Edited By Keith Battarbee and John Erik Fossum
This collection of texts examines in particular how national and international politics and law impact on Arctic governance, communications and indigenous rights; and in parallel, explores perceptions and experiences of the North in literature and the dramatic arts. The book thus offers a platform for cross-disciplinary dialogue, in order to highlight that the Arctic is too multi-faceted and complex for any one discipline or approach adequately to encompass.
Inuit in Canada
Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University
The Arctic regions cover over 40% of Canada’s landmass, and are the Indigenous homelands for over 60,000 Inuit.1 Currently, over three-quarters of the total Inuit population reside in these homelands, inhabiting settlements in the four Inuit land claim regions across the Arctic known as Inuit Nunangat: Inuivialuit, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut. These four regions, stretching from the most western areas of the North West Territories to the eastern Labrador coast, comprise the territory where the Inuit of Canada (who are related to the Greenlandic, Alaskan, and Siberian peoples living to the east and west) have lived for millennia. As Indigenous peoples, the Inuit have rights that stem from having occupied and used these lands since before European colonization. They (along with two other Aboriginal groups in Canada, First Nations and Métis) also have Aboriginal rights within the Canadian state, as recognized in the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982.
As I shall show in the following overview, the persistence of Inuit culture, language, and traditional economic activities has gone hand in hand with increased Inuit participation in the political sphere and with new ways of defining and representing ‘Inuitness’ or ways of being Inuit. These Inuit-driven representations, prominent in schools, media, and popular culture, shed new light on how being Inuit today is perceived by Inuit and outsiders alike. What will emerge from this overview is a portrait of Inuit...
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