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Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change: Elisapee Ishulutak


29 October 2010


Elisapee Ishulutak, Pangnirtung's oldest resident, discusses climate change.  

It use to be steaming fog from the shore and the dog teams would be coming. You could hear their breathing. You could hear them coming in the fog. It was cold. That was wonderful.

It only notice the moon. It seems to be higher. Now, during the full moon you look right up, but it used to be a lot lower. You have look way up now a days. That's what I've noticed.

Everything is different now. There's more wind now. We used to go bating in a row boat. No wind. When we used to see ripples on the water from the wind, we would put up the sail, and it wouldn't come and we had to row the boat. It used to be so calm and not very often would we have wind. Not like today, wind after wind after wind.

It's warmer now. Even the heat is different now. It used to be warm, not like today. It was warm. To me, it's different now.

Yes, the environment is evolving. Everything is following the environment. As it happens now, it's different now, our beautiful environment is changing. We, the Inuit, are changing too.

As it happens, there used to be snow on the glaicers, but they're all gone. All the glaciers that used to be by the shore, they're all gone, completely. There used to be glaciers, it seemed like they'd never melt, bu tnow they're all gone. We used to get drinking water from the glaciers by the shore, but now this source is all gone.

We used to dog team to Pang for Christmas in the winter time. When it froze up the ice was perfect. Now, at the same time of the year, there's no ice. The ice doesn't come.

Maybe the sea is getting warmer and its melting the ice from beneath. It seems like it's just melting, our beautiful ice. In the spring time in July, we used to hunt seals on the ice. The ice would be there for a long time. Some of the ice would be open but more would be solid. We used to hunt baby seals in their dens in July...The ices goes away really quickly, when it the old days it would normally be there. The ice is now very fragile.

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