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Attitudes, trust, and wildlife co-management in Igluligaarjuk, Qamani’tuaq, and Tikirarjuaq, Nunavut, Canada

Lokken, Nils





Research has shown that trust is essential to the functioning of co-management. This is especially true in the Territory of Nunavut where wildlife is an integral part of the lifestyle and culture of Nunavummiut (the people inhabiting Nunavut). In Nunavut, wildlife is managed by a co-management board situated in between federal, territorial, regional, and community governments and organizations. This research explores Inuit attitudes and trust in managing wildlife as part of a co-management system in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada. Interviews were conducted in the communities of Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), Tikirarjauq (Whale Cove), and Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake). Even now with the 1993 settlement of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) and the implementation of a public government in 1999, there is documented evidence that beneficiaries of the NLCA are dissatisfied with wildlife management decisions and do not trust the governing process of co-management. In this study, participants specifically indicated dissatisfaction with regulations and outcomes of current polar bear co-management. It has been predicted that conflicts specific to polar bear management could lead to regulations being ignored or even defied and endanger the entire system of wildlife co-management. Results from this research indicate that dissatisfaction over decisions involving polar bears is dominantly compartmentalized towards the outcomes of polar bear management and does not necessarily apply to the broader system of wildlife co-management. Therefore, in the Kivalliq Region, predicted impacts of dissatisfaction over polar bear co-management may apply directly to the polar bear co-management system but likely not the wildlife co-management system generally. This study provides a forum where Inuit trust in the wildlife co-management system is documented and I hope it will contribute to an increased understanding of Inuit goals in wildlife management and to the discourses on co-management in Nunavut.

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