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Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit


Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᑦ; sometimes Inuit Qaujimanituqangit - ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᓂᑐᖃᖏᑦ) 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". It comes from the verb root "qaujima-" meaning "to know" and could be literally translated as "that which has long been known by Inuit".

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.

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

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

It has recently 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, however, tend to view it as little more than window dressing for more conventional politics.



  • 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.
  • Wenzel, George W. 2004. "From TEK to IQ: Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and Inuit Cultural Ecology". Arctic Anthropology. 41, no. 2: 238.
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