"New Dawn For Arctic’s First People: The Inuit Plan To Reclaim Their Sea"

"RIGOLET, Nunatsiavut - The environment Inuit have lived in for millennia is changing fast. Canada’s government once ignored Indigenous knowledge of it but now they are jointly creating the Nunatsiavut conservation area".

"A plume of red erupts in the grey-blue waters and Martin Shiwak accelerates his boat to grab the seal he has shot before the animal sinks out of sight. Shiwak has hunted for years in the waters of Lake Melville, by the Inuit community of Rigolet in Nunatsiavut.

As he hauls the ringed seal into the vessel, he says he counts himself lucky to have found one so quickly. “Sometimes you have to drive around here in the boat nearly all day to find a seal,” Shiwak says. “Nowadays you can’t even afford to – $60 only gets you five gallons of gas.”

Nunatsiavut – one of four Inuit homelands in Canada – is where the subarctic becomes the Arctic. An autonomous region of Labrador-Newfoundland province, it is located at the extreme north-east corner of North America.

Winter temperatures here can average -30C (-22F) with the windchill, as the Labrador current brings Arctic ice floes down along the coast, and a host of marine life from, plankton to polar bears."

Photographs by Eldred Allen with reporting by Ossie Michelin for the Guardian August 27, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 08/28/2023