The most striking and powerful thing about the North is the immensity of the landscape which seems to go on forever, with the tundra and the water sometimes indistinguishable in wintertime. Wind, cold, ice, pressure ridges, icebergs, drifts and snow dominate everything for much of the Arctic year, reminding everyone of their insignificance and their low rank in such an immense world.
Inuit have come to know how to live in such a climate and how to enjoy what it has to offer. The land is both the deadliest of environments as well as the provider of life, food, beauty and peacefulness.
Ice and snow are brothers in a like-no-other landscape. They are accompanied by their sister world in the sky, which has its own singular northern identity, represented by sun dogs, unique sun mirages, sudden rainbows, 24-hour periods of day or night and a unique variation of the constellation of the stars. No wonder Inuit shamans believed spirits were to be found in virtually every aspect of the northern world.
Nick Newbery taught in several communities in Nunavut from 1976-2005.
The photos in this article are from Nick’s Arctic photo collection which can be found at www.newberyphotoarchives.ca and should be viewed from a historical perspective.