Inuit society values the knowledge and lived experience of its Elders which has allowed Inuit to thrive across the North. In the South, empirical knowledge, garnered from observation and analysis, is the authority. While these two types of knowledge may seem incompatible at times, the structure of the Tradition & Transition Research Partnership encourages dialogue across these two ways of thinking. Conversations between the Nunatsiavummiut and academic researchers take the form of continuing community consultations, as well as semi-annual reviews by both partners and opportunities for community engagement in research.
Memorial University and the Nunatsiavut Government are equal partners in every respect, and everyone involved in the partnership has the chance to contribute to the leadership and direction of the project.
The project is funded with generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Under this funding arrangement, Memorial University holds responsibility for organizational oversight and financial management. However, the governance structure, operational management and intellectual leadership are maintained by a balanced representation of Nunatsiavut and Memorial.
While these two bodies are the main partners, there are many other organizations involved in the Partnership, from small community historical societies like the Agvituk Sivummuak Society and the White Elephant Museum to major national and international organizations like the Smithsonian Institute and Parks Canada. Local storytellers are engaged in the project as well, with voices coming from community organizations like the OKâlaKatiget Society and Them Days Magazine.
Image credit: Jessica Winters. Partnership (2017). Acrylic paints on watercolour canvas. 6 x 12 inches. Commissioned by the Tradition and Transition Research Partnership.