In our view of the environment, we see ourselves as responsible participants in a cycle of harvesting and renewal whose balance cannot be upset without incurring severe consequences.

We intend to make sure that the environmental destruction that is apparent elsewhere in the world will not occur in the North. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible for us to control dangerous pollutants that move into our area from outside.

Contact with the south and the arrival of new modes of transport, new industries, and the trappings of a modernized life have been enormous boons to our over-all well-being, but they have also introduced more chemicals into our environment that contaminate our land and threaten our health.

More often than not, these pollutants originate from industrial zones in the north or the south, sometimes from as far away as Europe and Asia. They travel through the upper atmosphere and settle in the north, ultimately being absorbed into northern land and streams thus becoming a part of our food chain. Pollutants can also originate from the materials that we import like cleaners, batteries and gasoline.
In our view of the environment, we see ourselves as responsible participants in a cycle of harvesting and renewal whose balance cannot be upset without incurring severe consequences.

We intend to make sure that the environmental destruction that is apparent elsewhere in the world will not occur in the North. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible for us to control dangerous pollutants that move into our area from outside.

Contact with the south and the arrival of new modes of transport, new industries, and the trappings of a modernized life have been enormous boons to our over-all well-being, but they have also introduced more chemicals into our environment that contaminate our land and threaten our health.

More often than not, these pollutants originate from industrial zones in the north or the south, sometimes from as far away as Europe and Asia. They travel through the upper atmosphere and settle in the north, ultimately being absorbed into northern land and streams thus becoming a part of our food chain. Pollutants can also originate from the materials that we import like cleaners, batteries and gasoline.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Poster

Arctic contaminants are increasingly a concern of government and Inuit.

Inuit Tapirisat of Canada

© Inuit Tapirisat of Canada


Ice breaker freighters have greatly expanded the northern shipping season.

Courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

© Fisheries and Oceans Canada


With the abandonment of DEW line sites (a system of radar stations set up after WWII but that still remain as part of the North American defense system) and the advent of mining exploration in the north, we need to turn our attention to monitoring and cleaning up areas where we suspect oil from spills, PCBs and other hazardous materials have collected. Also, we are becoming more aware of waste management options for our communities.

Food that comes from the land, or country food as we call it, are central to our wellness, culture, and way of life. The direct effect that contaminants have on us is felt most intensely through the food we eat.
With the abandonment of DEW line sites (a system of radar stations set up after WWII but that still remain as part of the North American defense system) and the advent of mining exploration in the north, we need to turn our attention to monitoring and cleaning up areas where we suspect oil from spills, PCBs and other hazardous materials have collected. Also, we are becoming more aware of waste management options for our communities.

Food that comes from the land, or country food as we call it, are central to our wellness, culture, and way of life. The direct effect that contaminants have on us is felt most intensely through the food we eat.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Map

Transboundary contamination.

Courtesy Norwegian Ministry of Environment.

© Norwegian Ministry of Environment


As indicated by archaeological evidence we have always trapped fox. But it was not until the early 1900’s that fox trapping was introduced as a commercial activity that enabled us to create an income from selling fox pelts. Trapping was an activity that encouraged hunters to spend time on the land and it did not require developing new skills or knowledge. By the late 1920’s trapping had become an essential element that was quickly integrated into our way of life. The income earned from trapping was used to purchase things we needed like tea, flour, ammunition, and even the large wooden boats.

In the early 1960’s income from fox trapping was supplemented by the money that was earned from selling the seal skins that we did not use for clothing or other purposes. The hunting of seals has always been the core of our food gathering economy, so selling the skins was simply an added benefit. When the anti-sealing lobbyists succeeded in bringing about the European Economic Community sealskin boycott in 1983, this source of income was lost. Of course we must continue to hunt seals for food and this has created a surplus of skins that no longer provide income. Read More
As indicated by archaeological evidence we have always trapped fox. But it was not until the early 1900’s that fox trapping was introduced as a commercial activity that enabled us to create an income from selling fox pelts. Trapping was an activity that encouraged hunters to spend time on the land and it did not require developing new skills or knowledge. By the late 1920’s trapping had become an essential element that was quickly integrated into our way of life. The income earned from trapping was used to purchase things we needed like tea, flour, ammunition, and even the large wooden boats.

In the early 1960’s income from fox trapping was supplemented by the money that was earned from selling the seal skins that we did not use for clothing or other purposes. The hunting of seals has always been the core of our food gathering economy, so selling the skins was simply an added benefit. When the anti-sealing lobbyists succeeded in bringing about the European Economic Community sealskin boycott in 1983, this source of income was lost. Of course we must continue to hunt seals for food and this has created a surplus of skins that no longer provide income. This situation has created economic hardships throughout the Arctic.

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe how pollution impacts Inuit
  • Describe the source of pollution in the Arctic, giving examples
  • Describe how animal rights have affected Inuit
  • Express an opinion about pollution or animal rights and its affect on Inuit

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