The Power of Multiple Perspectives: Behind the Scenes of the Siku–Inuit–Hila Project

  • Henry P. Huntington
  • Shari Gearheard
  • Lene Kielsen Holm
Chapter

Abstract

The Siku–Inuit–Hila (Sea ice–people–weather) project presents a new approach for collaborative research in the Arctic that links Inuit and scientific knowledge. For perhaps the first time, Inuit have undertaken comparative environmental research in a formal structure: not only comparative across Inuit knowledge and science but also comparative across time and place. By involving local research team members in community knowledge exchanges, we blurred the distinctions between “researchers” and “participants,” giving each team member a variety of roles during the project, including host, visitor, teacher, and student. The exchanges were complemented by quantitative sea ice measurements taken from specially designed local monitoring stations and information gathered during regular sea ice expert group meetings held in each community. Our experiences illustrate that this approach to collaborative research can yield new insights into sea ice processes, changes, and impacts at the local and regional scales.

Keywords

Sea ice Inuit Traditional knowledge Collaborative research Research methods Nunavut Alaska Greenland 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Siku–Inuit–Hila would not have been possible without the help and support of many people in the communities of Barrow, Clyde River, and Qaanaaq. There are too many people and organizations to name here, but to all of you – quyanaqpak, qujannamiik, qujanaq!! Joe Leavitt, Joelie Sanguya, and Toku Oshima, our team leaders in each of the communities, deserve very special thanks. The project would not be possible without generous funding and encouragement from the U.S. National Science Foundation (HSD 0624344), Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation in the North Program, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Greenland. We are grateful to our SIKU colleagues, Igor Krupnik and Gita Laidler, for many valuable comments to the first draft of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry P. Huntington
    • 1
  • Shari Gearheard
    • 2
  • Lene Kielsen Holm
    • 3
  1. 1.Pew Environment GroupEagle RiverUSA
  2. 2.National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Inuit Circumpolar CouncilNuukGreenland

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