Goose monitoring to restore Inuit food sovereignty

Banner Photo: Kukik Baker

Understanding the impacts of climate change on Arctic nesting geese – a key towards Inuit food sovereignty in Arviat, Nunavut 

2022 – 2026

Funded by: CIHR

Funded PhD Student Opportunity! Expressions of interest will be considered starting May 31, 2023

Photos: Kukik Baker, Gita Ljubicic


Inuit diet was based on harvesting from a range of plant and animal species throughout the
year, enabling Inuit to thrive even in seasonal scarcity. Today food insecurity in Nunavut is the
highest in Canada at four times the national average. The Aqqiumavvik Society in Arviat,
Nunavut addresses community food insecurity by encouraging local harvesting and
consumption of abundant, nutrient-rich wild foods. Arviat is a seasonal nesting ground to an
overly large population of light geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese); an important food resource
that is underutilized.

Arviarmiut (people of Arviat) want to know if their goose population is safe to consume, and to
understand what level of increased community harvest of geese and eggs is sustainable. To
address these questions, our project will monitor light goose population, distribution, and
health according to community-relevant metrics. Arviat young hunters will be trained to lead
the monitoring, supporting Inuit self-determination in research and addressing continuity
challenges in federal monitoring programs. We will also investigate community goose
consumption preferences and nutritional implications. Community-led monitoring provides the
foundation to assess the impacts of climate change on Arctic nesting geese and their habitat
over time.

The Aqqiumavvik Society has brought together a diverse and dedicated team of community,
academic, and government researchers with expertise in Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ; Inuit
knowledge and values), community health, epidemiology, Inuit food systems, goose biology,
population dynamics, and ecotoxicology. We will investigate the interplay between human and
goose population health, climatic change, migratory bird policy, and food security using the
Aajiiqatigiingniq Research Methodology to build consensus and seek solutions. Ultimately,
this project aims to promote renewed community harvests and consumption of light geese
that can contribute to restoring Inuit food sovereignty.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You can freely download and share all documents posted for non-commercial uses, as long as the authors are credited. Photos cannot be used for any other purposes, without permission from the photographer.


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