Abstract/Résumé : Since 2005, nine books have been published relating the public life experiences of almost twenty Inuit leaders, through two different research projects initiated by a partnership between Laval University’s CIÉRA research group and Nunavut Arctic College/Nunavut Research Institute. The many figures who were profiled in the books commented on the rapid transition that took Inuit from their hunting and fishing camps into settlements, the creation of Inuit organizations, the lengthy land claims negotiations, and the creation of Nunavut. These leaders were all significant actors in recent Nunavut political developments. This historical transition introduced also a migration from the spoken word immediately consumed and shared with family members or the immediate community to the written word, mostly read or written in private settings. As stressed by Marshall McLuhan, the written word allows for a distance between the self and the kinship network, and hence the band traditional leadership. It allows for a more critical reflection on the personal or social direct experience. This is exactly what our publishing projects are about: bringing political thoughts of Inuit leaders into a written format, and hence feeding an open public debate. The written text goes much beyond the kinship system of social organization. In fact the written text in such a standard mode that can be deciphered by a majority of people is an essential element of any organized state. The CURA project Inuit Leadership and Governance in Nunavut and Nunavik: Life Stories, Analytical Perspectives and Training wants to contribute positively to this important political process.
Abstract/Résumé : Articulated in 1979 and incorporated in 1982, the Nain-based OKâlaKatiget Society represents the first and longest lasting mechanism for audiovisual self-expression by the Nunatsiavummiut. Its documentary television series, Labradorimiut and Tamanevugut, which have been broadcast nationally via TVNC and APTN since 1984, as well as its various standalone documentary productions on aspects of the shared Nunatsiavut experience, all bear the markings of a distinct set of representative practices that are impossible to account for by way of the media in and of itself. They are practices that proceed as much out of the act of a people communicating with each other (as per the translation of OKâlaKatiget) as they proceed from the act of a people beginning to see with each other. This process was facilitated as much by institutions from without such as the National Film Board of Canada and the Memorial University of Newfoundland Extension Service, as by individuals from within such as James Robert Andersen. What this paper aims to do is to begin to isolate and describe this very particular process of seeing and consider the ways it has come to inform contemporary film and video production practices by not only the OKâlaKatiget Society but also the My Word: Storytelling and Digital Media Lab established at Rigolet in 2009.
Abstract/Résumé : Inuit traditional knowledge (TK) passed down through generations emphasizes the importance of wild plants in Inuit diet, medicine, and culture. From a scientific perspective, Nunavik wild berries may serve as an important local source of vitamins, as well as other antioxidants such as polyphenols, with unique potential for the prevention of diabetes and to improve food security.
In 2012, we developed a research project to study the chemical composition of local berries from different Nunavik villages, to evaluate the impact of wild berries on insulin resistance and obesity in mice, and of wild berry intake on insulin resistance among Nunavik Inuit adults.
Seeking to translate the combined TK and scientific support for wild berries into a community-based initiative, we engaged community stakeholders, regional government, health and school boards, and non-profit partners to develop the “Purple Tongue Project” in two schools. We developed novel wild berry products (baby puree, roll ups, dried berries, granola bars, sorbet and frozen yogurt) to be produced by Individual Path Learning (IPL) students in schools. Our objectives with this intervention are to improve wild berry consumption, distribution and availability throughout the year, propose attractive and local healthy alternatives to soft drinks and snacks, and stimulate youth empowerment and employment. Along with berry picking, we conducted several activities with IPL about TK of plants, nutritional benefits of Nunavik berries and cooking berry products.
Understanding the benefits of country foods consumed in Nunavik and partnering with Inuit institutions is central to the implementation of community-based interventions aiming to address many issues at once: promote Inuit culture, improve food security, and minimize the emergence of obesity and diabetes. As reflected by student engagement and community feedback, investing in community initiatives to empower youth while generating social economic opportunities is invaluable to effective knowledge sharing, educational outreach, and capacity building.
Abstract/Résumé : A large body of literature has investigated the causes of high dropout rates amongst Inuit youth in Nunavik. Often driven by a deficit approach, many of these studies portray students as victims of their circumstances with little chance of succeeding under existing conditions.
However, substantial effort, initiative, perseverance, hard work, determination and resilience go into shaping everyday life in Nunavik communities. Despite many serious challenges and obstacles, Inuit students continue to attend school, many try to return after a period away, and some graduate and pursue higher education. Informed by critical indigenous methodologies, this three-year participatory research project chose to highlight the stories of students who have succeeded or continue to persevere despite the many challenges by examining their resilience and the strategies they deploy, and by identifying the pedagogical practices and approaches that they respond to most positively, in order to use these as building blocks for continued work.
While recognizing the importance and urgency of addressing structural social issues affecting the everyday lives of Inuit youth, this research has focused on the constructive role that schools and teachers can play to sustain and enhance students’ resilience. The goal of this research project was to assess the influence of teachers’ (Inuit and non-Inuit) perceptions and pedagogical practices on students’ resilience and school perseverance, based on the understanding that the teacher-student rapport can be an important factor in promoting student retention.
To ensure active engagement and wider inclusion of voices, a combination of tools were used and adapted to accommodate preferences, availabilities and comfort levels of research participants.
