Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage

Funding Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant, September 2013-2020
Principal Investigator: Dr. Anna Hudson
Co-Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice
Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage workshop facilitators and participants. Photo credit: Michelle Peek

The goal of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage is to conduct collaborative research on the contribution of Inuit visual culture, art, and performance to Inuit language preservation, social well-being, and cultural identity. We come together as Indigenous and non-Indigenous specialists to address the colonial disruption of Inuit oral tradition that coincided with the establishment of the Inuit art market in the 1950s, and the production and distribution of objects without Inuit voice. Our key activities to engage with issues Inuit face today are to target, extend, and develop initiatives linking culture, language, and identity with visual culture, art and performance. By using the classroom, the community centre, the museum and art gallery, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and the World Wide Web, we hope to bring teachers, students and community members, along with academic and non-academic researchers, into a dialogue about the art as a foundation of Inuit traditional knowledge. This research will contribute to the cultural health of Inuit people, identified as the core for every other kind of health for Inuit because it links to one’s sense of identity, the collective social supports for the individual, and the sense of being grounded in positive relationships that nurture individuals and communities now and for future generations.