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Arctic, Circumpolar stories curated by @Northern_Clips [Full story? Click on headline]
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Polar Bear Cub Saved By Inupiat Subsistence Hunter Who Killed His Mum

Polar Bear Cub Saved By Inupiat Subsistence Hunter Who Killed His Mum | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it

The native Inupiat hunter says he did not realise the bear he killed had a cub until after he fired the shot. ...

James Tazruk was hunting caribou near Point Lay, north Alaska, when he spotted a large bear about 90 metres away.

As a native Inupiat subsistence hunter, Mr Tazruk is allowed to shoot polar bears under federal law.

After taking aim with his rifle he fired, killing it instantly. But when he rolled the bear over he discovered she was a nursing sow and realised her young would likely be nearby.

After following her tracks for 450 metres he arrived at a den and inside found a three-month old cub.

He scooped up the cub, telling it: "I'm not going to hurt you ... I'm going to take you home. Just don't bite me."

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An orphaned polar bear is being looked after at the Alaska Zoo after the hunter who shot its mother was so overcome with grief he decided to take the cub home

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US Coast Guard eyes all-terrain vehicles to take on Arctic Ocean

US Coast Guard eyes all-terrain vehicles to take on Arctic Ocean | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it
WANTED: U.S. Coast Guard in need of an amphibious Arctic craft that can handle treacherous sea ice and extreme cold off Alaska's northern coast.

[excerpt]

Nationwide the agency operates scores of response boats that do everything from conduct rescues to fight fires to bust drug-runners to help defend America's coastline. But there's no fleet based in the U.S. Arctic, where an increasing number of ships ply the frigid seas off Alaska's shores in support of oil development, shipping and tourism.

As a result, the Coast Guard is looking for a versatile patrol vessel that fits into a C-130, a large cargo plane, and can be launched from shore to negotiate ice-choked seas, big waves and the Arctic coast's ever-shifting sands, the Coast Guard's research center announced this year.

The agency's search so far has yielded two bulky and strange-looking vehicles that the Coast Guard will review in live demonstrations this week in Barrow, the nation's northernmost community located along the Arctic Ocean. The peculiar craft are made by family-owned companies -- one from Alaska, the other from Canada.

They generally look like a World War II-era tank crossbred with a barge or a tug. Versatile they are, their inventors claim. They perform like boats in open water. But beneath their hulls, tracks let them rumble over sea ice and snowy shores.

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Inside the life of the Inuit: Extraordinary photographs document how Alaska's Eskimos survived some of the world's coldest winters

Inside the life of the Inuit: Extraordinary photographs document how Alaska's Eskimos survived some of the world's coldest winters | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it

Photographed between 1909 and 1932, the collection offers a rare glimpse in the natives' everyday life from hunting polar bears, to building igloos, to their personal dwellings inside.

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"... An extraordinarily collection of rarely seen photographs capturing Alaska's Eskimos document the hard but persevering survival of the people commonly known as the hunters of the Arctic.

Photographed between 1909 and 1932, the collection offers a rare glimpse in the natives' everyday life from hunting polar bears, to building igloos, to their personal dwellings inside.

Standing with bow and arrows and hand, a hunter photographed in 1924 proudly poses before his kill of a massive polar bear, resting more than twice his size along the snow, arrows protruding from its chest.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2253029/Historic-photographs-document-Alaskas-Inuit-Eskimos-survived-worlds-coldest-winters.html#ixzz2G6BK4M1H
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter ...."
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Chronicling the War of Nature vs. Greed: A Review of "Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point"

Chronicling the War of Nature vs. Greed: A Review of "Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point" | Inuit Nunangat Stories | Scoop.it

The collected essays of Native Alaskans, environmental activists, scientists and researchers form a counternarrative to Big Oil's PR blitz in the increasingly polluted Northern Hemisphere.
[excerpt]

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point
Edited by Subhankar Banerjee
Seven Stories Press
New York, 2012

http://www.sevenstories.com/products/arctic-voices

According to editor Subhankar Banerjee, "the Arctic is warming at a rate double that of the rest of the planet." This, of course, has already had a discernible impact on the animals, fish and people of the region - and beyond. As rising temperatures have put many scientists and everyday folks on high alert, they are increasingly primed for battle against profit-hungry corporations and the drill-baby-drill crowd, who see the Arctic's immense stock of coal, oil and other natural resources as a tremendous boon - environment be damned.

The 31 essays in "Arctic Voices" contest this destructive greed. Some focus on the indigenous cultures that stand to be eradicated by the folly of energy companies; others address the visible destruction of the lands and waters of Alaska, Russia, Iceland and Greenland. Dozens of photos - both black-and-white and color - hammer the realities of contamination and pollution. It's a sobering read, especially for urban dwellers whose existence is far removed from the subsistence lifestyle of the Gwich'in, Inupiat and Inuit people.

"We're all connected to the northern hemisphere," Banerjee writes in an introduction to the volume: "

Hundreds of millions of birds migrate to the Arctic each spring from every corner of the earth - including Yellow Wagtail from Kolkata - for nesting and rearing their young and resting - a planetary celebration of global interconnectedness. On the other hand, caribou, whale and fish migrate hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles, connecting numerous indigenous communities through subsistence food harvests - local and regional interconnectedness. However, daily industrial toxins migrate to the Arctic from every part of our planet, making animals and humans of the Arctic among the most contaminated inhabitants of the earth.

Indeed, Banerjee notes that the breast milk of women in Greenland and northern Canada is "as toxic as hazardous waste." Additionally, author Marla Cone, in an excerpt from a book entitled "Silent Snow," presents evidence that Inuit women, who eat a diet rich in whale and seal meat, have high levels of mercury and PCBs in their bodies. As a result, when they breast feed, these poisons are passed to their offspring, putting them at risk of cancer and other diseases.
[...]

"Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point" is an eye-opening account of a precious place that few of us will ever visit. At the same time, the many writers included in the anthology not only share their love of nature, but also raise important questions about our reliance on oil, gas and coal. In addition, one basic point drives the collection. In the words of Sheila Watt-Cloutier, former chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council: "The Arctic is the barometer of the health of the planet and if the Arctic is poisoned, so are we all."

If she's right, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back her claim, we're nearing the point of no return. The contributors to Arctic Voices - scientists, indigenous people, environmental activists, researchers and scholars - have given us the tools we need to understand the calamity. As Vandana Shiva, author of "Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development," writes, "The earth and her beings have been speaking. We stay deaf at our peril."

This article is a Truthout original.

[...]

Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point
Edited by Subhankar Banerjee
Seven Stories Press
New York, 2012
http://www.sevenstories.com/products/arctic-voices
Price: $26.96US

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 560
Pub Date: July 3, 2012
ISBN: 9781609803858

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