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Making a living, making a life : subsistence and the re-enactment of Iglulingmiut cultural practices Wachowich, Nancy 2001

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M A K I N G A LIVING, M A K I N G A LIFE: SUBSISTENCE A N D T H E R E - E N A C T M E N T OF IGLULINGMIUT C U L T U R A L PRACTICES by N A N C Y WACHOWICH B.A. The University of Alberta, 1989 M . A The University of Western Ontario, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITYyOE BRITISH C O L U M B I A ^ M a r c h W ~ © Nancy Wachowich, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This thesis is about the Inuit effort to adapt to a changing arctic environment through their engagement with outsiders in projects to document their "traditional culture". The Inuit ability to draw subsistence from what southerners perceive as an inhospitable Arctic environment has been an ongoing fascination to the western public. I argue that while westerners seek to reinforce these idealized and exotic notions of the pristine Arctic environment and of the "authentic Inuit" who inhabit it, Inuit themselves have simultaneously and deliberately drawn upon these western iconic categories to communicate their cultural knowledge for social and political ends. Based on 1997 fieldwork in the Eastern High Arctic Inuit community of Igloolik, as well as fieldwork undertaken between 1991 and 1998 in the neighbouring community of Pond Inlet, in Iqaluit and in Ottawa, my dissertation analyses various sites where Iglulingmiut (Inuit from Igloolik) and southerners come together to construct Inuit identities. Each chapter focuses on a different context where Inuit cultural traditions are produced: explorer narratives; arctic ethnography; local community projects in Igloolik; ethnographic film; life histories and national museum exhibits. Drawing on Myers notion of "culture-making", I describe how identity construction at these sites via new representational media (print, film, museum exhibits and others) has become a form of subsistence that co-exists with and supports traditional subsistence hunting. Yet, this social and economic strategy functions at the interface between Inuit and southern cultures. It is an intercultural process largely dependent on southern funding agencies for economic support. Just as the Inuit in the past navigated new territories in search of migratory animals, another type of navigation has emerged in this new cross-cultural environment as Iglulingmiut seek to market their cultural representations on a global scale. Political issues related to land claims, environmental protection, sustainable development and hunting rights intensify this Inuit effort to assert themselves in global arenas. I describe how the particular dynamics of each contact zone provoke new and unique cross-cultural dialogues as Iglulingmiut creatively draw on elements from their past to reiterate their tradition as an adaptive, hunting people. ii Table of Contents Abstract ii Table of Contents iii Map of the Research Area iv Acknowledgements , v Introduction: Iglulingmiut Culture-making and the Ideology of Subsistence 1 Chapter 1: the History of Iglulingmiut Adaptations 27 Chapter 2: Scientific Traditions, the Iglulingmiut and Arctic Ethnography 54 Chapter 3: The Construction of Traditions in the Settlement of Igloolik 100 Chapter 4: Subsistence Filming: Videography and Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation 148 Chapter 5: Getting Along": Life Histories as Adaptation to Changing Social Climates in the Canadian Arctic 190 Chapter 6: Exhibiting Knowledge, Video conferencing, The Arctic Odyssey, and the Canadian Museum of Nature 227 Conclusion: Indigenized Modernities 269 Bibliography 276 in Map of the Research Area o0 W \ ST ^ >v.-^ G R E E N L A N D "p too roo 4 0 J00 200 kilometres l _ J 1 ;'--f ^00 m/tes / B A F F I N / / / Arctic Bav • S * Y '( ' (Mittimatalik) rJ si j - - H a l l Beach i A . . . \ fJ.