Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge: Inuit Guiding Principles and Concepts

Download PDF

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit [IQ] [Inuit traditional knowledge]


A person with the power to make decisions must exercise that power to serve the people to

whom he or she is responsible;


The obligation of guardianship or stewardship that a person may owe in relation to

something that does not belong to the person;


People who wish to resolve important matters or any differences of interest

must treat each other with respect and discuss them in a

meaningful way, keeping in mind that just because a person is

silent does not necessarily mean he or she agrees;


Skills must be improved and maintained through experience and practice;


People must work together in harmony to achieve a common purpose;


People are stewards of the environment and must treat all of nature

holistically and with respect, because humans, wildlife and habitat

are inter-connected and each person’s actions and intentions

towards everything else have consequences, for good or ill;


The ability to be creative and flexible and to improvise with whatever is at hand

to achieve a purpose or solve a problem;


A person who is recognized by the community as having in-depth knowledge of a



Hunters should hunt only what is necessary for their needs and not waste

the wildlife they hunt;


Even though wild animals are harvested for food and other purposes, malice

towards them is prohibited;


Hunters should avoid causing wild animals unnecessary suffering

when harvesting them;


Wildlife and habitat are not possessions and so hunters should avoid disputes over the

wildlife they harvest or the areas in which they harvest them; and

All wildlife should be treated respectfully.

Source: Nunavut Wildlife Act 2003, Section 8