This report demonstrates unequivocally that life in the Arctic is dependent on movement, and that sea ice is integral to this movement. The Inuit have been a nomadic people living in the Arctic since ancient times: their entire culture and identity is based on free movement on the land. Inuit rely on free movement in order to eat, to obtain supplies for traditional clothing and art, and generally to keep their rich cultural heritage alive. Inuit temporarily move out from settlements to harvest resources that are sometimes bartered or traded. This movement takes place on the sea ice that surrounds and connects Inuit communities.
A contribution to the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment.
The Food Sovereignty and Self Governance Project is bringing Inuit together to lead their own work. The project was co-developed with the Inuvialuit Game Council and the Fisheries Joint Management Council (Inuvialuit Settlement Region) and the Eskimo Walrus Commission (Alaska), the Inuit Circumpolar Council Alaska (ICC Alaska) and Environmental Law Institute (ELI). Since the development of the project, the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission (Alaska) joined the group. These project partners work together with an Advisory Committee comprised of Inuit Indigenous Knowledge holders from Alaska and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region to design and direct the project. The Project Partners and the Advisory Committee have worked together to develop the methodologies and outputs for this project and to lead the project activities. Together, these Inuit individuals and Inuit-lead organizations have taken ownership of this project and lead activities.
This project intends to examine the potential for Inuit, living in Alaska and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) of Canada, to manage and co-manage important subsistence resources of the Arctic region, and to further identify the tools that Inuit communities need to sustain the overall integrity of their communities.
Sustainable harvest and wildlife issues continue to be an important part of ICC (Canada)’s efforts. Supporting the hunting, fishing, co-management and subsistence activities of Inuit is evident in virtually all activities of ICC. ICC (Canada) has continued to speak against the animal rights’ lobby and attempts to halt seal harvesting in eastern Canada and has delivered numerous addresses around the world in support of our positions. ICC (Canada) works with IUCN, the World Conservation Union, on animal rights matters and has been active in the International Whaling Commission. Further, ICC (Canada) is an observer in the North American Marine Mammal Commission.
Over the past year, ICC (Canada) had dialogue with the World Wide Fund for Nature (Arctic Programme) and undertook dialogue with various European states including the United Kingdom, Germany and France whose citizens sometime sympathize with animal welfare organizations on these matters. Our Russian project also provided for a strong co-management component to deal with these ongoing issues. While the Arctic Council and other key international mechanisms are reluctant to address sustainable harvest and wildlife issues of relevance to Inuit, ICC (Canada) continues to find other avenues in which to defend the rights of Inuit.
This report, Circumpolar Inuit Health Priorities: Best Health Practices and Research, documents and assesses a comprehensive range of best practice programs and relevant studies which have been implemented across the Arctic in the main health areas of mental health, service delivery, food security and chronic disease. Together, the material provides an important collection of information on the health practices and challenges which are impacting on the health and wellbeing of Inuit living in their Arctic homeland across four countries - Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Chukotka (Russia).
This report is the second part of ICC Canada’s overall effort to identify and document the range of health and wellness experiences, studies and practices that impact on Inuit directly and indirectly. The first part of this work was a review of the different health systems which Inuit access in the four different countries. That report, Health Systems serving Inuit communities across the Arctic, was completed in 2011. This second report completes the task of documenting the experiences.