We have arrived in Panniqtuuq - "the place of bull caribou" - yesterday. Indeed, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, nestled in a glacial mountain fjord complex just off of Cumberland Sound, home to approximately 1400 Inuit.
A number of friends greeted us at the airport and we quickly hauled all our (ridiculous amount of) gear to the local lodge. Our cameraman, David Poisey, is from Pangnirtung and he helped to organize a meeting with local hunters after supper.
We're planning to head out "on the land" with local hunters so that they can show us how climate change is affecting environmental and human health in the region. Zach introduced our project and an Inuktitut discussion ensued and the hunters decided that they want to take us to the floe edge, about three hours away by ski doo, which is the the interface between the sea ice and ocean.
The floe edge is a rich ecosystem where animals gather, including various whales, seals and polar bear, and hunters spend much of their time there through the winter waiting for these animals to present themselves. Inuit "country food" is very healthy, bioregional in origin, rich in nutrients and requiring physical activity to procure it. Moreover, important cultural knowledge is required to hunt and prepare this food, which promotes Inuit life ways.
Well, the hunters are showing up, and we're off to pick up supplies. We'll likely be gone for three days and so I'll hit the blog again when I return. Stay tuned on www.isuma.tv for more details.