Abstract/Résumé : Purpose: The primary research question was, what are the key factors influencing Indigenous self-rated health? Through research into Inuit self-rated health in Nunavik we expanded our understanding of Indigenous-defined determinants of health. From our findings, we would argue that current and future health research with Indigenous populations should expand beyond the purely biomedical perspective. Adopting a predominantly biomedical approach limits our understanding of Indigenous health and often does not capture the social, cultural and environmental determinants that have been critically linked to understanding Indigenous health today.
Methods: This research used an exploratory sequential mixed-methods design. It drew upon two approaches to understanding health – an epidemiological approach informed by self-rated health literature and a population health approach to understand social determinants of Indigenous health. The initial qualitative phase employed key-informant interviews with regional Inuit health experts in Nunavik, Quebec. Determinants of Inuit health identified by key-informants were then used to inform quantitative analysis of the existing Nunavik regional Inuit health survey dataset to explore associations and insights into Inuit self-rated health.
Results: Preliminary results from the quantitative analysis will be presented and will identify key factors influencing Inuit self-rated health for this region.
Conclusions: This project has the potential to identify and show evidence for more appropriate and accurate factors influencing Inuit self-rated health. With this information it will be possible to incorporate the collection of data on important and previously ignored determinants of health in future health surveys and community health evaluations in the region.
Abstract/Résumé : The history of the Christianization of the Greenlanders by the Danish Lutheran State Mission in the 18th and 19th century presents itself as an excellent ground for studies of cross-cultural negotiation of ideas and values, for instance related to naming. The study of naming practices contributes to our understanding of personhood, alliances and social organisation. Sources from the mission in Greenland such as church registers and designations provide detailed information about individual persons and families as well as naming and re-naming practices in the local communities.
The paper presents an examination of the church registers from the late 18th century and early 19th century concerning names recorded in connection to baptism of children and adults in the Disko Bay area and in particular in the Aasiaat district. In the cases of adult baptism, the Pre-Christian Inuit names are recorded side-by-side with the new Christian names. Inuit names are to some extent used as baptism names well into the 19th century. Family names (surnames) gradually came into use: European names for children from mixed marriages, but also in some cases Inuit names came into use as family names - fixed family names were common at the end of the 19th century, on the whole following the legislation in Denmark.
The paper discusses the name change process through two integrated perspectives: the Christian re-naming as an asymmetric colonial ‘contact zone’ (referring to Mary Louise Pratt) with intentions of re-framing persons and families as subjects incorporated into the Danish church and state – and on the other hand the often subtle integration of the Inuit name-sake practice into the Christian naming practice.
The social network phenomenon continues to expand across the world. Yet the challenges facing law enforcement have seen most agencies dabble at the edges of the social networks rather than truly engage the same. The NSW Police Force uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to provide information about policing activities and general information. Such use of modern media technologies is replicated all over the world by police agencies. Yet research has shown that no police agency has yet to harness the power of the internet and social networking to truly engage our communities in crime prevention.
Over the last few decades, the responsibility for crime prevention has shifted away from traditional providers such as police and criminal justice agencies towards ‘grass-roots’ community organisations and groups, including local government. This shift stems from the belief that local organisations are better able to respond to community needs and the issues that lead to criminal offending. Locally based programs and initiatives are typically supported by state and territory and federal funding agencies in an effort to confront the immediate and social causes of crime.
Abstract/Résumé : Why is it Inuit residents in Montreal do not share the experience of Inuit in Ottawa in having an established network of federally funded Inuit-specific organizations to support and encourage Inuit community development and well-being? Mindful of the difficult circumstances that Inuit often face in the city, one would expect Inuit institutions in Montreal to have adapted culturally appropriate service provision to fit the changing profile of the burgeoning urban Inuit population, but the fact is they have not. In spite of the city being home to several major Nunavik Inuit institutions, the provision of community-based programs for Inuit is limited. Working under the title ‘Out of Place in Nunalijjuaq: effecting social change with Montreal Inuit through participatory action research (PAR)’, a five-year community-driven SSHRC Insight project is looking to better understand the situation and collective experiences of Inuit in Montreal. Through long-term, community based action research the project team is seeking to identify ideas and strategies to overcome longstanding policy and resource barriers affecting Inuit in the Greater Montreal region. In this panel we will present this research project and engage with the following questions: What are the determining factors that differentiate life as well as a sense of collectivity for Inuit in Ottawa from that in Montreal? How does this reflect on the specific history of Inuit within Quebec? How can better understanding of the history of urban experiences as well as the contemporary situation inform a more resilient sense of community and improve policy initiatives in Montreal? Indeed, by what participatory method (if any) can the transfer to Montreal of the successes and gains made by Inuit organizations in Ottawa be made?
Abstract/Résumé : Although Franz Boas left his field site on Baffin Island in 1884 never to return, his personal relationship with Scottish whaler, James Mutch, and, more significantly, his mentoring of the American whaler, Captain George Comer, allowed him to continue his research on Inuit social and cultural history for decades to come. This presentation discusses the extensive collection brought together by Captain Comer for the American Museum of Natural History, including ethnographic artifacts, carvings, photographs, sound recordings, and, most significantly, portrait masks of over 150 Inuit living in the vicinity of the whaling station at Cape Fullerton. In examining their collaboration, the presentation contrasts the objective framework provided by Boas with the subjective nature of Comer’s work in the field and its impact on the collection; describes the impressive work of Inuit to reconnect with these ancestral collections (and with the memory of George Comer); and suggests prospects for enhancing community use of these collections in Nunavut.