Young people from Nunavut make documentary on climate change | Polarjournal
The Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) is a creative center. Artists who work here will also participate in the documentary film project. Photo: Alison Boyce

The indigenous residents of the Arctic are among those most affected by global climate change. A documentary film project on climate change, which will be realized by teenagers and young adults from the Canadian territory of Nunavut, will show the effects that are already being felt in Arctic communities.

The project is entitled Our People, Our Climate and is a collaboration between the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Kinngait, Nunavut, the Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, Scotland, ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre Iqaluit, Nunavut and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Participating teenagers and young adults come from all over Nunavut and will record audio and visual material about the impact of climate change in their communities.

In preparation, the ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre, a center for the development of skills and abilities that offers training before entering professional life, will provide participants with online training in documentary techniques such as photography, videography, drone photography and interview techniques. The University of Minnesota Duluth will also contribute to the project with courses in digital photography and video technology and a mentorship program.

The project Our People, Our Climate began with a course at ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre Iqaluit, where young people were introduced to the historical transition of Inuit and Nunavut from traditional energy use to the scientific process of global warming, and the observed impacts through Inuit community knowledge and observation to opportunities for personal, community and energy stakeholder change.

The finished film will also feature paintings by artists from the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative (WBEC). “We are very pleased to participate in this dynamic and multifaceted partnership”, said WBEC President Pauloosie Kowmageak in a press release. “The Inuit artists of Kinngait have a long history of documenting the land around them, and their artwork will provide important insights on climate change for the viewers of this exceptional film production.”

Screening in 2021
The documentary will be presented in November next year at the Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow during the annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “This dynamic partnership is an excellent example of collaboration on many levels while pioneering mentorship”, said David Joanasie, Member of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly for South Baffin County. “I look forward to the results of this training initiative and I am excited that both our youth and Kinngait artists will have the chance to share their perspectives on climate change with an international audience.”

Julia Hager, PolarJournal

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