Percentage of households using….


Out on the Land: Income, Subsistence Activities, and Food Sharing Networks in Nain, Labrador

Kirk Dombrowski, Emily Channell, Bilal Khan, Joshua Moses, and Evan Misshula

In recent Inuit ethnography, a major concern has been how and to what extent contemporary Inuit participate in and depend on subsistence activities, particularly in the context of increasing wage employment and growing participation in the cash economy. This paper provides an analysis of these activities in the predominately Inuit community of Nain, Labrador. Using social network data and demographic information collected between January and June 2010, we examine the interconnections between subsistence activities—obtaining “country food” through activities such as hunting, fishing, and collecting—with access to the means of obtaining subsistence resources (such as snow mobiles, cabins, and boats), employment status, and income. Our data indicate that individuals with higher employment status and income tend to be more central to the network of subsistence food sharing, but not because they have greater access to hunting tools or equipment (they do not). We conclude that those individuals who play the most central role in the network are those who are financially able to do so, regardless of access to hunting tools/means.

Keywords: Inuit, Subsistence Foods, Food Sharing, Labrador, Arctic Ethnography