On Thin Ice, How the Inuit Adapt to Climate Change


Mia Hernandez, Junior High Staff Writer

Remember when you learned about the Inuit tribes in elementary school? Well, they still live today with a population of over 140,000 people scattered around Canada, Greenland,  Denmark, and the US! With most of them living in Canada right above us, the Inuit are  struggling to adapt to the same situations we are right now. Well, how are they doing it? 

In Nunavut, life is very unique compared to ours. They grew up learning how to live in the very  very chilly weather as  some are still living in igloos. Mainly, majority of their population live in ordinary houses like us. People of the Arctic territory thrive with the cold weather by simply  hunting, berry picking, fishing, and more whilst also being in a struggle to do that without  falling through ice. People on the northland of Canada have grown up to learn original family  tactics on how to easily fish and hunt hassle-free. They strategize and use common skills to live  through their challenges.  

Surrounding Nunavut’s coastline is sea-ice that covers the water. In other words it is ice that  floats on top of the water’s surface. Hunters punch holes through the ice with harpoons that  are long spades to assure the ice is able to withstand the weight they need.  Usually, children grow up to learn how to easily do just that. But, with current day’s climate change being  a growing global issue, the community has been very much affected by it and thin ice has  became normal – the Nunavut’s biggest night-mare. Luckily for them an app was created  to help threatened families. SIKU is a data collecting app that connects the people to keep  each-other safe. SIKU (sea-ice in Inuit language) was launched in 2019 and gained a surprising  6,000+  of Inuit users to help Indigenous people easily adapt to today’s issues.  

“He said that it’s time for the harpoon and the computer to work together,” Says the a owner of the thriving app. To get a more enhancing experience for the app the team invited  Mick Appaqaq, one of the indigenous people on the land. Climate changer doesn’t  only affect sea-ice, it decreases animal population that makes up a big portion of the Nunavut’s  diet. In the app, people post locations which show where they collected berries, flocks of  geese are, and good areas to hunt which is helpful to track whats going on to control animal  population, making sure animals aren’t mostly hunted down to maintain a healthy and equally  thriving community.  

“We’re trying to work on stuff so that you can have sewing posts and recipe posts to get more  people involved in their app,” says another woman  helping the Nunavut. Overall, as a  continuously growing app, SIKU is working to keep the Inuit safe and battle climate change.