Nunavut doctoral student wins award for research that combines Inuit knowledge and Western science

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A doctoral student received a prestigious award for her work on beluga whales in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Enooyaq Sudlovenick, who grew up on Baffin Island, Nunavut, is one of the 2021 recipients of the Weston Family Award in Northern Research.

Sudlovenick, who studies at the University of Manitoba, takes an in-depth look at the health of beluga populations from both the perspective of Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, and Western science.

Incorporating the two perspectives “just makes the whole project better,” she told guest host Cory Chibry on the CBC Radio show. North wind.

“It’s great to look at an issue that you think about from different angles. she said.

As she progressed in her studies, Sudlovenick found herself drawn again and again to the arctic marine animals she came to know as a child, researching char. knight, then on the ringed seals and now the beluga whales.

Sudlovenick deepens the health of beluga whales by speaking with fishermen, hunters and Inuit elders, as well as examining parameters like contaminant loads and levels of disease exposure. (The Canadian Press)

“All the animals I have worked on are important to the Inuit,” she said. “I grew up fishing, I grew up hunting seals… and even hunting beluga in the bay here.

She says with climate change posing a new threat to wildlife populations, “we need to know how they’re doing.”


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