Last week, from September 4th – 7th, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s (QIA) department of IQ & Engagement welcomed Elders from across the Qikiqtani region to Iqaluit to exchange Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and learn from their shared knowledge.

There was no formal agenda for the gathering, instead a moderation team led by QIA staff members would introduce a variety of topics and let Elders speak freely about what they knew. What followed was several days of lively discussions, knowledge sharing and stories.

The discussion topics were broad and ranged from:

  • Kayak building,
  • Inuit naming conventions,
  • the movement, use and harvesting of marine and terrestrial mammals and birds,
  • learning how to catch fish at different times of the year,
  • snow and igloo building

The gathering was a great success for the organization and QIA plans to include youth in the next set of discussions to ensure knowledge exchange happens between generations.  The QIA also plans to compile and print out resource materials of Inuit knowledge for distribution and safe keeping.