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

Canada-Inuit Nunangat-United Kingdom Arctic Research Programme 2021 – 2025 (CINUK)

Food Security, Resilience and Adaptation in the Arctic, using Participatory Video

UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, University of Victoria (UVic)

Jamie Bell

By Jamie Bell

A Winnipeg-based, interdisciplinary artist Jamie has worked with media and communications for almost three decades across multiple sectors including the Government of Nunavut, Department of National Defence, Algonquin College, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Nunavut Research Institute. A long-time advocate for community-based arts and research, Jamie’s work has focused on fostering stronger relationships through outreach and engagement. His previous work includes the SSHRC-funded Nanisiniq Arviat History Project and the ArcticNet-supported Inclusion in Northern Research project. Jamie is a founding member of the Arviat Film Society and Arviat Television with support from Isuma TV’s Digital Indigenous Democracy Project. In 2021, Jamie was one of the founding members for the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Arts Council-funded Winnipeg Incubator for Digital Arts and Cultural Entrepreneurship. This project, supported by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design works with Indigenous emerging artists and cultural connectors from Nunavut, Northwestern Ontario, Minnesota and Manitoba.

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