Guest post: Inuit Knowledge

By Amy Owingayak, Nanisiniq: Arviat History Project

August 31, 2011

Inuit have lived in the Arctic for many, many years. Before moving into a settlement, Inuit were living on the land using only animals for shelter, food and clothing. Therefore, my ancestors knew the animals’ routines and the importance of taking care of animals well. Inuit respect their land because it is their home and their hunting ground. Without the knowledge of the animals’ routines, the land or surviving in the arctic Inuit would have not make it through the harsh weather conditions.

Inuit knew that the animals followed the weather and also predicted the weather with their experience living on the land. To give example, Mitch Campbell, a wildlife biologist came to our meetings one night and told us about a story where he had a meeting with another biologist to talk about why the caribou were more inland. He could not find out the answer. Two of local elders walked in and were able to answer his question without any problems. This is one example about Inuit knowing their land and the animals because they have lived on the land for many years. Inuit have lived in the Arctic long enough to know the land well.

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