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The Role of the Hunter in Inuit Nunangat’s Mixed Economy

In this research, we discuss how hunter skills are essential to the livelihoods of Inuit communities and can be adapted to a wide variety of jobs in the conservation sector. What community services do hunters provide in Inuit Nunangat? How can hunter support programs help strike a balance between market-based opportunities and community-based commitments? In what ways are Inuit-led initiatives and Inuit-driven partnerships creating new opportunities for economic diversification?

Read the issue briefing to get our full analysis.

hunting and fishing camp in Nunavut

Key findings

Hunters are an important provider of essential community services—hunting and harvesting skills are critically linked to food security, physical and mental well-being, and sustainable livelihoods in the North.

The hunter role has evolved over generations, but hunters’ core skills and knowledge remain in high demand. Today, hunting skills are also foundational to many roles in the conservation sector in the North.

Finding a balance between market-based opportunities and community-based commitments is key. Hunter support programs offset costs associated with being on the land, helping to create balance and enabling greater participation.