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: Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 years

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU court maintains seal fur ban

Apr 25, 2013

An EU court in a much-anticipated ruling Thursday upheld a 2010 ban on seal products, throwing out an appeal by fur traders including native Inuit from Canada and Greenland, and Scottish sporran-makers.

Recommended for you

New research on Earth's carbon budget

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

More, bigger wildfires burning western US, study shows

21 hours ago

Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years – a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

New research on Earth's carbon budget

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...