Although the calendar indicated it was June 10, so technically still spring, the weather was fine. Better than fine... the evening was warm, the skies crystal clear. A typical summer’s night in the Capital actually, perfect for gathering up family and friends and hitting the streets for a stress-relieving bout of entertainment at week’s end.
“Unikkausivut” means “sharing our stories” in Inuktitut, the name of a National Film Board initiative that is bringing Inuit stories to all Canadians.
On a beautiful spring week featuring cloudless skies and twenty-four hours of sunlight, a group of established and up-and-coming Inuit photographers came together from a number of Nunavut communities for a historic event: a professional level photography workshop.
The first installment in this story of the HBC post at the head of Ukkusiksalik (Wager Bay), from its founding in 1925 until the permanent departure of the Qallunaat managers in 1933, appeared in the last issue of above & beyond.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), which represents 160 thousand Inuit living in Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia, is developing a common position for future environmentally sensitive oil and gas exploration and development in Arctic waters.
Why didn’t I just sail in the tropics, I’m often asked? Not only because I’ve already been there. The main reason is that the expansive Arctic fascinates me much more than warmer seas. Simple. Here [along the Northwest Passage] there are so many interesting, beautiful scenic places... and people... it would be a pity to just simply bypass them.
There is excitement in the air in Arviat. Something new is happening. The Arviat Community Ecotourism (ACE) initiative is a grassroots project involving many individuals and several small businesses in Arviat, with a vision to establish a sustainable community-based tourism enterprise.
The regulatory approvals and other news surrounding the latest Mackenzie Valley Pipeline proposal brings back fond memories of the best broadcasters I have ever worked with and they are not names like Mansbridge, Duffy or Halton, all excellent broadcasters and former colleagues.
“We went to Ukkusiksalik. Toota and Jimmy Thom, Iqungajuq and Niaqukituq, and Iqungajuq’s brothers. They started building the Hudson’s Bay post. Iqungajuq’s mother went along too. My mother was Toota. My real father was Jimmy Thom. I have heard that my real father left when I was a year old. My Inuit [adopted] father was Iqungajuq.”
For centuries, European explorers seeking the Northwest Passage ate poorly, often paying the ultimate price for not knowing how to sustain themselves in the harsh environment of Canada’s North. At the same time, the indigenous people of this region ate well, having mastered the essential skills to wrest a balanced diet from this same unforgiving environment.