The Ecology of Stone and Bone

It's windy and snowy in Resolute Bay and we're spending our first day connecting with locals and preparing for the week ahead. Conveniently, there's a local Hamlet Council meeting today, and we'll be making a presentation about the project.

However, before we really get going with interviews with elders and locals here in Resolute, I want to discuss another "wow" moment in Pangnirtung. It was when we sat down with Jaco Ishulutaq to discuss climate change.

Jaco is a prolific hunter and carver from Pang. His work has been featured in galleries throughout Nunavut and the world. Despite his success, he's an incredibly grounded man, focused on family and living a rich Inuit way of life.

I've spent many years living on the land with Jaco. He's an instructor on our university program that takes students from across Canada to Pang to live and learn from Inuit (see the course promo video here). He's an excellent communicator and has much to teach.

While in Pang, we sat down with Jaco to discuss climate change, specifically focusing on a carving that he made called "global warming". The carving was mind blowing. A huge rock tablet with three hands carved into it as the base, with a massive carved walrus skull sitting on top, and various other carvings attached to the skull.

The carving represented Jaco's worldview on how global warming was going to adversely affect certain parts of the Arctic ecosystem and how people from all nations must work together to combat this problem. His rich and nuanced understanding of ecology was represented in how he carved the stone and bone.






Ian Mauro's picture

19 May 2009


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