Qaujimaniq Ikiaqqivingmi: Inuit, Arctic Environmentalism, and Digital Knowledge Politics
Jason C. Young
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography, University of Washington
Abstract: Climate change offers a fundamental challenge to many societies to reconsider how they think about and act toward the environment. Despite these calls for new ways of thinking, technical and reductionist approaches to environmental management have largely retained hegemony within institutional spaces of decision-making. By drawing on a case study of Canadian Inuit, I ask whether digital technologies offer new political opportunities for challenging this epistemological hegemony. Inuit increasingly use the Internet to engage in environmental politics, and particularly to push for increased representation of Inuit Qaujimaningit, or Inuit knowledge, in environmental decision-making. I argue that Inuit engagements with the materialities and practices of the Web have produced a complex set of knowledge politics in the Arctic, that simultaneously extend colonial knowledge hierarchies and open space for Inuit to intervene in those hierarchies. This research offers broad insights into the role of digital practices in shaping environmental management, indigenous politics, and the co-production of knowledge across epistemological difference.
Colloquium in Smith 304 at 3:30 with reception to follow in Smith 411.