Tooniktoyok: Monitoring the dynamic, contextual nature of climate change vulnerability among Inuit hunters of Canada’s Far North

Funder: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC): Climate Change Preparedness in the North Programme

External primary investigator: Dr Tristan D. Pearce

Postgraduate student: Mr Angus Naylor 

The use of a vulnerability approach to the study of human-environment interactions has been critical to improving the baseline understanding of how Arctic communities experience climate change. However, a lack of dynamic methodologies in previous vulnerability assessments, and a dominance of short-term projects reliant upon participant recall, has developed a static characterization of the climate impacts, adaptive capacities, and exposures affecting the Arctic. Tooniktoyok, meaning ‘extreme determination’, is a project collaborating with 10 Inuit hunters. Equipped with GPS trackers, and participating in semi-structured, bi-weekly focus groups, the cohort captures real-time data on exposure-sensitivities affecting their subsistence practices and adaptive capacity. In combination with data from previous research conducted in Ulukhaktok, Tooniktoyok aims to better understand hazards in the local environment, changing wildlife and travel routes, and the microeconomics of subsistence, whilst also providing a venue for hunters, researchers and decision-makers to identify and share their observations, concerns, and information needs.