366 pages, 300 colour & b/w photos and illustrations, colour maps
The Meaning of Ice is about the Inuit relationship with sea ice. Focusing on three communities, the book presents the annual cycle of ice and associated activity, discusses the meaning of sea ice for each location, and compares the ways in which each group of people has adapted to their environment and is now adjusting as that environment changes.
The Meaning of Ice was written by a team of researchers, including local residents, who spent time together in Barrow, Alaska; Clyde River, Nunavut, Canada; and Qaanaaq, Greenland. In each place they traveled on the ice, learned about local ice terminology and dynamics, and shared stories and ideas. The format of the book reflects the various ways the team members know sea ice, through the words and images of local residents organized around themes such as "home," "food," and "freedom." Maps, calendars, and the rich Inuit vocabulary for sea ice provide additional insights into the Inuit relationship with sea ice.
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Shari Gearheard is a geographer and research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Henry Huntington has spent over twenty years working with indigenous peoples in the Arctic, most often studying various ways that people interact with their environment. Lene Kielsen Holm is the Director for Research and Sustainable Development at the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland. She is also the current Chair of the Board for the Institute of Natural Resources in Greenland.