Researcher: Inuit culture in peril

Nov 23, 2007

Global warming could doom the hunting and fishing culture of the Inuit in Canada, an expert on the Arctic region says.

Franklyn Griffiths, a retired University of Toronto political science professor with expertise on Arctic and Russian matters, told members of Parliament Thursday his interviews of Inuit hunters and elders revealed a significant minority have serious concerns about climate change, CanWest News Service reported Friday.

"There's a real worry that the physical basis for the culture will be wiped out," Griffiths said. "Hunting will become the equivalent of picnics. It's all over, that way. No longer are they Inuit.

While a majority of Inuit say they believe they would adapt, he said he worries about their future.

"There's a cultural genocide implied. That is my phrase, not something they'd use.

"I think there is a real risk of Inuit culture being wiped out," he said, "but when and how fast that happens, I don't really know."

New projections portend a much-faster warming trend. Louis Fortier, scientific director of the Canadian research network ArcticNet, said the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summertime as soon as 2010 or 2015, instead of 2050 predicted earlier under worst-case scenarios.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: NOAA: 'Nuisance flooding' an increasing problem as coastal sea levels rise

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scalping can raise ticket prices

11 hours ago

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

13 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

Recommended for you

Australia approves huge India-backed mine

5 hours ago

Australia has given the go-ahead to a massive coal mine in Queensland state which Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Monday could ultimately provide electricity for up to 100 million Indians.

Phytoplankton use turbulence to survive

6 hours ago

A unique water profiling instrument developed by The University of Western Australia's Centre for Water Research (CWR) is enabling scientists to understand the impact of even the most subtle turbulence on ...

User comments : 0