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Participatory Action for an Inuit-Led Research on Food Production and Nutrition in Inuit Nunangat


Principal investigators

Patrice Dion, Caroline Hervé


Maurice Doyon, Martine Dorais, Stéphanie Dudonné

Collaborators outside U. Laval

Clara Evalik (Department of Health, Kitikmeot region), Laura Jaakola (UiT The Arctic University of Norway), Chantal Langlois (Government of Nunavut), Marla Limousin (Municipality of Cambridge Bay), David Natcher (University of Saskatchewan), Martin Raillard (Canadian High Arctic Research Station-CHARS), Karen Tanino (University of Saskatchewan), Leanne Wilson (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)


The National Inuit Strategy on Research from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami calls for Inuit self-determination in research. The present proposal asserts that non-Inuit researchers can contribute to Inuit empowerment in research, through participatory action processes that open wide spaces for dialogue and mutual learning. Because 70% of Inuit households are food insecure, and as a result of climatic, economic, cultural and other factors influencing Inuit communities, implementation of a local food production system represents an ideal case study for fostering the emergence of Inuit-led research. It is proposed here to support an Arctic community in its efforts to develop its own model for a local food production system, while recognizing Inuit perspectives and attitudes towards adoption of new technologies, supported both by traditional knowledge and newly acquired scientific knowledge.

Hence, the proposed participatory action research is situated at the crossroads of two Inuit-defined priorities, which are to: (i) advance Inuit governance in research and (ii) increase food security and nutritional health. Inuit processes leading to research development and technology adoption will thus be characterized and systematized. The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is mandated to improve the environmental health and wellness of Inuit populations through research and community outreach and, as such, will make major contributions to all aspects of the proposed project. The proposed research will also involve partnerships with the University of Saskatchewan (for knowledge mobilisation and anthropology) and UiT the Arctic University of Norway (for berry cultivation and phytochemistry). The present participatory research initiative will (i) support the community of Cambridge Bay in the implementation of a local food production system, (ii) understand Inuit perspectives on scientific processes related to local food production and (iii) empower Nunavummiut in the development of these processes.