice around Qikiqtarjuaq is important for travel and hunting. Elders and hunters have developed detailed knowledge of the arctic environment. However, many families also rely on the money that comes with wage employment. Therefore many people who live in Qikiqtarjuaq today hold part or full time jobs within the community that are not directly related to traditional practices.
The community working group identified a number of research priorities:
In the following podcast, a wide range of environmental changes are described: changes in the quality and thickness of sea ice to changes in the speed of ocean currents and ice movements. Through the words of hunters and elders it becomes clear these changes are interrelated. The cumulative effect is a landscape more unpredictable than ever. These changing processes were referred to frequently when discussing the landscape since they will have major influences on local land-use.
In the following podcast, Inuit safety culture in the community of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut is discussed. It becomes clear that, although we use the term safety to describe different expressions of local life, being safe is intertwined with the way of life in Qikiqtarjuaq.
Through the words of hunters and elders it becomes clear that changes occurring in the environment are interrelated and the cumulative effect is a landscape that is now more unpredictable than ever. These changing processes were referred to frequently when discussing the landscape as they are set to have major influences on local land-use.
In the following podcast, Qikiqtarjuaq elders and hunters provide comments and recommendations regarding Parks Canada’s safety procedures. Participants expressed concern and a sense of responsibility for the safety of those who visit their land. It became clear that greater communication between hunters and the Parks Canada office would be a means for the institution to tap into the depth of knowledge that exists locally and improve the safety of visitors to the Park.