Living Lands: Learning from Arctic Hunters

Suna Møller Christensen

    Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch

    Abstract

    In this presentation I draw on fieldtrips on dog sledge in Northern Greenland in 2012 and fieldtrips among caribou hunters in West Greenland in 2010 and 2012. I carried out fieldtrips through snow and ice to explore how these landscapes play a role in the life of modern Greenlanders. Fieldtrips in West Greenland were carried out when it was hunting season for mux ox and caribou, exploring relations between education and perception of environment. All these trips have called for attention to the relation between actual engagement with ‘nature’ and experienced human-nature relations.

    Based on my fieldwork, I content that human-nature relations exposes a central cultural dilemma to cross-cultural education in Greenland. From a school-centric perspective ‘nature’ is a tool or resource for humans, and controlling ‘nature’ is central to a school-based understanding of becoming educated. However, hunters attended to questions like safe-journeying on ice or the role of natural surroundings in children’s education, in ways revealing a relational perception of ‘nature’ and dissolving culture-nature dualisms. Hunters’ experiences in living the land afforded children a dwelling position from which to grow with the features of the land. Framed this way, ‘nature’ was regarded as part of the social world.

    I suggest that learning among Arctic hunters is social and twofold. First, we can learn how human-environment relations influence individual life trajectories. Secondly, ‘nature’ as part of the social world pushes questions about education and life, disregarding being educated as human control of nature.

    Translated title of the contributionLand som levet sted: Hvad kan vi lære af arktiske jægere
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Cite this