By Denise Waterman
Meeka Mike, Uqqurmiut of South Baffin Island is a soft spoken and very knowledgeable on the artic lifestyle today along with the treasured traditions of the past. For a good many years Meeka worked as an artic guide, she is considered one of Nunavut’s outstanding woman hunters. She has her own set of dogs and gear for sledding.
On Wednesday, October 8th , Meeka Mike visited Central New York, and within her extensive itinerary was a stop at the Onondaga Nation School.
Meeka spoke before the students and staff of the Onondaga Nation School, when Meeka was asked about the signs of Global Warming in the artic, she said there are several indications that there is a climatic change approaching. First is the sign from the animals, the seals have begun to show a diseased skin condition and the caribou meat may have pockets of puss throughout the body. For humans it is the color of snow that serves to be one of the biggest signs of climatic change for the Inuit’s. Meeka said, “We are use to the color variations of the snow and readily know how to read its implications and story. But recently, the colors of the snow are now changing to unfamiliar hues, such that even the most skilled hunter and guide may find themselves suddenly struck by sink holes in the snow.”
Meeka’s presentation was profoundly insightful and brought us first hand information about the northerly conditions of our Mother Earth. Her biography says, “Educator, advocate and now activist, Ms. Mike currently serves as the director of Tusaqtuut, the Inuit Core Indigenous Knowledge Project.” We wish to thank Syracuse University’s Artic Journey program for providing such a wonderful speaker for the children of the Onondaga Nation School.
Artic Journey is a Syracuse University’s School of Forestry’s community project. Syracuse University representative Ms. Holly Dobbins coordinates this project. There have been a number of Haudenosaunee students from SU who have participated in this unique and much honored project. In fact, our own Carol Thomas, SU ’08, has conducted an evening experience via photo essay about her Artic Journey trip before an Onondaga community audience.
Resources: Meeka Mike’s Biography.