Congratulations to Joanna on the completion of the MA thesis

Category: Rigolet

A big congratulations to Joanna Petrasek MacDonald, troche whose MA thesis “From the minds of youth: exploring Inuit youth resilience within a changing climate and applications for climate change adaptation in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada” has been accepted. Joanna would like to thank the community members, academic peers and funding agencies for their collaboration and support that made this thesis possible. Joanna is currently the project coordinator for IK-ADAPT, and you can find her bio here:

Abstract: The Canadian North is experiencing rapid social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental change that have direct impacts on the lives of Inuit living in this region, as well as serious implications for the future of the Inuit youth. Essential to facing this challenging context is a resilient youth population with the adaptive capacities and coping skills to respond to multiple stressors and pressures. This thesis considers the question of how to foster youth resilience and support youth protective factors that enhance youth well-being and can help young people deal with change, specifically climate change. To answer this question, a systematic literature review, a community-based, youth-led, cross-cultural participatory video project, and a regional community-based study were undertaken to explore youth-identified protective factors and examine challenges to these factors from youth perspectives and experiences. Specifically, this thesis characterizes the protective factors that influence Circumpolar Indigenous youth mental health resilience to climate change; explores participatory video as a process that can foster protective factors thereby demonstrating potential to be used in adaptation as a way to enhance youth resilience; documents youth-identified protective factors that support mental health and well-being amidst change (i.e. social, cultural, economic, or environmental); and examines how climatic changes and related environmental impacts challenge these factors throughout the region of Nunatsiavut from a youth perspective. The findings from this work highlight the importance of youth voices, perspectives, and involvement within research and practitioner communities, and contributes to the growing body of research on Circumpolar Indigenous youth resilience that can inform climate change adaptation efforts.


Nunamin Illihakvia featured in Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s Inuktitut magazine

Category: Ulukhaktok
The Health Canada funded Nunamin Illihakvia project in Ulukhaktok was featured in the new edition of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s Inuktitut magazine, patient on pages 26-31. From the article:

“On a January morning, ask the headlights of a skidoo zigzag foxlike near Ulukhaktok. Like his father and grandfather before him, Adam Kolohouk Kudlak finds solace on the sea ice and appreciation for the sustenance it provides him, his family and community. Nattiq (ringed seal) were the staple for Inuit now living in Ulukhaktok, the lifeline that enabled Inuit to live in the region; a lifeline that Kolohouk continues to hold onto and strives to pass to younger generations.

Ulukhaktomuit have always hunted seals in the winter, however, residents of this small hamlet on the west coast of Victoria Island in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories have undergone profound socio-economic and political changes in the last half-century. These changes have dramatically altered their lives and livelihoods, including their relationship with nattiq.”

Continue reading online here or download a PDF version


Nunamin Illihakvia featured in Tusaayaksat Magazine

Category: Ulukhaktok

The Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land project was featured in the magazine Tusaayaksat, purchase whose motto is: “Celebrating Inuvialuit People, treat Culture and Heritage.”

"Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land" in Tusaayaksat Magazine

“It is November, and Ulukhaktok is on blizzard warning tonight. Visibility is low as we trudge against winds up to 70km/hr and hard bits of snow whips into our eyes, we arrive at the youth center where Nunamin Illihakvia: Learning from the Land sewing classes are held. The door opens onto a scene that warms our heart immediately – there is laughter in the room, and elder Margaret Notaina is sitting on the floor with young mothers Susie Nigiyok and Denise Okheena, between them a sewing machine and a scatter of wolfskins. Avery, Denise’s two year old daughter is imitating the elder and her mother, using her hands to press gently down the hairs on a wolf pelt for the amaruq that Denise is making. An amaruq is the sunburst wolf fur trim on the hood of an Inuvialuit parka, and Denise is looking forward to making her first one for her baby.

Annie Inuktalik, instructor and elder known for her exquisite sewing dips a straight teeth comb into water, gently taming the strands of wolf fur that are astray. “You comb it like this, to make sure that the length of the hairs are even,” she shares.

“The amaruq is made of 3 layers of fur, with a canvas base. We use wolf furs with dark tips on the outside layer, the middle layer is lighter, and the back layer too. If the skin is not straight but it’s already dry we need to scrape it so it’s easier to work with. We fold the wolfskin right down the middle. We cut the long hair right by the edges and use that. We use a measuring piece to cut little pieces of the same size, and we cut off the ends so it should be all even. You can make two ruffs with one skin.”

In the room, there are other young mothers, most of them learning this skill for the first time.

Continue reading here.

Posted here with permission.