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Protecting Nunavik's Cultural Landscape

This article was written in the thematic issue (190) of ARQ Magazine : Architecture and Design Quebec in 2020 by Hilda Snowball from Kativik Regional Government and Marie-Pierre McDonald from Groupe B2C.

“A landscape should establish bonds between people, the bond of language, of manners, of the same kind of work and leisure, and above all a landscape should contain the kind of spatial organization which fosters such experience and relationships; spaces for coming together, to celebrate, spaces for solitude, spaces that never change and are always as memory depicted them. These are some of the characteristics that give a landscape its uniqueness, that give it style. These are what make us recall it with emotion.” (Jackson, 1980)

Preserving the cultural landscapes is important, not only from a historical point of view, but also to prevent the loss of a natural and cultural heritage. Home-made traditional cabins are defining elements of the Nunavik cultural landscape. Their simple structure and appearance belies an enduring resiliency. In Nunavik, outside the political landscape of the urban areas, stands a humanized landscape where nature and cultural human activity express a long and intimate relationship between the Inuit and their natural environment. With the rapid expansion of the communities, how do we protect the living traditional landscape of Nunavik? Are planning tools and policies sufficient for preserving and managing Nunavik’s cultural landscapes?

Traditional Inuit dog sledding in Kagiqsujuaq, ©MP McDonald

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