16 Apr, 2008
Though I'm staying in Grise Fiord. It is actually the second time that I visit here. The first time is 19 years ago. I'm now walking 450 kilometers pulling my sled from Resolute to Grise Fiord by myself in 25 days the same as the previous journey. I swear that it was far colder 19 years ago than now. Air was cold and my breath was white itself. This was just like a steam train is reeking white smoke. But this time, I have few days like those days. Instead I have a lot of days like mild-autumn days. I wonder where the fierce cold in that year has gone.
Inuit hunters are sighing this warmth. After fine days go on, sea ice becomes thin. If so, it is dangerous even riding a snowmobile or a dog sled. Inuit people say they were able to go anywhere in February, March and April before. That must be because the sea surface was totally frozen by the cold. They also say that in these days, even in winter season, the not frozen sea surface can be seen, and that thin sea ice spreading over makes the hunting term very short and makes it getting hard to obtain food. In brief, it is a matter of life and death for them.
Young Inuit people look like they have been made to change their way of living by this global warming. Some keep on hunting, others start another job after quitting hunting. Fewer people go hunting, Fewer chances of having such Inuit food as seals, caribous and musk-oxes up to now we have naturally. In fact, the Inuit traditional food culture collapses. It is actually becoming so. The change of the Inuit food culture causes their health problem.
Grise Fiord almost seems like a village of young people. How come they can not live so long? We can deny the change of food and life style affects this. "My uncle went to the cape 45 kilometers away and came back a day. In addition he had only two dogs. I heard from him that he had run on foot." Nowadays we can run like the wind by riding a snowmobile. I have a feeling that thanks to the convenience we are losing such fundamental things as power to live and strength of our bodies.