The Kangut Project - Dominique Henri, Aupaa Irkok, Natalie A. Carter, Vicky Johnston, Paul A. Smith, Arviat Project Management Committee, Coral Harbour Project Management Committee
Inuit living in Nunavut have harvested light geese (Lesser Snow and Ross’ Geese; kangut and kangunnaaq) and lived near goose colonies for generations. Inuit knowledge (IK) includes important information about light goose ecology that can inform co-management efforts and complement scientific monitoring. Scientific research has linked increasing light goose abundance to habitat degradation in some portions of the central and eastern Canadian Arctic, which could be contributing to declining populations of sympatric (co-occurring) bird species. The Kangut Project (www.kangut.ca) was undertaken in response to concerns expressed by Inuit, scientists and wildlife managers about light goose abundance. This project was conducted as a partnership between Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Irniurviit and Nivvialik Area Co-Management Committees, the Arviat and Aiviit (Coral Harbour) Hunters and Trappers Organizations, and Carleton University. Project objectives were to: (1) document Inuit knowledge about light goose ecology in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut; (2) explore Inuit-identified strategies for light goose management; (3) increase the capacity of Kivalliq residents to conduct research on wildlife; and (4) identify opportunities for the combined use of IK and scientific information in light goose research and management.
We report on our project experiences and research findings, describe the participatory research methods implemented, and discuss project implications for wildlife co-management and research supporting Inuit self-determination in Inuit Nunangat.