The Tuktu and Nogak Project is a community driven effort to collect and share Inuit Quajimatajatuqangit or traditional ecological knowledge of caribou and calving areas in the Bathurst Inlet area of the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, Canada.
Ecological knowledge held by Inuit elders,
hunters and other community members is shared through stories that are
the fabric of Inuit culture, tradition and subsistence. Within these
stories are key observations that can guide community members as well as
decision makers. For example, hunters and elders know where the richest
hunting grounds are or how to tell when the weather is going to change.
These survival tips are based on repeated observations and have been
passed down from one generation to the next. The Tuktu
and Nogak Project recognizes the value of Inuit contributions to better understanding caribou and celebrates the richness of Inuit Quajimajatuqangit. Through the Tuktu and Nogak Project, it is hoped that Inuit Quajimajatuqangit will be easily available to current and future generations.
An advisory committee called the Tuktu and
Nogak Board decided how the project proceeded. They
determined how Inuit Quajimajatuqangit was collected and stored,
and how it will be used in the future. This committee consists of
elders and community members, mostly from Umingmaktuuq (Bay Chimo) and
Qingauk (Bathurst Inlet), who work with a community researchers Naikak
Hakongak, Sandra Eyegetok and Margo Kadlun-Jones, and a resource
manager, Natasha Thorpe. Throughout the study, people from Qurluqtuq
(Kugluktuk) and Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay) were consulted such that
community members who used to live, hunt or trap in the Bathurst Inlet
region were also included.
The idea for this project came from the
Kugluktuk Angoniatit Association (KAA) in the summer of 1996. The
project began one year later and finished . At the
same time, the KAA is coordinating another Inuit
Quajimajatuqangit effort in 2001 called the 2001 Naonayaotit Study, on behalf of
the Kugluktuk Hunters and Trappers Association. Together these studies will form a unique and accessible record of Inuit ecological knowledge that can be consulted by community members and decision makers today and in the future.