inukjuak

Last May, I travelled across Nunavik for 7 days, visiting 4 communities, photographing different people and aspects of the land for Air Inuit’s new in flight quarterly simply titled, Inuit. The first issue is now out, it features a short series of portraits of some of the inuits I met along the way, including this girl who followed the journalist I was with, Mélissa Guillemette (allô!), and myself as we walked around Inukjuak at sunset. It only took about 3 minutes before she started calling us “mother” and “father”, laughing hysterically as she did so. Her friend asked about my age and, upon finding out I was older than his own father, started calling me grandfather. 

I’ll be posting more photos and stories from this adventure in the coming days, as I prepare a short edit for my website.

Birthing in Inukjuak!

This movie sheds light on a personal, professional and cultural level which entails birthgiving in Nunavik.  In January 2005, Phoebe Atagootalook is the first inuit women to officially be approved by the perinatal committee for a homebirth since the 1960’s.  The film follows Phoebe and her family for the two weeks before the birth of her fifth child: Mumlu.

This photo was taken in Inukjuak, Nunavik in March 2010.  It features Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University student, Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk.  In this photo Bella is wearing a brand new parka which she and her cousin Betsy Weetaluktuk sewed. The materials for the parka were purchased at the Inukjuak co-op store and include  commander silipak (the green heavy duty outerwear parka material), a cotton print for the trim, and commercially produced cuffs. The inner lining is a cozy wool blend, matching, green tartan.  The red fox fur was purchased from the Inukjuak hunter’s support store and the tie string was hand braided by the seamstresses.  The crochet head band was made in Clyde River, by an unnamed craftperson and the Smith goggles are designed to accommodate regular glasses.  On her feet, Isabella is sporting purple sorel boots, purchased at the Northern Store in Kuujjuaq in the early 1990’s.  In this photo Bella is standing at the side of her Anansiaq’s  (Lucy Weetaluktuk’s home) in Inukjuak, where her Uncle Eliasi had just given her a piece of frozen caribou for lunch.

Inukjuak Airport, Nunavik, Quebec.

Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board, our sister organization under NILCA is located in this community, and I spent all of 45 minutes at this airport on the way back from Ivujivik. I had to take a tiny plane back to Kuujjuaq across the frozen landscape of Nunavik from here, no milk runs on this route.

A dozen killer whales that were trapped under the ice near a northern Canadian village are now free. The ice cold waters on Hudson Bay froze around the whales, making their fate seem dim. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, locals were planning to use chainsaws and drills to cut through the ice and free the whales. Fears that the tools available were not strong enough to free the whales before it too late, plagued would-be rescuers. (via Killer Whales Trapped Under The Ice Now Free)

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