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Saimatsianiq Project, by Suzy Watt Kauki

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20 September 2022

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 Saimatsianiq: Documenting, mobilizing, and promoting Inuit legal practices to preserve social harmony in Nunavik
Project directed by Caroline Hervé, Research Chair on Relations with Inuit Societies (Université Laval)

The main objective of this project is to strengthen justice-related capacity and governance for Inuit in Nunavik by documenting, mobilizing, and promoting Inuit legal practices and knowledge. This participatory action research will involve three interrelated kinds of work:

1) Documenting traditional and contemporary legal knowledge and practices of the Inuit of Nunavik. For this, it is necessary to understand the nature of such knowledge and practices, and to analyze how they have been transformed over the last century up to the present, particularly through the imposition of the Canadian justice system. We will thus better see how certain practices have persisted or re-emerged both informally—in community relations—and formally—in Nunavik justice services. Through a literature review, workshops, and interviews, we wish to learn more about Inuit legal practices and knowledge, which we can then be transfered and mobilized.
2) Mobilizing what we have learned about formal and informal Inuit legal knowledge and practices. The aim here is to promote transfer of knowledge among Inuit, specifically from elders to younger people, and among people employed in Nunavik’s various judicial and paralegal sectors. We hope this transfer of knowledge will strengthen everyone’s ability to act, while improving the cultural sensitivity of workers in those services. Through this project we will work with Nunavik judicial and paralegal services to help them develop tools (such as terms of reference and videos) that they can use internally to improve Inuit and non-Inuit staff training and to develop culturally appropriate approaches.
3) Promoting Inuit legal knowledge and practices by creating informational and promotional tools. We will create them by working hand in hand with Nunavik judicial and paralegal services. These tools will be intended not only for non-Inuit staff in justice and other public sectors but also for Inuit communities in general to help them gain access to culturally appropriate justice.

This 3-year project has been designed following discussions with the main justice-related organizations of Nunavik: the Justice Committees (Makivik Corporation), the Crime Victims Assistance Centre-Sapummijiit and the Community Reintegration Program (Kativik Regional Government), and the Nunavik Police Service. It will be coordinated by the Sentinel North Research Chair on Relations with Inuit Societies, who received the financial support of the Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program (JPIP): "Revitalization of Indigenous Laws”.

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Duration:

6m 11s

Tagged:

anthropology, justice, nunavik, quebec, research

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