MUN, Nunatsiavut Government Announce Research Project

Memorial University and the Nunatsiavut Government have announced a joint $7.4-million, five-year project.

The project will merge academic research with traditional knowledge.

It aims to preserve and promote the Labrador Inuit culture and language.

It’s funded by a $2.3-million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, $1.6 million from the Nunatsiavut government, $1.38 million from Memorial University and a combined $2.12 million from 20 other organizations.

The project, Tradition and Transition Among the Labrador Inuit, is led by Tom Gordon, Professor Emeritus, Memorial University School of Music.

More than 30 Inuit tradition-bearers and academic researchers from across Canada and the U.S. are involved.

Twenty institutions and organizations will be collaborating on 49 sub-projects.

Researchers are focusing on three themes: a relationship between people and their environment; a pattern of leadership; and a legacy of expressive culture, starting with a unique language.

MUN and the Nunatsiavut Government will also build a digital database consisting of the project’s findings.

This data will be accessible to Inuit communities, the public and other academic researchers, and will be housed at Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Library.

Cultural knowledge revealed through this project will be also showcased at the Illusuak building in Nain.

The project’s research agenda was developed through more than 50 consultations held in each of the five communities in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and Upper Lake Melville.

Gordon and the research team will be in Hopedale, NL, from October 25-28.

They will be rolling out the project at the Nunatsiavut Heritage Forum, an annual gathering of community leaders and heritage workers from across Nunatsiavut.