Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit

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Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (/inuit qaujimanituqaŋit/, Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᑦ; sometimes Inuit Qaujimanituqangit - ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓂᑐᖃᖏᑦ)[1] is an Inuktitut phrase that is often translated as "Inuit traditional knowledge", "Inuit traditional institutions" or even "Inuit traditional technology". It is often abbreviated as "IQ".[2] It comes from the verb root "qaujima-" meaning "to know" and could be literally translated as "that which has long been known by Inuit".

Traditional knowledge[edit]

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit is a body of knowledge and unique cultural insights of Inuit into the workings of nature, humans and animals. Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, then, has both practical and epistemological aspects that branch out from a fundamental principle that human beings are learning, rational beings with an infinite potential for problem-solving within the dictates of nature and technology. According to the government of Nunavut in 2013 Incorporating Inuit Societal Values, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit has the following components:

  • Inuuqatigiitsiarniq (respecting others, relationships and caring for people)
  • Tunnganarniq (fostering good spirit by being open, welcoming and inclusive)
  • Pijitsirniq (serving and providing for family or community, or both)
  • Aajiiqatigiinniq (decision making through discussion and consensus)
  • Pilimmaksarniq or Pijariuqsarniq (development of skills through practice, effort and action)
  • Piliriqatigiinniq or Ikajuqtigiinniq (working together for a common cause)
  • Qanuqtuurniq (being innovative and resourceful)
  • Avatittinnik Kamatsiarniq (respect and care for the land, animals and the environment)

The Inuit Language Protection Act of 2008 ILPA establishes the rights of parents to receive instruction in Inuktitut; see also Education Framework.

Similarly, Inuit intergenerational (from elder to youth) and experiential (learning through participation) knowledge has also been called "Inuit ecological knowledge" or "IEK"[3]

Studies of traditional knowledge[edit]

The Igloolik Research Centre in Igloolik, Nunavut focuses on documenting Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, as well as climatology and seismic data research.[4]


It has recently[when?] become something of a political slogan in Nunavut, as the government attempts to integrate the traditional culture of the Inuit more into their modern governance structure in order to combat disempowerment. Its critics[citation needed], however, tend to view it as little more than window dressing for more conventional politics.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Approximate pronunciation EE-noo-eet khah-OO-yi-mah-nee-too-khah-ngeet
  2. ^ Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Eyegetok 1998
  4. ^ "Igloolik, NU". ALIAS:Arctic Logistics Information and Support. Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-10-17.


Further reading[edit]

  • Kassam, K.-A. S. 2002. "Thunder on the Tundra: Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit of the Bathurst Caribou, by Natasha Thorpe, Naikak Hakongak, Sandra Eyegetok, and the Kitikmeot Elders". Arctic. 55: 395.
  • Oosten, Jarich, Frédéric Laugrand, and Mariano Aupilaarjuk. Inuit qaujimajatuqangit shamanism and reintegrating wrongdoers into the community. Inuit perspectives on the 20th century, v. 4. Iqaluit: Nunavut Arctic College, Language and Culture Program, 2002. ISBN 1-896204-56-2
  • Wenzel, George W. 2004. "From TEK to IQ: Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and Inuit Cultural Ecology". Arctic Anthropology. 41, no. 2: 238.

External links[edit]