Living with the Inugguit

by Stephen Leonard, Research Fellow 2009-2013

A rare glimpse of daily life among the remnants of the last hunter-gatherer communities of the Polar North, where traditional culture is rapidly being eroded by consumerism and climate change, can be seen online from today.

Shot during a year-long stay with the Inugguit, who live in north-west Greenland, Dr Stephen Leonard’s footage documents the lives of the last Inuit people still hunting seals and narwhals with harpoons, and records some of the songs and stories of a community whose vulnerable language, Inuktun, has never been written down in full.
Yet it also captures the fragile nature of a traditional way of life which is perhaps reaching its end. Hunting is becoming increasingly dangerous on the disappearing sea ice of north-west Greenland, but there is little alternative employment. Leonard found a world that has had to come face to face with the effects of climate change and the immediate threat it poses to their culture.