5.4
Bridging knowledge systems in Greenland

Did you know?
Indigenous knowledge of sea ice is essential for survival and an integral part of Arctic indigenous populations. Their first-hand experience of living on the ice, knowing sea ice phenomena and changes in the climate can be life saving for these populations, and also for scientists studying the sea ice.
Greenlanders have a spiritual relationship with animals that they hunt and they use all the resources without waste.

Fascinating Facts!
Dog sledges are still a transportation mode in the winter in the Arctic. In the 1970s there were 800 people in Qeqertarsuaq and 2000 dogs- feeding time was noisy.
The arrangement of dogs varies from place to place and is related to the presence of trees (see below).

Get Active!
Did you know that some of our words came from the Inuit's language. Can you think of them?
Inuit Word Search
How many Inuit words can you find? Find the words in the box below in the word search.
Definitions
Kayak
  • a small, light, narrow boat, pointed at both ends, with a covering over the top - which is moved by using a paddle. It is used for hunting seals.
Igloo
  • a circular house made of blocks of hard snow, especially one built by the Inuit people of northern North America.
Anorak
  • a short coat that protects the wearer against wind, rain and cold weather, usually with a hood to cover the head.
Nunatak
  • a part of a mountain that sticks up above ice or snow
Malamute
  • a sled dog of northern North America.
Inuit
  • a member of a group of Indigenous Peoples of northern Alaska, Arctic Canada and Greenland – used especially for those of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Also means any of the languages of the Inuit.
Eskimo
  • an outdated name of Inuit.
Inuktitu
  • the group of Inuit dialects spoken by the Inuit people chiefly of central and eastern Arctic Canada.
Qeqertarsua
  • a port and the only town on Disko Island, 100 km west of Ilulissat, Greenland.
There are many stories showing the spiritual relationship that Greenlanders have with animals they hunt and the goddess of the sea.
Tourists use the Canadian dog trace system Photo: Niklas Labba
The west Greenland dog trace system is shown in the story and above. The fan system is best on thin snow and sea ice whereas the Canadian system is best on deep snow and in the forest. Photo: Morten Rasch