Inuit hunters in Nunavik are being asked to return to dogsledding as climate change continues to eat away at ice floes, making snowmobiling increasingly dangerous, according to Martin Tremblay, an environmental researcher with the Kativik Regional Government, which oversees Quebec’s Artie region.
Inuit hunters’ dependence on snowmobiles for transportation over the frozen sea is putting them at greater risk as rising temperatures are causing the ice to thin so much that heavy motorized vehicles are no longer safe.
The recommendation follows a two-year study that measured snowmobile safety on Quebec’s ice floes.
Dogsleds are a safer option for ice that may have weak spots because of melting due to their lesser weight. Also, dogs can sniff out dangerous areas of the ice and avoid plunging into the cold water.
It’s not clear what, if any, impact or change the report will have on Inuk habits when out on the land.