InukSUK and InukBook

Snapping some photos of the frozen English River

Over the past several semesters I’ve been working with an amazing group of people in the town of Rigolet, Labrador.

Located inside the Nunatsiavut territory, Rigolet is home to approximately 300 people. And while I have been awestruck by the incredible beauty of the land, changes to our climate have had (and continue to have) a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of the people who call Rigolet home.

To better understand the effects these changes are having on the health of the community, I’ve been working with an amazing team of people1 to develop a monitoring system with the town of Rigolet. The result should be a monitoring system designed by and for the community for tracking the land, as well as various aspects of human health and wellness (including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual).

The overarching monitoring program is officially known as InukSUK2, while the apps and websites that will serve as data collection and communication tools for the community are collectively called InukBook.

I’m so incredibly honoured to be part of this project. If you’d like to know more, check out the online document here.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 12.10.42 PM
Introducing the InukSUK Progam

1 I’m looking at you Dr. Sherilee Harper, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Anna Bunce, Alex Sawatzky, Oliver Cook, Charlie Flowers, Inez Shiwak, and all of the amazing people in Rigolet who have welcomed us with open arms. Also, huge thanks to Dr. Chris Furgal, Dr. James Ford, Michele Wood, Tom Sheldon, and the Rigolet Inuit Community Government for helping guide this project. And of course, I can’t not thank Sandi and Karl – who’ve opened their home to us, have fed us, and have made us feel like a part of the family.

2 InukSUK has two meanings here. First, Inuksuk is an Inuktitut word (often inukshuk in english) for the culturally important stone structures erected by Indigenous people for navigation, hunting, etc. Second, you’ll notice that the last three letters of the word are written in caps; this is to highlight the characteristics of Inuit Strength, Understanding, and Knowledge.

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