Northern Perceptions of Climate Change
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Inuit living in the circumpolar North have faced a number of rapid changes in the last century with the shift from nomadic to permanent settlements and the lingering negative effects of colonialism, now further challenged by the impacts of climate change. Currently, Iqaluit and other communities in Nunavut are at risk of running out of fresh water as they face factors including changing hydrological systems, increased population, ageing and inadequate infrastructure, and resource development (Bakaic & Medeiros 2017; Daley et al. 2014). Knowledge translation may be an essential tool for communicating these changes, both to Inuit and Western people, and better facilitate adaptation and mitigation strategies relating to climate change and water. This Major Project comprises three deliverables all with the aim of educating a different audience about issues including climate change, Inuit and Northern perspectives, and environmental racism. I have created 1) a children’s magazine article about monitoring climate change in the North using paleolimnology; 2) a journal article for Western academia that cautions about ignoring the socio-economic realities of Inuit daily lives; and 3) a magazine article for teenagers that talks about environmental racism and the North. Key findings from my research include that there is embedded racism within climate change, that there is a need for climate communication to be done in a respectful and culturally appropriate way, and that social issues were identified as equally important to climate issues for some people living in places of rapid environmental change.