Nunavut PhD student wins award for research that blends Inuit knowledge and western science
Enooyaq Sudlovenick won the Weston Family Award in Northern Research
A PhD student has received a prestigious award for her work studying belugas in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Enooyaq Sudlovenick, who was raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, is one of the 2021 recipients of the Weston Family Award in Northern Research.
Sudlovenick, who studies at the University of Manitoba, looks in-depth at the health of beluga populations through the lenses of both Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, and western science.
Incorporating both perspectives "just makes for a better project overall," she told guest host Cory Chibry on CBC Radio's Northwind.
"It's great to look at a question you're thinking about from different angles. Who better to ask than the local hunters, harvesters and elders?" she said.
As she's progressed through her studies, Sudlovenick has found herself drawn again and again to the Arctic marine animals she came to know as a child, researching Arctic char, followed by ringed seals, and now belugas.
"All the animals I've worked on are important to Inuit," she said. "I grew up fishing, I grew up hunting seals … and even beluga hunting in the bay here."
She says that with climate change posing a new threat to wildlife populations, "we need to know how they're doing."
With files from Cory Chibry