Gendered Impacts of Climate Change

Traditionally, men in Inuit societies are the hunters and food providers for their family and community. Climate change is impacting Inuit hunting grounds, from changing the migration patterns of caribou, to the increased seasonal variations and unpredictable nature of sea ice.

Many young men no longer have the means and opportunity to hunt as before, and it has become a more precarious activity due to changing levels of ice thickness. Nunavut communities are seeking to remedy this through “Young Hunters” programs and other forms of mentorship, yet the fact remains that hunting, while it may never have been completely “safe,” is becoming a more precarious activity for hunters of all experience levels.

For the young women in the community, accessing traditional ways of life are becoming more challenging as well. One example is traditional ways of keeping house and household, and assisting men with processing the meat brought home from the hunt. In the past, families lived a predominantly nomadic lifestyle on the ice, in igloos, tents, and sod houses, and today, many residents find themselves in overcrowded modern housing.

“He’s wondering how he is going to teach his son to hunt (sic a right of passage into manhood) in the future.”

Chelsea Qammaniq

Today, women are actively participating in the workforce and many no longer learn the traditional ways of preparing animal skins, sewing, and making other crafts as they used to.

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