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Yaffle your next project

Yaffle, Memorial’s online connecting tool is full of big ideas looking for someone to take them on. Here’s one of them.

The problem:
Ever wonder how people remembered anything before the Internet? In Innu and Inuit cultures, it was by teaching young people skills passed down through generations.

That’s what worries Mina Campbell-Hibbs, the former chairperson of Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation (which, fittingly, means “our future”). With fewer and fewer youth learning the traditional skills of preparing seal and caribou pelts, Mina fears that within a couple of years, the knowledge may be lost.
Lucky for Mina, her grandmother taught her the skills when she was a youth; however, “young people today, aren’t at all interested in learning these skills. Neither was I,” she admits. “But now as I get older, I understand the importance of it.”

The project:
Sivunivut Corporation is looking for a Memorial researcher, graduate or faculty, to partner on a project to preserve the tradition for the future.

Local Inuit guides would mentor the researcher as he or she interviewed tradition-bearers in the ways of traditional hunting and preparation and uses of hides. Then the research would be documented with reports, photographs, and videos.

Finally, the research could assist in the development of a new industry of caribou and/or seal products in Central Labrador. These products could be used by local people and in other markets, including tourism. In addition, craft courses and workshops could be held to pass the traditions on to a new generation.

As Mina explains, the benefits of the project for Innu and Inuit youth could extend beyond simply recording the tradition for the future. “There is so much involved in preparing skins: listening, patience, and hard work. It’s about much more than just the end product.”

Got a taste for folk knowledge and seal meat? Contact Bojan Fürst (bfurst@mun.ca) at the Harris Centre to get involved with this, or any other, Yaffle project.

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