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Mapping Inuit Sea Ice Knowledge, Use, and Change in Nunavut, Canada (Cape Dorset, Igloolik, Pangnirtung)

  • Gita J. Laidler
  • Pootoogoo Elee
  • Theo Ikummaq
  • Eric Joamie
  • Claudio Aporta
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter reviews the efforts under SIKU-ISIUOP to expand upon previous research that characterized the importance of sea ice processes, use, and change around the Baffin Island communities of Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and Pangnirtung, Nunavut. In these three communities, local ice conditions are intertwined with daily activities and provide a means of traveling and hunting, as well as sustaining marine wildlife and aspects of Inuit culture. In order for people to effectively travel and hunt on the sea ice, they have to become knowledgeable about the complexity and dynamism of the oceanic environment. Through these understandings and long-term experience and observation, local experts (such as Inuit elders and active hunters) are acutely aware of the local and regional manifestations of climate change, as indicated by long-term changes and increased unpredictability of sea ice. Specifically, Inuit have observed changes in floe edge position, weather, the timing of freeze-up and breakup, ice thickness, and the presence of multi-year ice. This chapter reviews specific indicators used to evaluate sea ice changes, offers a regional comparison of sea ice changes in the three communities, and provides an overview of some of the local implications of sea ice changes.

Keywords

Sea ice Inuit knowledge Climate change Nunavut Baffin Island 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful for the support and collaboration of community members and local organizations in Cape Dorset, Igloolik, and Pangnirtung that made this research possible. We would also like to thank our primary funder, the Government of Canada International Polar Year Programme, for supporting this project over the past 3 years, which enabled the fruitful collaborations presented here and in other chapters. Additional financial support (for earlier and current work contributing to project results) was received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Environment Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Society of Women Geographers, the Ocean Management Research Network, and the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies/Canada Polar Commission. Finally, we would like to thank the book and section reviewers for their constructive comments, which led to substantial improvements in this chapter.

Appendix

Appendix 1: Interview References (Contributors to “Mapping Inuit Sea Ice Knowledge and Use,” ISIUOP Sub-project #1)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gita J. Laidler
    • 1
  • Pootoogoo Elee
    • 2
  • Theo Ikummaq
    • 2
  • Eric Joamie
    • 2
  • Claudio Aporta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geography & Environmental StudiesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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