Long Island Hunt

Long Island Hunt2023

The Inuit of Kuujjuarapik, Umiujaq, and Inukjuak have been impacted by strict Total Allowable Take limitations on the beluga hunt. Between these populated communities, a maximum of 20 belugas are permitted to be harvested from May to November each year in the EHB Arc Region. This has an important impact on food security, intergenerational knowledge transfer, and cultural identity.

Long Island, fortunately, is one of the few areas near these communities that is not subject to the Total Allowable Take. These three communities have been making efforts to harvest at Long Island in order to respect the harvesting restrictions in place close to the villages. However, the trip to Long Island is often dangerous and unpredictable. Hunters have risked their life and have even lost their boats to the difficult conditions. Once a beluga is caught, there is pressure on the hunters to get home immediately, regardless of weather or sea condition, so that the harvest does not spoil. Alternatively, if they opt to stay safe on the island to wait for favourable conditions, the food may become toxic and jeopardize the health of community members.

The goal of this project is to build shelters and place freezers on Long Island, in order to protect our hunters who risk their lives and well-being in order to feed their communities. We will also be supporting the communities in their harvesting trips to the island, to ensure that they are well equipped. In the future, we would like to develop this into an intergenerational knowledge sharing opportunity.