Kivalliq Wildlife Board uses Inuit knowledge and Western science to study impact of climate change on food security

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), Nunavut – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Across Canada’s North and Arctic, climate change is having a profound impact on Arctic ecosystems and food security in remote communities, including risks to Inuit culture, social relations, health, well-being, and a way of life that has lasted for generations.

The Kivalliq Wildlife Board, in partnership with ArctiConnexion and others, has developed a community-based monitoring program to address linkages between climate, marine and terrestrial country food species, and areas of concern identified by Kangiqliniq community members. Science mentorship and skill development were key features of the project, empowering community members as leaders in project implementation.

Today, as the world is gathered in Montreal at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced additional funding of $870,340 over three years for the next phase of this important project.

In Phase 2 of their project, the Kivalliq Wildlife Board will use Elders’ and hunters’ knowledge and scientific approaches to study climate change impacts on food chains, from microscopic marine organisms to changes in availability, quality and diet of country foods, such as Arctic char, ringed seal, bearded seal, beluga whales, and polar bear. With this knowledge, the Kivalliq Wildlife Board aims to develop a plan to mitigate climate impacts on country food access.

The knowledge of residents in Kangiqliniq and Tikiraqjuaq (Whale Cove) of the local ecosystems will be key to guiding this work and identifying solutions to address the challenges.

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