A Guide for Integrating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit into Decision-making for Marine Shipping Development in Nunavut
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Shipping development in the Arctic region is becoming a topic of local, national, and international interest and is closely linked to other issues in the Arctic, such as climate change and natural resource exploitation. Shipping development is moving forward while the Inuit people of Nunavut, Canada remain closely connected to the land and sea, relying on the land and sea for culturally relevant subsistence hunting and fishing activities. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) is an Inuktitut term that broadly means Inuit traditional knowledge and encompasses all that Inuit know. IQ and its principles represent tools that can and should be used in the management of marine resources and activities. The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) provides the requirement for Inuit input on management decisions that may affect their ways of life. However, shipping development in Nunavut is seemingly advancing without much consideration for the Inuit people and their use of the marine environment. There is need for improved management of marine shipping in Nunavut in order to consider the direct and indirect effects of shipping on the environment and people at the local level. Considering the effects of shipping does not mean halting shipping development, but rather ensuring that shipping development moves forward in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way. It is recommended that marine managers responsible for shipping in Nunavut’s waters gain an understanding of IQ and utilize improved methods for incorporating IQ into the decision-making process.