Introduction to the Proceedings

Introduction to the Proceedings

One of the main goals of the 15th Inuit Studies Conference was to facilitate a real dialogue between all participants, including those not familiar with scientific meetings. Numerous sessions were held as round-tables for discussions on previous sessions or between specific groups such as young researchers or participants in given research projects and workshops organized around performances (songs, drum dances and games). Also, many papers were multi-voiced and, along with English and French, the Inuit language, in its various regional forms, was often heard during both presentations and discussions.

This was possible thanks to the participation of so many Inuit and Yupiit at the Conference. Their active presence inspired a collective reflection on the innovative collaborative work between researchers and indigenous communities, which seeks to reconcile local views and concepts with the aims of the research community. Such partnerships are indeed challenging for both sides. The focus on orality the role of the spoken word in Inuit culture offers a different way of addressing this issue while also raising a new agenda for Inuit studies, promising for both theoretical and practical research.

The choice of an electronic format for these Proceedings gives the editors the opportunity to accommodate different types of files:

- Written accounts,
- PowerPoint presentations,
- Audio recordings (some accompanied by written texts),
- A photo album of the pictures sent by participants before or after the Conference

. It also reflects the wish to keep this publication close to the presentation forms chosen by Conference participants, who opted for various types of narration:
- Accounts of personal experiences and research journeys
- Presentations of works in progress, results and recent achievements
- Discussions of theoretical and methodological issues
- Performances such as singing, drumming and dancing and story-telling
- Debates.

The papers assembled in these Proceedings only give a partial sense of the scientific achievements of the Conference. The views expressed are those of their authors.

Béatrice Collignon and Michèle Therrien 2009