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The People, Animals, Water and Sustenance Program

What is PAWS?

The People, Animals, Water, and Sustenance (PAWS) Project is interested in gaining a better understanding of the relationships Iqaluit Inuit have with dogs, water, and food. Currently there are gaps in our understanding of the interactions between dogs, water, and food in a Northern context. In-depth interviews on these topics coupled with sampling of dog feces, water, and clams will help us understand how these relationships interact together and how these relationships may be changing.


What will be done with this research?

The outcome of this work has great potential to help stakeholders, policy makers, and other decision makers come to a deeper understanding of the cultural and biological relationships between Inuit and water, food, and dogs. This information has the potential to result in more culturally-appropriate policies and assist in decision-making. This project has involved ongoing consultation and feedback from partners such as the Department of Health, Iqaluit Public Health, Nunavut Research Institute, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. This research will be shared back with all stakeholders and the PAWS team will be working with stakeholders to help them incorporate PAWS findings into their work.


Next Steps

The PAWS Team will be back in Iqaluit in September of 2016 to collect dog stool, water samples, and clams. Project team members will be back throughout 2017 to follow up and share findings with the stakeholders and community.


Want to share your thoughts? Please get in touch with us!

Feel free to contact the following people with your questions or thoughts:


Dr. Sherilee Harper

            Principal Investigator

            University of Guelph


            Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 58392



            Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo

            Principal Investigator

            Cape Breton University


            Tel: 902-563-1949



            Anna Bunce

            PAWS Project Manager     

            McGill University


            Tel: 438 880 0697