Importance Of The Inuit Houses

When Sheila Watt-Cloutier was growing up in Kuujjuaq, an Inuit village in far northern Quebec, summer days never got hot enough for shorts and T-shirts. Only the very brave ventured into the frigid local river for a swim. But now, she says, there are many warm days, and “the whole community goes down and spends days beaching it and trying to cool themselves off.”

Needless to say, a day at the beach is not a normal Arctic activity. The climate shifts responsible for that change are also melting ice sheets, eroding the region’s coastlines, and shrinking habitat for polar bears, caribou, and other animals the Inuit have long relied on for sustenance. While other citizens of the world debate the very existence of climate change, the Arctic is melting — and the mainstays of this indigenous northern culture are disappearing with it.

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