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An Inuit Perspective on Global Climate Change

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Published on Jun 26, 2012

On October 26, 2007, Peter Irniq, Canadian Inuit leader, artist, activist, and former Crown Commissioner of Nunavut, the largest indigenously governed territory in North America, spoke at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology for the Barbara Greenwald Memorial Arts Program. While many of us are waking up to the fact that climate change is a major threat to the planet, the Inuit of Arctic Canada have been living with its consequences and trying to raise the alarm for years. Peter Irniq's voice, in Ottawa and around the globe, has been one of the most influential among them.

On October 27 and 28, Mr. Irniq built a stone figure, an "inuksuk", on the grounds of the Haffenreffer Museum (now the Museum's Research Center) in Bristol, RI, using native stone from Mount Hope. Inuksuit are stone figures built by the Inuit as hunting and navigational aids, coordination points, and markers of places and spaces that hold reverential, sacred, or memorial roles in the cultural landscape.

Co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs and ARCUS (the Arctic Research Center of the United States), the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, donors to the Barbara Greenwald Memorial Arts Program, and the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Introductions in this video are by Shepard Krech, III, Museum Director at the time of this program; Kevin Smith, Deputy Director; and Osvaldo Sala, Professor of Biology and Head of the Center for Environmental Studies at Brown University at the time of this program.

Videography and editing by Sarah Philbrick and TC Fitzgerald.

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