A $7.4 million-research partnership led by Dr. Tom Gordon, professor emeritus, School of Music, has launched a new website focused on Labrador Inuit cultural research.
The Tradition and Transition Partnership site includes photos, articles and announcements regarding the project, which is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Memorial University, the Nunatsiavut Government and more than 20 other organizations.
“This is a very significant project between Nunatsiavut and Memorial University, and we are already seeing great community-based collaborative projects,” said Johannes Lampe, president, Nunatsiavut. “I am also especially delighted to see a focus on language and that the website is available in Inuktitut.”
The research partnership is merging collaborative academic research with traditional knowledge for the protection, preservation and revitalization of Labrador Inuit culture and language.
Already the project has put Labrador Inuit values front and centre: from the inclusion of Inuktitut whenever possible to community consultations to the involvement of Labrador Inuit on research teams. Tradition and Transition is setting the bar on inclusive Indigenous research.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Vicky Allen, a Memorial University business student who hails from from Rigolet on Labrador’s North Coast. “A lot of the research that’s going on here needs to happen and having this partnership allows us not only to take part in the research but to help guide where it is going.”
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to understand and strengthen Labrador Inuit culture, identity and language. Organizers say the new website will bring their research to audiences around the world.
“I want to see the site become the platform for information about Labrador Inuit culture—a place where beneficiaries, researchers from around the world and a broad general public go to learn about the rich heritage of Nunatsiavut,” said Dr. Gordon, the principal investigator with the partnership.
“And even more, I hope that through social media, the website encourages those who live Labrador Inuit culture to share it with the rest of us, opening up an active conversation for all to participate in.”