Connecting Community: Carving out Climate Testimony

Carving out Climate Testimony: Inuit Youth, Wellness & Environmental Stewardship

This project asks the two-fold question: how does climate change impact Inuit youth and what are the resilience factors that enhance mental health and well-being? Echoing the National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR) we view the question of health as a vital research priority.

Specifically, the project explores how changes to terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems (sea-ice and coastal processes, freshwater, snow, permafrost thaw, and changing marine ecosystems) impact Inuit youth’s mental health and well-being.

An interdisciplinary team, with expertise across the physical and social sciences, takes a community-engaged and story-based approach to this research, and provides an Inuit-led structure and methodological pathway for community members to themselves determine how these systems are experienced. In particular they work with an Inuit understanding of ‘storytelling’ (Inuktitut: Unikkausivut) which refers to verbal but also artistic expressions.

Working alongside Inuit artists the project explores how long-standing practices of storytelling can be used as a material and intergenerational method to visually convey climate realities and shape policy that enhances resilience strategies.

An Inuit-led team brings the necessary expertise to address these questions in a way that supports youth self-determination, centring youth as stewards of their own changing environments.

Related Reading:

Successful Canadian, Inuit and UK Research teams announced for major new Arctic research programme
https://www.canada.ca/en/polar-knowledge/news/2022/05/successful-canadian-inuit-and-uk-research-teams-announced-for-major-new-arctic-research-programme.html

Canada-Inuit Nunangat-United Kingdom Arctic Research Programme 2021 – 2025 (CINUK) https://www.arctic.ac.uk/research/canada-inuit-nunangat-united-kingdom-arctic-research-programme-2021-2025-cinuk/

Food Security, Resilience and Adaptation in the Arctic, using Participatory Video
https://www.cbrl.uvic.ca/inuit-youth

UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, University of Victoria (UVic)
https://www.unescochair-cbrsr.org

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