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Hunting and Survival Training in the Far North

CBC.ca reports on declining traditional knowledge about proper hunting techniques in Nunuvut. The article cites elders who hear of young people failing to dress properly for the cold. Education about how to dress is required. A Nunuvut researcher continues:

“If they were taught [survival and hunting skills] — not just names of animals and the parts of the animals but when you’re talking about hunting, it’s the ice conditions and hunting areas have to go along with it … I think it would benefit a young person a lot,” said Leah Otak of the Nunavut Research Institute in Igloolik.

In my experience, teaching nouns is very common in language revitalization programs. Given the difficulty in speaking a language with only nouns at your disposal, I am intrigued by Otak’s efforts at expanding the range of information to be taught. There are safety considerations, to be sure, but the call to move the instruction of hunting knowledge out of the classroom is a significant.

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