Inuit Climate Changes

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The effects of climate change are increasing social, economic, and cultural vulnerability in many Arctic regions of Canada. This region is home to many Inuit groups, each relying on the landscape in one way or another. The Inuit are unique in that they reside in year-round harsh conditions, including freezing temperatures and extreme weather events. According to WWF (2015), “climate change is faster and more severe in the Arctic,” meaning the Inuit are also subject to changing conditions. Unfortunately, the effects of climate change are relatively new, and have been predicted to worsen through time. Historically, the land throughout the Arctic has been of importance for the Inuit to maintain their traditional culture. Specifically, the Inuit…show more content…
That being said, observations of caribou populations show that numbers are declining each year. This is a result of later freeze-up and early sea ice melt, making the hunting season shorter, and also decreasing the overall quality of caribou meat. While “subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping continue to be valued activities among Inuit,” hunters are noticing the access and availability of caribou are decreasing (Pearce et al, 2010). This is troublesome for Inuit, as according to the President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, “eating what we hunt is at the core of what it means to be Inuit … when we can no longer hunt on the sea-ice, and eat what we hunt, we will no longer exist as a people” (Arctic Voice, n.d.). Inuit cultural values surrounding relationships with animals are similar to most indigenous worldviews in that animals and humans are equally part of nature, and animals should be respected. This relationship, paired with decreasing caribou populations each year, means Inuit are forced into a difficult position. If they continue to hunt the caribou, populations will diminish; however, if the Inuit do not hunt them, they lose an essential part of their culture. This is where adaptive management becomes important for maintaining traditional sources of sustenance. A changing climate means the environment is less predictable and more extreme, making hunting using TEK almost impossible. It is this lack of access that leads to a loss in traditional food sources for the

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