Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit of Climate Change
Talking with Elders, hunters and other Nunavummiut about the changes they are seeing on the land
Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, the system of Inuit traditional knowledge and social values, is based on a long and close relationship with the land and environment. It gives us rich and detailed insight into climate change and adaptation, as well as context to help understand how climate change will impact Inuit culture, communities, and individuals.
Interviews with elders, hunters and community members have added much to scientific research on climate change. Inuit observations have provided useful information at different time scales and levels of detail that have significantly contributed to our understanding of climate change in Nunavut.
Recurring observations found in Inuit knowledge of climate change include:
- Sea ice conditions have changed; the ice is thinner, freezes up later and melts earlier. Similar observations have been made for lake ice.
- Aniuvat (permanent snow patches) are decreasing in size. There is more rain, and the snow and ice form later in the year and melt earlier.
- The weather is unpredictable. It changes faster than it used to with storms blowing up unexpectedly.
- Water levels have gone down, making it hard or impossible to travel by boat in certain areas.
- Temperatures are warmer throughout the year.
- New species have been observed.
- The land has been observed to be drier and the stability of the permafrost is changing.
- The length and timing of the traditional Inuit seasons have changed.
Here you can find stories from users that have taken the quiz Tukisigiaqta. These stories from Nunavut are personal experiences or stories told by friends and family and shared at the end of the On the Land section of the quiz. To share your own story, take the quiz here!
Add to Your Community's IQ:
What do your elders and community leaders in Nunavut have to say about changing conditions over the years? Record their wisdom and observations about climate change and pass it on to us. You'll help spread the word about climate change and add to the store of traditional knowledge!