Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change: Peter Kanayuk on Animal Health
Peter Kanayuk from Pangnirtung speaks about animal health.
Maybe in those days, we had a better sense of smell and taste, and we remember that. Back then, caribou used to taste more flavourful. All the animals we catch, when they're fresh, they taste better. Today, that taste isn't the same. Maybe because of my old age, but it does seem different now.
When I was a young man, I had never seen it. We call them "tisigaalik" here. It's not till we moved to Pang that I started seeing them. Some of the caribou have a lot of those white spots in their meat.
They seem to be safe. Nobody has gotten sick. But, we try to not eat that meat when we see the white spots. For sure, we eat the meat when they're not there. I've haven't seen anybody get sick. When there's too many white spots, we don't like it. Sometimes, we eat the meat when there's not too many white spots.
Caribou are starting to have nostril fly eggs in their throats, when we've never seen this before. They're growing near the throat. It's similar to the insects that we've already observed laying eggs in the caribou back fat. We're seeing these nostril flies more and more now. This is new to us, although regions further south have always had it.
You really notice that seals don't grow fur like they used to. Seals grow new fur when sunbathing on the ice. Now they don't have time to shed due to early ice breakup. We catch these seals during the summer and fall and now they have two types of fur. Normally, every year they shed on top of the ice and get new fur. But now, the old fur stays on the same skin along with the new fur.