Climate change has a disproportionate impact on the Canadian Arctic with temperatures rising twice as fast compared to elsewhere in the world: these changes directly impact the mental health and wellbeing of Inuit communities. The National Inuit Youth Council’s President has called for urgent attention to understand the increasing mental health risks facing young people.
This 3-year UK-Canada project is addressing this pressing issue through innovative, community driven approaches with the views that Inuit youth are not simply ‘at-risk’ but pivotal agents of change.
The research team are working alongside Inuit artists to explore how traditional practices of Unikkausivut (storytelling) can be used to convey how Inuit youth are experiencing climate change. Inuit youth are taking part in artistic expression, including traditional Inuk carving, to demonstrate their personal experiences and interactions with their changing environment.
Dr. Jen Bagelman from Newcastle University is working on this project with researchers from USask, University of Victoria, University of Aberdeen, and University of St. Andrew’s. By sharing the research findings with policymakers such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the team hopes to shape and decolonize climate change policy.
Photo Credit: Newcastle University