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Imagining the Ecological Inuit

Imagining the Ecological Inuit



This is my powerpoint presentation I created for my Human Ecology course. We were asked to conduct research on a hunter-gatherer case study and present our findings to the class.

This is my powerpoint presentation I created for my Human Ecology course. We were asked to conduct research on a hunter-gatherer case study and present our findings to the class.



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    Imagining the Ecological Inuit Imagining the Ecological Inuit Presentation Transcript

    • Imagining the Ecological Inuit: A Case Study of The Arctic Inuit Culture Written and Presented by Stina Miller
    • The Inuit
      • Inuit of the Arctic: Alaska, Canada, Labrador, and Greenland
      • Relying mostly on fish, sea mammals, and land animals for food (caribou, birds, ground squirrels, foxes)
      • Were nomads, now
      • live mostly in permanent
      • dwellings
    • Home Sweet Home: Nunavut
      • Rankin Inlet and Bylot
      • Island
    • The Community & Culture
      • Social status: responsibilities of men, women, children, elders
      • No word for male or female, no differing social status
      • Learning: Isumaqsayuq = learning by doing – observation and imitation that occurs within the daily community
    • The Power of A Name:
      • Inummarik: “Genuine Self”
      • Naming is a central pillar in Inuit culture, from the naming of people to that of the environment and animals
      • Passing on a name: the continuation of a life, a never-ending people as they are passed down to each new generation.
    • Inuit Identity & Animals
      • Generosity is part of Inummarik – sharing of animal = sharing the belief and practices of that animal
      • The Inuit identity does not leave room for a seperation of the human, animal, and material communities (Stairs, 120).
    • The Cultural Practice of Eating: Hunting
      • Hunting: tradition, rite of passage,
      • main mode of subsistence, man’s job
      • Ecocentric actions: “ an active process…what is most true of the individual [and] their deepest sense of self (Stairs, 120).”
      • Hunting is part of their identity – without it,
      • “ an Inuit ceases to be
      • an Inuk (Stairs, 125).”
    • The Cultural Practice of Eating: Gathering
      • Gathering: Mostly a hunting society
      • Summer climate brings bird and caribou migration, fox hunts, and much more fishing
      • Narwhal =
      • High in nutrition
    • Physiological and Anatomical Adaptations
      • Allen’s Rule: Cold climates mean decrease in visible extremities
      • Light skin
      • Short stature and features
      • Higher cold tolerance
      • Dark hair for heat absorption
    • Cultural Adaptations:
      • Living: Igloo’s are only used in traditions and for show, most have permanent lodging
      • Tools: Guns, snowmobiles, fishing equipment, western clothing, cooking utensils, modern modes of living
      • Society: Little to no social rules, deviation from the norm is not subject to expulsion
    • Environmental Conditions:
      • “ Tundra”: conditions of north pole
      • Ecological mindset: no distinguishing environment from concepts of identity
      • Language reflects landscape: various words for snow and landscapes, there is no generic words.
      • Route markers
    • Misconceptions and Stereotypes:
      • Nomads
      • Baby-killer’s and supporters of “killing the old people!”
      • Merely surviving, not living
      • “ Primitive” in their lifestyle and social structure
      • Romanticizing the simple life: in contrast, Inuit cultures depend greatly on complex interdependency with the human, natural, and environmental community
      • The reversal of Western thought: instead of independence, becoming increasingly grounded in a community is central
    • Tides of Change
      • Environmental changes
      • Loss of isolation: westernization in the arctic
      • A melting home: changes in environment changes animal habitats and therefore Inuit culture
    • Conclusion:
      • “ isolated” landscape, isolated people
      • A great culture to study because of their unique view of living
      • Pressure from agriculturalist societies
      • Although environmental changes have pressured the Inuit culture into changing some of their ecological practices, they were never a static culture
    • Resources Used:
      • Research Material:
      • Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers, and The Shaping of The World . New York: North Point, 2001. Print
      • Stairs, Arlene. "Self-Image, World-Image: Speculations on Identity from Experiences with Inuit." Ethos 20.1 (1992): 116-26. JSTOR . Web
      • Sutton, Mark Q., and Eugene N. Anderson. Introduction to Cultural Ecology . Lanham, MD: AltaMira, 2010. Print
      • Photos:
      • http://assets.panda.org/img/inuit_hidden_treasure_301787.jpg
      • http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/news/cop_15/virtual_tour_of_the_arctic_tent/