For all their global appeal and familiarity, polar bears are actually few and far between, with 19 small populations spread out across a habitat the size of Europe. And they have been studied very little. The traditional method –using helicopters and tranquilizers- is invasive, expensive and difficult, so sampling occurs per group only once every 12 to 15 years.
Nanisiniq Arviat History Project Youth Curtis Konek and Jordan Konek as they continue to document traditional Inuit knowledge in their hometown of Arviat, Nunavut while encouraging local youth to take an interest in film, media and digital skills development.
The Resolute Bay Community Learning Centre has been busy this fall semester as nine adults learned traditional Inuit terminology while they prepared and sewed skin clothing with instructor Tagga Manik.
In the above photo, Resolute Bay Literacy Instructor Tagga demonstrates skin preparation.
The Pond Inlet Community Learning Centre held a very successful traditional sewing and literacy project this month. The project was coordinated by Leslie Qammaniq. Adults learned traditional Inuit language terminology and clothing techniques. In this photograph, students are creating a sealskin amoutiq based on a traditional North Baffin design with Instructor (in yellow) Paumee Komangapik. Students left to right of Paumee are: Linda Arnakallak, Rosie Katsak, Angnowyak Kilukishak. Photograph is by: Nathaniel Ningiuk
Hall Beach and Beyond: guided by local elders, NTEP Foundations students took to the open seas learning traditional sea navigation techniques.
On Thursday, October 13th, NTEP Foundations students in Hall Beach set out on a ‘field’ trip to Ugli Island. The excursion was part of Nunavut Arctic College’s commitment to the guiding principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ).
The trip was led by local elders Solomon Qanatsiaq and David Kannutaq, who used the opportunity to educate the class on several aspects of Inuit culture. The topics included traditional means of navigation at sea, orientation on land, hunting, and old housing and camp structures, known as sod houses.
The class set out at 10 a.m. and returned at 6 p.m. It was a cold day, but a special time for the class, which included the nourishment of a successfully hunted and prepared seal. The extra meat and skin were returned to Hall Beach to be shared among the community.
Nanisiniq Arviat History Project members Jordan Konek and Curtis Konek present John Arnalukjuaq High School teacher Gord Bullard with a copy of the film Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change produced by Zacharias Kunuk and Ian Mauro. The film night, held at John Arnalukjuaq High School, was sponsored by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the York University Institute for Research in Innovation and Sustainability (IRIS) and saw more than 60 Arviarmiut connecting live with participants in New Brunswick, Toronto and Vancouver through the Internet.
In my experience, I have learned that the more you learn about your history, the more you know about your identity. Before I was a part of the Nanisiniq History Project, I did not know about relocations, health or going away for work. I did not learn about Inuit history in High School, nor did I ask my Elders about it. However, the more I researched about my history and interviewed some Elders, I learned so much about the importance of keeping our tradition and culture alive. The project helped me to grow and develop an inner sense of self. As I said, to learn about your identity, you must first know your history.
What happens when Inuit youth and their Elders combine traditional knowledge with new technologies? The shortest and best answer is "A whole lot of fun!"
This week, the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project team started work converting and editing footage for their documentary film on Arviat history. In this latest video, our young Inuit researchers laughed it up with Arviat Elder Silas Illungiayuk, introducing him to the hilarious and wonderful experience of making funny faces with iPhoto.
Follow their new media adventures at: http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com/
Attendees to this year`s Katinniq 2011: Connecting Communities conference held a luncheon at the Old Res Cafeteria on Tuesday, August 23 to honour and recognize the accomplishments of our students and staff. In this photo, Cindy Cowan, Arctic College’s Director of Community Programs congratulates Pangnirtung Elder Meeka Arnaquq on her contributions to higher learning in Nunavut. Arnaquq, a respected Inuit Elder, healer, musician, layreader, educator and author recently received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Prince Edward Island for her contributions.