Kuujjuaq, Nunavik – March 30,2015 Makivvik would like to congratulate the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (North Slope), the Wildlife Management Advisory Council (Northwest Territories) and the Inuvialuit Game Council on the release of their Polar Bear Traditional Knowledge Study. Observations by Inuit and Inuit Traditional Knowledge form a vital component in our understanding of polar bears and are one of the cornerstones of polar bear management in Canada. Studies such as the one released today help us better comprehend pan-Arctic polar bear trends and demonstrate the invaluable insights that Inuit have on polar bears, even if they seem to contradict popular impressions on polar bear health and abundance. Conducted in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, this study aligns closely with another recent Traditional Knowledge Study which appeared recently in the journal Arctic which found that “despite substantial changes in sea ice and other aspects of polar bear habitat, the animals generally appear to be in good body condition, and cubs continue to be observed regularly” (Voorhees et al. 2015, Arctic 67). The Inuvialuit study provides an excellent example that Inuit, who have lived for millennia with polar bears, are in the best position to understand the state of polar bears in a changing environment, and offers further support for an increasingly influential body of evidence based in Inuit Traditional Knowledge.
Adamie Delisle Alaku
Resource Development Department
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