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Nanisiniq: Arctic history makes heat waves in Shanghai, China

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April Dutheil, a research assistant with the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project will be sharing her experience with the project at Universitas 21 in Shanghai, China, from July 13-18 April Dutheil, a research assistant with the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project will be sharing her experience with the project at Universitas 21 in Shanghai, China, from July 13-18 nanisiniq.tumblr.com

(VANCOUVER, BC) April Dutheil, research assistant from the University of British Columbia has been invited by the Universitas 21, the leading network of research universities in the world, to present her research on the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project in Shanghai, China. From July 13-18,

Dutheil will partake in the U21 Undergraduate Research Conference at Fudan University, which unites undergraduate university students from around the globe to showcase their research at an international level.

The Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project is a collaborative initiative between the Sivulinuut Elders Society and the University of British Columbia, which has trained four Inuit youth, Curtis Konek, Amy Owingayak, Jordan Konek, and Patrick Pingushat, as researchers in discovering and re-telling the history of the Arctic from an Inuit perspective. In accordance with the name of the project, Nanisiniq, meaning 'journey of discovery' in English, the team of young Inuit working with Dutheil are documenting their own journey of discovery using filmmaking.

Over the past year, the team has completed the bulk of their fieldwork, including interviewing Inuit Elders, Qablunaat informants, and traveling to Yellowknife, Vancouver, and Ottawa to conduct research on Inuit history. They are now starting to edit their footage to produce a full- length documentary film aimed at inspiring other young Inuit to take pride in learning more about Inuit history and culture.

Dutheil believes that the Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project can be used as a successful framework in other Arctic communities to build community research capacity, to preserve Inuit culture, and to strengthen identity and pride amongst young Inuit. Dutheil is excited to build connections with other young researchers in Shanghai who are working on similar issues, “With increased global attention focused on the Arctic, it is critical that young Inuit are given the resources to become change-makers for the future of Nunavut and the Inuit.”

The work being done by this team of Inuit youth is also beginning to influence curriculum reformation within Nunavut's Department of Education. Inuk researcher, Jordan Konek, who is working for the Department of Education as a summer student sees the benefit of his project, “I want to see my work in fifty years and say, 'I did that work,' and be proud of it.”

Dutheil and Konek are also working together to write an academic paper on their cross-cultural group work. This paper will be used as a resource to educate Qablunaat researchers (researchers from the south) on how to go about working in a cross-cultural environment. There is a great need for this paper, as Nunavut is home to the most researched province or territory in Canada. Konek and Dutheil are writing this paper through Facebook.

TeamworkInuk researcher, Amy Owingayak is looking forward to hearing Dutheil's stories about Shanghai, as it will prepare for future international presentations. Owingayak, who will be attending the Nunavut Sivuniksavut training program in the fall says, “My involvement with the project has given me the opportunity to present Inuit history to the whole world.” The project's blogsite: http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com, has a worldwide following, which Dutheil intends to promote in Shanghai.

“Although I will be going by myself to Shanghai, my main purpose is to represent the work that we have been doing as a team. Teamwork is an important principle when following Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) and I intend to speak to how this research reflects a team effort at the conference,” says Dutheil. “In the meantime, I have a large shopping list of souvenirs to pick up while in Shanghai.”

Learn more about the project, which is coordinated by Dr. Frank Tester from the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, here: http://nanisiniq.tumblr.com.

U21 Undergraduate Research Conference: http://www.urc2011.fudan.edu.cn/
Universitas U21: http://www.universitas21.com/

Media are invited to interview the young Inuit researchers by phone.

  • Contact: April Dutheil
  • Phone: 1-778-689-3431
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Contact: Dr. Paule McNicoll
  • Phone: 1-604-822-2977
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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