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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The productivity of culturally important berry species in the Kugluktuk region of Nunavut, and their use in land-based education programs connecting Elders and youth Desrosiers, Sarah C.E.


Communities in the Canadian Arctic are experiencing the effects of a rapidly changing environment. The development of appropriate policies to increase resilience and adaptation potential to these changes can only be gained with the inclusion of communities in research. This community-supported research was initiated to better understand how the changing environment affects the productivity of culturally important berry species by connecting Kugluktukmiut youth and Elders through place-based programming. The study took place during the Career and Technology Studies program offered by Kugluktuk High School in late August of 2011-2013. The place-based programming developed aimed to integrate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and science. The production of berries from samples collected by students in Kugluktuk, NU and from Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park was compared to those collected by researchers at the Tundra Ecology Research Station at Daring Lake, NT. Berry production was highest in coastal regions of Kugluktuk compared to inland sites. Vegetation at Kugluk/Bloody Falls differed from the other two sites due to the presence of Equisetum arvense and tall erect shrubs. Program evaluation is key to understanding how to build meaningful capacity for Inuit youth to connect to the environment. This critical evaluation showed that Inuit youth believe that learning about the environment is important. By providing place-based outreach programming youth are given the opportunity to exercise wellbeing by feeling a sense of identity, freedom and respect. The Berry Book was published to give back to the community for supporting the project and to contribute collection of Inuinnaqtun content.

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