Over the past few days, I have been going around town, introducing myself and explaining the reason for my stay. Everyone in the community is very receptive to the project as it relates to local economic initiatives meaning development for and by the community. My inuktitut is improving constantly. Here are some useful words:
- Thank you – Nakurmiik
- How are you? – Kanwipiit
- Delicious – Mammaktu
- Caribou – Tuktuk
Of course, mammaktu and tuktuk are intrinsically linked. However, I’ve been told that the most delicious food is beluga… It’s hard to come by!
So far, I have met with the town manager, the president of the landholding corporation for the municipality, social workers and craftsmen/women. I even went for a yoga session at the family center! Coming out of there around 9pm, the light is magnificent and I opt for a small bike ride, towards the sun which is attracting me like a magnet.
I discover a small monument to commemorate the relocation of Inuit families from Inukjuak that happened in 1953 and 1955, in an attempt from Canada to assert sovereignty in the Arctic. The impacts of colonization remain palpable. According to teachers and employment coordinators, motivation and confidence are low among the youth. Of course, it does not help when the job prospects are truck driver or store clerk. So far, I’ve seen amazingly talented individuals. Maybe it’s more about harnessing the clear potential available in the community.
I’ve also had the opportunity to get out of town and explore the small cabins for hunting and fishing outside of the village. The tundra seems infinite. My curiosity to discover what lies on the other side of each hill is excessive. Once at the top, the same landscape of endless tundra offers itself to the viewer.
“Does this view ever get old?”, I ask my host. “Never.”