Inuit Women and Subsistence: Social and Environmental Change

The objective of the project was to investigate women’s activities related to harvesting and processing country foods and materials. The research team examined the social networks of sharing and the collection, processing, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (including country foods, materials, money and store bought goods) and looked at people’s views of how subsistence practices have changed over the past 50 years and the main threats to the current system. The project took place in Qikiqtarjuaq and Clyde River, conducting interviews with women about foods they eat, what kinds of country food they have available to them, how they share food, goods and services, and who they share these with. Oral histories from Elders were documented to examine how women's lives have changed since before settlement in the present communities and how the land is being used differently. The project also hosted an on-the-land retreat, bringing women together from both communities to camp and go berry-picking together for over a week outside of Clyde River. The retreat was an opportunity for the women involved in the project to share knowledge and strengthen support networks.

Project leads: 
Martha Dowsley – Lakehead University
Timeframe: 
2008-2012