Blog: Harvesting with the Pond Inlet Nauttiqsuqtiit
In August we accompanied the Pond Inlet Nauttiqsuqtiit on a harvesting trip to Eclipse Sound. The Pond Inlet team is one of the new Nauttiqsuqtiit branches in the five Tallurutiup Imanga communities, these new positions were negotiated through the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement ratified in August 2019.
Here’s an inside look at the work QIA staff are doing in the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area.
The Nauttiqsuqtiit, or Inuit stewards, are the eyes and ears of the conservation area. They monitor the regions near their communities and also share their harvests with community members. In Pond Inlet, we currently have three Nauttiqsuqtiit.
Before they were Nauttiqsuqtiit, James Kunuk, Leo Maktar, and Ryan Arnakalak were involved in QIA’s community-based monitor program. That program began in 2017 and was operated as a pilot project for monitoring, training, skills development and capacity building in the community. This is where the Pond Inlet Nauttiqsuqtiit got their start at QIA.
“I’m glad that I got hired as a Nauttiqsuqtiit,” says Leo Maktar, “I want to learn more about the land and teach my young kids so the traditions can go on.”
During the visit at Maktar’s cabin in Eclipse Sound, the Nauttiqsuqtiit made observations on vegetation in the area, weather conditions and the movements of marine life and birds. They also harvested seals which were shared with Inuit in Pond Inlet.
Our Pond Inlet Nauttiqsuqtiit are doing important work in the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation We hope to share more pictures and videos from our other teams in Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord in the upcoming months.