This article examines the translation of key terms about climate change from English into Inuktitut, considering not only their literal translation but also the broader context within which words make sense. We argue that notions of resilience, adaptation, and climate change itself mean something fundamentally different in Inuktitut than English and that this has implications for climate policy and politics. To the extent that climate change is translated into Inuktitut as a wholly environmental phenomenon over which humans have no control, both adaptation and resilience come to be seen as appropriate and distinctly Inuit modes of relating to shifting climatic conditions, calling on practices of patience, observation, creativity, forbearance, and discretion. If translated as a matter of unethical harm of sila, however, Inuit frameworks of justice, relationality, and healing would be activated. In the context of a broader global shift away from mitigation and toward enhancing the adaptive capacities and resilience of particular populations, current modes of translating climate change, we argue, are deeply political.

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Keywords adaptation, climate change, Inuit, resilience, translation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/00045608.2014.973006
Journal Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Citation
Cameron, E, Mearns, R. (Rebecca), & McGrath, J.T. (Janet Tamalik). (2015). Translating Climate Change: Adaptation, Resilience, and Climate Politics in Nunavut, Canada. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(2), 274–283. doi:10.1080/00045608.2014.973006