Nunavut, Canada artists to contribute to upcoming, youth-made climate change documentary

A view of the community of Kinngait in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut from Our People, Our Climate participant Peter Lucassie, who says his inspiration for the photo came from the community’s surrounding big hills, after which it is named. (Courtesy West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative)
The West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, based in the community of Kinngait in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut,  will be partnering with the Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, the ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre Iqaluit and the University of Minnesota Duluth on a documentary project looking at climate change. 

The project, titled Our People, Our Climate, will train youth and young people in documentary filmmaking, with the finished project also commissioning imagery from West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative (WBEC) artists. 

“We are very pleased to participate in this dynamic and multifaceted partnership,” WBEC President Pauloosie Kowmageak said in a news release.

“The Inuit artists of Kinngait have a long history of documenting the land around them, and their artwork will provide important insights on climate change for the viewers of this exceptional film production.”

The Kenojuak Cultural Centre and Print Shop, where many artists in the community of Kinngait go to create. (Courtesy West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative)
Documenting the changing environment in Nunavut

The youth and young people participating in the project will be from all over Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, and will record audio and visuals on the effects of climate change in their community.

The ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre, a  Nunavut-based place that offers preemployment skills and skills development training, will host an online training platform on documentary techniques like photography, videography, drone footage and interviewing techniques. 

The University of Minnesota Duluth will also contribute digital photography and video technique curriculum to the project as well as mentorship.

Screening in 2021

The finished film will be screened at the Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow during the annual meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“This dynamic partnership is an excellent example of collaboration on many levels while pioneering mentorship,” said David Joanasie, a member of Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly for the South Baffin district.

“I look forward to the results of this training initiative and I am excited that both our youth and Kinngait artists will have the chance to share their perspectives on climate change with an international audience.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: New ebook explores life and legacy of Canadian artist Annie Pootoogook, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Sámi-themed Finnish short film makes Sundance lineup, Yle News

Greenland: `Enough of this postcolonial sh#%’ – An interview with Greenlandic author Niviaq Korneliussen, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson lights up London’s Tate Modern, Blog by Mia bennett

Norway: Walt Disney Animation Studios to release Saami-language version of “Frozen 2”, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russia’s Arctic culture heritage sites get protection, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden, Norway team up to preserve ancient rock carvings, Radio Sweden

United States: Set of Indigenous Yup’ik masks reunited in Alaska after more than a century, CBC News

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying an culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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