The Arctic is not known for its abundance. On the contrary, people often think of it with a shiver, not only because of the brutal cold, but also because of the apparent lack of all forms of life. However, for the indigenous people of the area, including the “Inuit,” the Arctic has always been a place that provides for them. Despite conflicts with invaders and governmental persecution, Inuit culture has continued to connect people to the land — but climate change now threatens to undo that.
For millennia, Inuit have lived and hunted on the ice in regions that are now Greenland, the US state of Alaska, and the northernmost territories and provinces of Canada. But wherever they were, the continuity of their life on that land was disrupted by the arrival of Europeans. In 1950, the Canadian government even forced Inuit to settle in stationary communities as a way to “civilize” them. This removal from the seasonal cycles of hunting and gathering that had sustained Inuit for generations was devastating. Their traditional knowledge was harder to apply when they were isolated in solitary settlements, but skills like reading the weather remained both viable and valuable.
As climate change has become a more urgent problem, and abnormal weather patterns have dominated the news worldwide, even those traditional Inuit methods of reading the weather have become unreliable. In many communities, elders have ceased sharing their wisdom, as they feel it has become useless. As more ice melts, the same thing is happening to skills related to navigating it on land and on the sea.
Fortunately, some adolescents are still apprenticing with elders, and some indigenous-led councils are doing their best to record as much of the old knowledge as they can. Without a widespread change in the way we face climate change, though, that saved knowledge will never be put to use again.
1. abundance n. 豐富；充足
There’s an abundance of hotels in this tourist town, so I’m sure we’ll find somewhere to stay.
2. indigenous n. 當地的；本土的
In Taiwan, there are 16 indigenous tribes, making up about 2.4 percent of the island’s population.
3. undo vt. 消除；解開（三態undo-undid-undone）
It is impossible to undo all the damage the previous administration has done in the past few years.
4. continuity n. 連續性；連貫
Historical documents prove the continuity of the business’s leadership. It’s been in the same family for 200 years.
5. civilize vt. 教化；使有教養
It is very difficult to civilize people who have bad manners.
6. sustain adj. 使生存；維持；持續
There’s a typhoon coming, so we bought enough tissue paper and food to sustain us.
7. devastating adj. 毀滅性的；令人震驚的
This city is still recovering from the devastating flood that happened here five years ago.
8. solitary adj. 獨自的；單獨的
Hardy wanted to be by himself, so he moved to the countryside where he lived a solitary life.
9. abnormal adj. 異常的；反常的
The child’s recent abnormal behavior concerned her parents and teachers, and they wanted to find the cause.
the Arctic 北極（地區）
persecution n. 迫害；虐待
millennium n. 一千年（複數 millennia）
stationary adj. 固定的；靜止的；穩定的
navigate v. 航行；導航；瀏覽
apprentice v. 當學徒；見習
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