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Recap – Reflections from Nunavut to Personal Journeys on Identity and Culture

Recap – Reflections from Nunavut to Personal Journeys on Identity and Culture


Published on April 10, 2024

event poster Wellness Impact Lab

On February 7, 2024, Sara Ferwati, a community scholar at the Dahdaleh Institute, shared her insights on the intersection of climate change and mental health. Sara's presentation delved into how climate change impacts mental well-being universally, emphasizing the relationship between culture, environment, and community health.

Sara's narrative included professional observations with personal experiences, offering a unique perspective on the broader implications of environmental changes. Her work in Nunavut highlighted the complex connections between the environment, culture, and mental health, particularly in Indigenous communities. The consequences of climate change can be detrimental to traditional ways of life, including hunting, fishing, and land-based activities central to cultural identity and community well-being.

Drawing parallels between her experiences in Nunavut and her Syrian heritage, Sara explored the concept of ambiguous loss and the importance of memory and cultural preservation in maintaining mental health during environmental and social disruptions. She pointed out the alarming mental health statistics in Nunavut, attributing them to historical traumas, ongoing colonization impacts, and exacerbated by climate change effects.

Sara's presentation also demonstrated the urgency of innovative mental health services and adaptation strategies that recognize the profound ties between environment, culture, and mental well-being. She called for a holistic approach to mental health care that integrates an understanding of environmental impacts, advocating for community-specific solutions that foster resilience and hope in the face of climate change challenges.

Throughout, Sara emphasized the universal themes across different contexts of humanitarian crises, including the Syrian conflict and Indigenous struggles in Canada, advocating for the need to re-evaluate Western-centric research methodologies. Her closing remarks stressed the interconnectedness of human experiences across diverse backgrounds, urging a collective effort toward understanding and addressing the mental health implications of environmental changes.

Watch the seminar presentation below:

Connect with Sara Ferwati


Global Health & Humanitarianism



Related Work




Sara Ferwati, Community Fellow, Global Health Foresighting Active

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