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Different Emphasis in Inuit Climate Change Story

There has been a string of climate change stories recently, particularly in light of the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference. I enjoyed particularly this story from ‘Changing climate has more Inuit shopping for food.’ The emphasis here is less about the impact of climate change on hunting and, instead, on the repurcussions of that change — the assertion is that store bought food is increasingly common in Inuit diets. My students will appreciate the cultural change aspects to this story.

I wondered often about the percentages of store-bought and country foods in the diets of people I work with. I saw that calculation as a possible window into cultural change, particularly where a shift from hunting as a first order economic activity to an increasingly symbolic practice. Trying to determine the relative importance of these food sources is, however, challenging and I never found an adequate way to do so. (Perhaps I need to spend more time with the biological anthropologists … !)

(See also comments on the connections between climate change and Inuit diets at

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