Location:Liu Institute for Global Issues, Multipurpose Room
Join us for the annual Dr. Richard B. Splane Lecture in Social Policy featuring Piita Irniq, Former Commissioner of Nunavut, speaking on “Making Peace: Policies and Practices for Healing Inuit Colonial Experiences.” Between 1955 and the mid-1960s, Inuit in the Canadian eastern Arctic underwent one of the fastest cultural changes of any population in recorded history. From a life on the land, centered around extended family hunting camps, iglus, tents and dog teams, Inuit were relocated to settlements with wood frame houses, rent to be paid, snowmobiles and the logic of an industrial economy. Piita Irniq examines his personal journey addressing these changes and talks about the policies and practices needed to heal the damage resulting from this colonial experience. All welcome. Please RSVP to this free event on EventBrite. Piita Irniq is the former Commissioner of Nunavut Territory. An Inuit cultural teacher, he has lived most of his life in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut. He was the first Inuk to hold the position of Superintendent of Renewable Resources and the first Speaker of the Keewatin Regional Council before serving as a Director of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut. For much of his career, Piita has encouraged Inuit participation in meeting the needs of Inuit in the social services, education, government and business. At the same time he has worked with Elders and youth, emphasizing the importance of preserving Inuit language, culture and identity. Piita is an advocate of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) (Inuit traditional knowledge), including the role of Elders in passing on hunting, sewing and traditional skills to Inuit youth. Inuit values and ways of understanding are strongly rooted in the social relations of Inuit as a hunting culture. Appointed a Board Member of the Arctic Institute of North America, Piita is a frequent spokesperson for Inuit, both in Canada and abroad. His focus is on the importance of maintaining and protecting traditional ways of life in initiatives such as, community economic development, wildlife management, the education of Inuit youth, alternative approaches to dealing with justice and the development of progressive government, consistent with Inuit values and beliefs.