Mobilizing Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in Narwhal Management through Community Empowerment: A Case Study in Naujaat, Nunavut




Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, community empowerment, marine mammal management, Nunavut


This research examines the relationship between government wildlife management and the use of Inuit knowledge or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) through a case study focusing on narwhal (Monodon monoceros) harvesting in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut. Since Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) introduced a community quota system in 1971, the ultimate responsibility for decision making has shifted from hunting communities to government. This shift corresponds with changes in the use of IQ within the community. Interviews with hunters, elders, and representatives of the hunters and trappers organization in Naujaat provide insight into the nature of these changes. Key factors influencing the role of IQ in narwhal management decision making included the imposed quota system, the perception of the ongoing role of IQ, communication challenges, modern-day drivers of change, and the lack of decision-making authority at the community level.