In the Inuit context, the term economy is not a singular entity. The traditional subsistence economy that has sustained Inuit for millennia is often at odds with the imported Canadian and global wage-based economy. Furthermore, it has only been two generations since Inuit have been living in fixed communities, as prior to this they were nomadic and followed the seasonal migrations of the animals upon which they subsisted. This change in livelihoods resulted in a growing need for greater participation in the imposed wage-based economy. Inuit have adaptED quickly in the face of this monumental shift in the social and economic landscape. However, as a result of colonization, Inuit currently face some of the most challenging social and economic realities in Canada. In spite of the challenges, Inuit women are mindful of the need for balance between the traditional subsistence economy and the wage-based economy. Pauktuutit works to develop useful, relevant and bilingual information and resources, and to offer support, encouragement and inspiration to women as they participate in economic development and strengthen their financial independence.
As a top priority for the Board of Directors, economic development is the main portfolio of the Socio-Economic Development team. Since its earliest beginnings nearly 30 years ago, Pauktuutit has sought opportunities to increase the participation of Inuit women in the economy. Currently, Pauktuutit is undertaking two projects in the area of economic development: