Jamie Snook: On the pathway to Inuit self-determination in research
In the July 2018 issue of the journal Northern Public Affairs, scholar 2017 Jamie Snook, along with coauthors Ashlee Cunsolo and Aaron Dale, addresses the research role of wildlife co-management boards in Inuit Nunangat. These boards, one of the outcomes of the Inuit land claims processes over past decades, allow Inuit people to play an active role in decision-making over the management of wildlife and plant species across Inuit Nunangat.
While co-management boards are responsible for conducting and reviewing research to support evidence-based decision-making about species within the land claims regions, they are often unable to fulfill this part of their mandates due a lack of resources. Snook and his co-authors argue, however, that “designing and leading research through these boards can be an essential component of self-determination and sovereignty over research” for Inuit. They illustrate this through the case of the Torngat Wildlife and Plants Co-Management Board in Nunatsiavut (Labrador), which developed a research project on caribou management and stewardship at the request of an Inuit community. Empowering Inuit in the Nunatsiavut region with new knowledge, this research has created a stronger base from which to make decisions and recommendations in the future.