Inuit siku (sea ice) Atlas Launch

After nine years of collaboration with researchers, elders, and hunters, Carleton University launched the “Inuit siku (sea ice) Atlas”.

Arctic sea ice has played an important role in Inuit life for millennia, and while that way of life has changed greatly over the years Inuit still depend on it for travel and the harvesting traditional foods. The “Inuit siku (sea ice) Atlas” project and website seeks to capture the traditional knowledge of this important part of life once passed down by elders from generation to generation as part of an exclusively oral tradition, but which now risks being lost or diluted as modern life reduces to opportunity to pass the knowledge on.

Information collected from community elders is being used to document and map current sea ice conditions, uses, and hazards, to monitor and evaluate changes in sea ice and the local impact(s) of those changes. It will also be used to develop educational materials for Inuit youth, researchers, and various governments.

The project seeks to investigate new technologies in mapping and representing today’s ever changing sea ice environment, and to develop community-based sea ice monitoring and safety programs or materials.

Through this work, and with the cooperation of many community elders, the siku project will ensure that valuable traditional knowledge is available for future generations either online, or though the creation of educational materials and resources integrated into school, or continuing education, programs.

"ITK's Inuit Qaujisarvingat: The Inuit Knowledge Centre is happy to see the release of the Inuit Siku Ice Atlas, an innovative interactive online resource that provides access to Inuit knowledge on sea ice around specific Baffin Island communities."

"This is an excellent example of a collaborative research project that brings together Elders, hunters, youth and researchers to share knowledge, stories, maps, and terminologies. We are looking forward to attending the launch."

(Mary Simon)