Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Our Ice Is Vanishing/Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Our Ice Is Vanishing/Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change

Article excerpt

Shelley Wright, Our Ice is Vanishing/Sikuvut Nunguliqtuq: A History of Inuit, Newcomers, and Climate Change (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014), 420 pp. 10 colour photos. 42 b&w photos. 3 maps. 4 diagrams. Cased. £26.99. ISBN 978-0-7735-4462-8.

A scoping work, Our Ice Is Vanishing contextualises the colonial histories and scientific environmental studies of which most readers will be at least passingly familiar, with perspectives of the unique and insightful Inuit who act as silaup aalaruqpalianigata tusaqtittijiit (witnesses and messengers of climate change). This book challenges its reader to engage with Inuit knowledge and observations to enhance their own understanding of the immediate impacts of climate change, and the unprecedented manners in which these fundamental environmental changes will continue without, or perhaps even with, intervention.

Wright weaves together cultural narratives, past and present, with her personal experiences of living in Nunavut and working with the Inuit as the acting Northern Director of Akitsiraq Law School in Iqaluit. In this way she succeeds in emphasising the tangible and current impact of climate change on the Inuit and others living in the north. Her writing is accessible and informative, while frequently enhanced by the use of Inuktitut terms which are more apt than any found in the English lexicon.

Perhaps as a reflection of her conversations with elders emphasising that 'the road forward for all of us must always have its roots in the past' (p. 35), the first several chapters consist not just of one, but many histories, juxtaposing the approaches of the Newcomers and Inuit to the Arctic climate. …

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