The Weather People
Ever since my first Arctic trip, I've always been amazed by the ability of Inuit to predict the weather, ensuring that safe travel and adequate country foods are always taken care of. Today, we reviewed an interview with Livie Kullualik - our "captain" on our trip out to Pangnirtung's floe edge this spring - and he told us about "weather reporting". Livie said:
"Before we had weather reports, clouds were the only way we could tell the weather. You could tell how the weather will be. You really notice it. Now a days, we go by weather reports. You can still know the weather by practicing the old ways. Now, if you get a bad weather report, you don't go hunting. That's now a days, but I'm not like that. When I think it's not going to be bad, I just go. Even in bad weather, we travel."
This quote reaffirmed my believe that Inuit are true experts regarding climate. Indeed, the true "weather people", able to navigate a changing world, and tell us all about it. Livie's observations were startling: melting ice and glaciers and sick animals. Livie's knowledge goes back to when he was a boy, living on the land, and traveling around by dog team. This 68 year old man still "doesn't have a job because [he's] always been a hunter" and he still is. He knows what he speaks and he only tells you what he knows. A humble and insightful climate expert if I've ever met one.