Cafe Scientifique: Inuit Traditional Knowledge: “It lives through sharing and everyday use”


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Dianne Kinnon, Director
Inuit Tuttarvingat

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Cafe Scientifique: Inuit Traditional Knowledge: “It lives through sharing and everyday use”

  1. 1. Inuit Traditional Knowledge: “ It lives through sharing and everyday use” Café Scientifique October 5, 2010 Presented by: Dianne Kinnon, Director Inuit Tuttarvingat
  2. 2. <ul><li>Inuit Tuttarvingat of NAHO is the Inuit-specific centre of the National Aboriginal Health Organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Our mission is to </li></ul><ul><li>advance and promote the health and well-being </li></ul><ul><li>of Inuit individuals, families and communities </li></ul><ul><li>by working in strong partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>to collect information and share knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH ->-> KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION </li></ul>
  3. 3. Inuit live in 53 Arctic and Northern communities in Canada, as well as several southern cities. 78% of Inuit live in the Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homeland) while 22% live outside Inuit Nunangat
  4. 4. Our main activities are: ◊ collecting and sharing Inuit knowledge ◊ conducting research on priority topics ◊ making western and academic knowledge accessible ◊ providing tools and information to service providers and communities ◊ supporting knowledge networks ◊ using a variety of media to share knowledge
  5. 5. <ul><li>Inuit knowledge ↔ Traditional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>… Is a cumulative body of local or regional knowledge and beliefs handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of spiritual and living things (including humans) with one another and with their environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder Alicee Joamie, </li></ul><ul><li>Nunavut elder </li></ul><ul><li>NAHO National Conference </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Is Inuit Knowledge Science? </li></ul><ul><li>Science is defined as knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method of: </li></ul><ul><li>◊ Observation/research </li></ul><ul><li>◊ Hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>◊ Prediction </li></ul><ul><li>◊ Experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>◊ Conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Inuit have practiced science for thousands of years </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ Work actively with Inuit elders, healers and cultural bodies to identify and share Inuit traditional knowledge” and </li></ul><ul><li>“ Focus on Inuit expertise in developing Inuit specific health programs and addressing health issues at the community level”. </li></ul>Inuit Tuttarvingat Traditional Knowledge Priorities:
  8. 8. <ul><li>Inuit Knowledge Must be Shared </li></ul><ul><li>“ The very premise underpinning Inuit Indigenous Knowledge is that it must be shared; otherwise it is no longer traditional knowledge… </li></ul><ul><li>However, it must be respected and must be used to benefit </li></ul><ul><li>the holders of this knowledge.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rosemary Kuptana, quoted in Inuit Traditional Practices that Encouraged Resilience and Coping, NAHO, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge holder </li></ul><ul><li>Miriam Lyall, Nunatsiavut </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Cultural Safety is Grounded </li></ul><ul><li>in Cultural Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Ruby Arngna’naaq </li></ul><ul><li>Ottawa elder </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mental health workers, correctional and social service staff need to extend services for healing Inuit using Inuit ways of healing” </li></ul><ul><li>Nellie Pokiak </li></ul><ul><li>Inuvialuit elder </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>It is Time for Indigenous Peoples to Lead </li></ul><ul><li>… it is our turn to say “listen to us”; let us call the meeting and you come and listen and understand.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mirian Lyall, Nunatsiavut </li></ul><ul><li>Elders Nellie Pokiak and Mary Adams at an elders workshop in November 2009 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research with Elders Use original research in more than one product Use direct quotes to capture the voices of knowledge holders and foster cultural safety “ Talk to each other when you are in crises, which is like bad weather. When you talk to another about things, it starts to feel like good weather.”
  12. 12. Provide Opportunities for Face to Face Learning Inuit Healing Practices Workshop NAHO National Conference, Nov. 2009 Elders: Nellie Pokiak, Mary Adams, Alicee Joamie and Minnie Etidloie  
  13. 13. <ul><li>Elders will decide what to share but also need information on their rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Minnie Etidloie, Nunavik elder </li></ul><ul><li>NAHO National Conference </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Inuit traditional knowledge resources online at: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you </li></ul>
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