Inuit, namiipita? Climate Change Research and Policy: Beyond Canada’s Diversity and Equity Problem

  • Pitseolak Pfeifer Inuit Solutions

Abstract

As an Inuk, born and raised in Iqaluit and academically trained in southern Canada, I start my thoughts here with two notable questions that Mary Simon (2017), Minister Bennett’s Special Representative in the cross-sectoral engagement for the new Arctic Policy Framework, kept returning to:

"Why, in spite of substantive progress over the past 40 years, including remarkable achievements such as land claims agreements, Constitutional inclusion and precedent-setting court rulings, does the Arctic continue to exhibit among the worst national social indicators for basic wellness?
"Why, with all the hard-earned tools of empowerment, do many individuals and families not feel empowered and healthy?"

In the same line of inquiry, I ask: Inuit, namiipita? Why, in spite of so much research and policy focus on Arctic climate change, are we Inuit still consultants or fillers in an otherwise Western-driven enterprise to “monitor” climate developments in Inuit Nunangat? This is not to polarize North and South in the otherwise existential task we all have to tackle―climate change. Rather, I want to highlight that the story of climate change research and policy in Canada has so far been the familiar story of marginalization of Inuit in the national narrative; and that it is in Canada’s―indeed humanity’s―interests to have Inuit participate equally and with a sense of utmost urgency in the research and decision-making processes related to the Arctic. It goes beyond the diversity and equity rationale or the moral duty of reconciliation: we simply cannot afford to act differently. ....
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Author Biography

Pitseolak Pfeifer, Inuit Solutions

Pitseolak Pfeifer, MA, is the owner of Inuit Solutions, and he delivers research and management solutions in projects on Arctic and Inuit development, strengthening various communities of practice. A member of the Indigenous Advisory Circle with the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, he is often invited to guest lecture and to facilitate conversations in different professional fora.

Published
2020-02-20
How to Cite
PFEIFER, Pitseolak. Inuit, namiipita? Climate Change Research and Policy: Beyond Canada’s Diversity and Equity Problem. Northern Review, [S.l.], n. 49, p. 265–269, feb. 2020. ISSN 1929-6657. Available at: <https://thenorthernreview.ca/index.php/nr/article/view/865>. Date accessed: 06 aug. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.22584/nr49.2020.018.
Section
Commentaries and Reflections