Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) Vice-President, James Eetoolook from Taloyoak, Nunavut spoke about Inuit knowledge in climate policy and decision making at the release of the National Inuit Climate Change Strategy in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada.
“In Nunavut, like our Inuit Nunangat neighbours, we feel the impact of climate change on personal level. Melting permafrost is washing away roads, destabilizing homes and increasing risk in harvesting and economic activities.” Eetoolook said.
“Hundreds of hours of climate knowledge are obtained every year by Inuit and is built on the knowledge of our ancestors. This deeply held knowledge of the land must be reflected in the process and policy of federal environment initiatives in the Arctic. ” Eetoolook continued.
Five priority areas have been identified within the strategy. These include:
- Knowledge and capacity. Inuit knowledge must be used in decision making.
- Health, well-being and the Environment. Ensure that Inuit health and wellness is included when climate related policies are created.
- Food systems. Ensure that Inuit food systems are strengthened and food security is included.
- Infrastructure – there are vulnerabilities in our infrastructure due to the changing of the climate and vulnerabilities of the landscape. We need to ensure that our infrastructure is stable and long lasting.
- Energy – Inuit need to have access to sustainable and affordable energy systems.
At the release of the strategy a one million dollar commitment for Inuit led initiatives was announced by the Honourable Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Canada, Catherine McKenna.
“We are here to fulfill our role as one of the leaders in mitigating and adapting to Climate Change. We know this is just the start.”
For further information:
Interim-Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated