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• The article discusses the impacts of climate change on the traditional Inuit way of life in Nunavut, Canada.
• These changes are contributing to an increase in food insecurity in Nunavut and are forcing Inuit peoples to rely more heavily on imported foods.
• Climate change is also leading to a decrease in sea ice, which is causing a decline in certain species of wildlife that have traditionally been hunted and a disruption to traditional transportation methods.
Impact of Climate Change on Inuit Life
The Inuit people of Nunavut, Canada, have long relied upon their traditional way of life for sustenance and survival. This lifestyle has relied heavily on hunting, fishing, and trapping; however, due to climate change this way of life is being threatened.
Climate change is causing changes in weather patterns which are reducing the availability of some species that have traditionally been hunted by the Inuit people for food. This lack of access to these sources has led to an increase in food insecurity among the communities living in Nunavut. To compensate for this shortage they must now rely more heavily on imported foods which can be expensive and lack nutritional value compared with their traditional diets.
Decreasing Sea Ice
In addition to its impact on food security, climate change is also having an effect on transportation for the Inuit people as sea ice melts at an alarming rate. This decrease in sea ice makes it difficult for them to use their traditional modes of transportation such as dog sleds and kayaks which they depend upon for hunting and gathering supplies throughout the year.
Decline in Wildlife
The melting sea ice has also caused a decline in certain species of wildlife that have traditionally been hunted by the Inuit people such as seals, caribou, and polar bears. This further contributes to their struggle with food insecurity since these were primary sources of sustenance for local communities prior to climate change.
Climate change is having a devastating effect on the traditional way of life enjoyed by many Indigenous peoples living in Canada’s Arctic region including those from Nunavut who practice an ancient lifestyle based around hunting and gathering subsistence resources from nature. Due to rising temperatures these resources are becoming increasingly scarce which is leading not only to a lack of access but also disruption traditional transportation methods essential for harvesting wildlife from land or sea-ice habitats. As a result these communities must now turn towards imported foods that can be costly while offering less nutritional value than what was previously available through subsistence activities practiced by their ancestors