Publication : « An update on Inuit perceptions of their changing environment, Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island, Nunavut) »

Sansoulet, J., Therrien, M., Delgove, J., Pouxviel, G., Desriac, J., Sarde, N., & Vanderlinden, J.-P. (2020). An update on Inuit perceptions of their changing environment, Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island, Nunavut). Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 8(1), 025 (hal-03043017)

The Inuit of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island) have developed a deep respect for their natural environment and are able to report not only changes in weather, ice, and natural resources but also changes in their communities as a result of climate change. The objective of this study was to shed light on how the impacts of climate change are currently perceived in the communities of Kanngiqtugaapik, Pangniqtuuq, and Qikiqtarjuaq. In order to construct a shared knowledge base, we conducted qualitative video interviews and participated in a hunting camp with multigenerational and multigender Inuit hunters and fishers. First, Inuit continue to see the world in which they cohabit with other living things, particularly animals, as a world that they cannot control on their own—a world they must adapt to, passing learning from one generation to the next. Second, they report that changes in the ice have been among the major and most important transformations to have occurred in recent decades. Observations made by these local populations also indicate changes in hunted species, with fewer caribou and narwhal, more birds, insects, and fish, including from more southerly regions, and an uncertainty about polar bear populations. Seal hunting remains stable, and this meat is still the most popular and healthy food, physically and psychologically. Third, sociological and economic changes (e.g., lifestyle change, monetary economies, quotas), in addition to environmental changes (e.g., climate change, species change), have had a significant impact on food harvesting activities as well as food consumption in the region. A final perspective concerns the needs of the Qikiqtaaluk communities to further develop collaboration with scientists. This need for partnership is not only perceived as a scientific necessity but also recognized by Inuit as essential to their communities, with some local leaders ready to work toward a fruitful collaboration.

Open access