sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities

Carlee’s First Trip to Rigolet, Nunatsiavut

Reflection written by Carlee Wright

DSC_0117This summer I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Rigolet for the first time with Dr. Harper. Having this experience before beginning my Masters was very valuable, as it allowed me to introduce myself to the community and get to know the customs and way of living of the people with whom I will work closely with in the future.

During this trip, I worked alongside members of the Nunatsiavut government to collect preliminary data on secondary water contamination. The results of the surveys and water samples will provide a basis for my upcoming research, and having this hands-on experience has really helped me to understand the reasons behind the research and the issues faced around water in the North.DSC_0315

Aside from research, I had a few opportunities to explore and eat local foods. These were some of the highlights of my trip, as I love to experience new things. Trout, partridge, goose and fresh eggs were among some of the foods prepared for us, and I was excited to try each of them! Food sharing is an important part of Inuit culture, and I felt very fortunate to be offered so many kinds of country food on my first visit.

Throughout my time in Rigolet, the genuine kindness and hospitality of the residents never failed to amaze me. I was not expecting to be so warmly welcomed into people’s homes, and this contributed to a very enjoyable first experience. I can’t wait to visit again to further familiarize myself with the community and experience more of the unique and wonderful culture in this remote settlement.

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