Inuit Of The Arctic Essay

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methodology and ethics), how results are circulated, and, most importantly, how research is funded, all being interrelated areas in research governance.

We cannot separate these areas from one another, from policy-making, and from the wider social-cultural and political-economic context in the Arctic, since they further replicate colonial relations between Inuit and Canada.

I understand this credibility gap as the view that Inuit (traditional) knowledge does not have (the same) credibility compared to Western academic knowledge.

The former is assumed to be based on questionable oral tradition, myth, and story, while the latter is assumed to come from research that collects, questions, and analyzes evidence in a rigorous manner.

Such a view is rather an exception in my experience.

Research practices overwhelmingly show a gap in what is deemed scientifically valuable.This essay was originally published by Northern Public Affairs, an independent, volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing diverse voices from across the North to analyze and comment on pressing public concerns.Setting the context: The credibility gap and research governance I joined academia out of the conviction that, by understanding the systems that control our lives as Inuit, I would be able to envision some of the solutions that might change such systems to better suit our realities.There is a fundamental difference between the wider Western understanding of traditional knowledge and IQ.The latter is a dynamic concept, with a whole worldview captured in a word; it is not a passive notion, but one that focuses on doing, on perceiving, and on learning as a community, and on the connection between past, present, and future as key to community and our relation to nature.In my academic life, I have regularly taken the opportunity to research and write about topics that relate to Inuit, developing important tools to critique, analyze, and question systemic issues that Inuit face.This process has not been without tensions and struggles.Current governance of Arctic research speaks to this credibility gap and extends into policy-making in the North.I take research governance to include how knowledge is perceived, how research is done (i.e.In whatever way it is defined, it largely lacks the legitimacy (and credibility) of scientific knowledge.Hunn’s definition that “TEK is knowledge” (Hunn, 19) is closest to the idea that TEK represents a different, not less, way of knowing.


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