Futuring Peace
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Futuring Peace

Amundsen Gulf, Great Bear Lake, and numerous small lakes in the northern reaches of Canada’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut (NASA)

What the “Lords of the Artic” teach us about inclusive peace

The author’s granddaughter Pisukti named after her grandmother with her nephews Tulurialik named after his cousin who received his name from his grandmother and Nutaraaksuk named after his grandfather. Inuit live for ever by passing on their name/spirit (Amber Pisukti Irwin).

A culture without war

Author leaving Kotzebue, Alaska in yacht Endeavour for Northwest Passage (Allan Frank 1971)

How I learned from the Lords of the Arctic

The author eating frozen high calorie bone marrow, raw and rich in vitamins (Etibloena — Arctic Trek 1973)
Nunavut (Our Land) is a lithograph made by Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013), C.C., RCA, and printed by Pitseolak Niviaqsi. It was commissioned to commemorate the 1993 signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement with the federal government. On April 1, 1999, the territory of Nunavut was created as part of a settlement of land claims launched in the 1970s (Canadian Museum of History, UN CD 1993–001, IMG2009–0063–0040-Dm)

The Inuit way of addressing land claims and the creation of ‘Nunavut’

“As many now know, the settlement of the Inuit into permanent villages created as many problems as it solved.” Colin’s traveling companion Tipana and his family outside their ‘Matchbox House’ in Cambridge Bay (Colin Irwin — Arctic Trek 1973)
Aupudluk and Kako who patiently instructed the author in every aspect of Inuit ethics, social norms and religious belief.

Inuit consensus-based decision making

Inuit gathering and discussion in an igloo (Library & Archives Canada/Qikiqtani Truth Commission)
Inuit gathering and discussion in modern times, circa 1980’s (‘Above & Beyond’ article January 2015)
Protestant ‘Orange Men’ marching through Belfast, Northern Ireland (Colin Irwin)

Applying Inuit wisdom to Northern Ireland

On Tuesday 31 March 1998 the Peace Poll published in the Belfast Telegraph informed the negotiating teams that the deal they had drafted was acceptable to the people of Northern Ireland. Subsequently the Belfast Agreement was made on Good Friday 10 April 1998 in the knowledge that it would be passed in the referendum on 22 May 1998.
Peace protesters in the UN Green Zone on Cyprus. Without compromise “Cyprus remains a frozn conflict to this day” (Colin Irwin)

No way forward without compromise

Global peacemaking the Inuit way after the pandemic

Colin’s yacht Endeavour with a Chinese junk rig and Hasler self-stearing gear for singlehanded sailing, pulled up on the shore of Cambridge Bay, then part of the Northwest Territories in the Canadian Central Arctic before the Nunavut land claim settlement (Colin Irwin)
“Had Franklin and his men listened to and learned from the Inuit, I believe they would have lived”. Colin with his mentor, teacher and brother by adoption Karmoyak (Nakashook)
Tipana demonstrates the secret of successful Igloo construction by placing his snow blocks ‘one-on-one’ in a spiral (Colin Irwin — Arctic Trek 1973)
Mud sled runners slicked with freezing water to create ‘ice-on-ice’ runners that are totally frictionless (Colin Irwin — Arctic Trek 1973)
The patterns etched in the snow by the prevailing winds provide the experienced Inuit navigator with a ‘wind compass’ that allows them to know their direction of travel even in a ‘white out’ (Colin Irwin — Arctic Trek 1973)
An Inuit family walk across the Spring ice to spear Arctic Char with a Kakivak near Taloyoak (Colin Irwin)
“In an Inuit worldview, war is ‘mass murder’ and life changing decisions must be taken collectively, without abstentions or vetoes”. (Colin Irwin — Arctic Trek 1973)



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Colin Irwin

Aquanaut, Arctic Explorer, Social Scientist, Public Opinion and Public Diplomacy Peace Making @ http://www.peacepolls.org