-ftj <{ (Sanirafak) / S^ —* • M E L V I L L E " \ J ^ P E N I S U L A j F O X E • f B A S I N Pangnir tung (PanniQtuucJ ^ / ^ l|jfchesterfield Inlet] . ^~Jp ( l S l u l i S a a r J u k ) r^~il i v Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following people for making time in their busy lives to assist me in this endeavour: In Vancouver: Patricia Badir, Karyn Eisler, Aaron Glass, Kevin Kelpin and Leslie Robertson. Andrew Stewart and Elizabeth Fulton in Toronto. In Ottawa: Jake Berkowitz and Patrick Tobin. In Igloolik: Paul Apak, Meeka Aqqiaruq, Norman Cohn, Elisapee and Glen Johnson, Zacharias Kunuk, John MacDonald, Leah, Toby and Qajaaq Otak and Lily Tongak. In Pond Inlet: Apphia Awa, Desmond Brice-Bennett, Rhoda Katsak, Leah and Apak Kippomee, Sandra Omik and Lucy Quasa. In Iqaluit: Jokeypah Kippomee, Kathleen Matthews and Robert Swan. I am grateful to Kenneth Bragg at Ground Control Geotechnologies for the map. I thank my supervisory committee, Dr. Blanca Muratorio and Dr. Ruth Phillips for their guidance and support. I am especially indebted to my supervisor, Dr. Julie Cruikshank, for her friendship and critical dedication to scholarship. My siblings, David, Patrick and Jane Wachowich kept me in good spirits throughout the writing process and my parents, Allan and Bette Wachowich, have been a source of inspiration and unwavering support. It is to them that this dissertation is dedicated. This research was funded in part by grants from the Canadian Circumpolar Institute, the Northern Scientific Training Program, as well as a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. v 1 Introduction: Iglulingmiut Culture-making and the Ideology of Subsistence This thesis is about the Inuit effort to adapt to a changing social environment through their engagement with outsiders in projects to document their "traditional culture." For thousands of years, ancestors of the present day Inuit have adapted their social and material culture to a changing and often unpredictable climate. Over the course of the past two centuries and even more so today, the Inuit social environment has incorporated relationships with outsiders and participation in the international market economy. Inuit adaptive strategies now not only depend upon modern implements (cash, rifles, snowmobiles, modern communication systems etc) and new social relationships, but they also hinge on an ability to undertake a changing set of dialogues about "Inuit identities." As the emerging literature on contemporary Inuit hunting communities demonstrates, Inuit have not perceived either modern technology or increased contact with outsiders as a threat to their survival (Wenzel 1991; Sahlins 1999; Fienup-Riordan 2000; Dahl 2000). They have always adapted to shifting environmental forces by incorporating new technologies into their culture and forging new social relationships. The real threat to Inuit existence, they insist, comes from increasingly political and vocal groups of Qallunaat (the Inuktitut word for non-Inuit) who deny them a place, as Inuit, in the contemporary world order. At issue is the power of Qallunaat who look at contemporary Inuit lifestyles at the turn of the twenty-first century and regard Inuit culture as a culture of the past. To effectively adapt.to these global relations, Inuit must continuously and self-consciously construct and reconstruct their culture as an entity to be lived and defended. The following chapters analyse various sites where Inuit and southerners come together to construct Inuit cultural identities. The Inuit ability to draw subsistence from what westerners have perceived as an inhospitable Arctic environment has been an ongoing fascination for the western public.1 Countless explorer narratives, arctic ethnographies, films, and museum exhibits portray Inuit from the early contact period as eking out an existence in a remote landscape, managing with just "skin, bone, stone and snow" (Brown and Balikci 1968). I will be arguing that while westerners seek to reinforce these idealized and exotic notions of the remote and pristine Arctic environment and of the "authentic Inuit" who inhabit it, Inuit have themselves simultaneously and deliberately sought to appropriate this western "imperialist nostalgia" (Rosaldo 1989) in their own self-representations. In their meeting with explorers, ethnographers, politicians, filmmakers, museum audiences, and others, Inuit draw upon western notions of an idealized Inuit past and use these iconic categories in their own social project of communicating their cultural knowledge for social and political ends. In the past, they hunted for animals, on which they literally subsisted. But today the integration of Inuit 1 While the terms "Southerner"and "Westerner" appear somewhat interchangeably throughout this work, I use "Westerner" deliberately to suggest connections with larger historical, political, and ideological relations between indigenous peoples and colonial empires. Also employed are the terms "outsider" and the Inuktitut term for non-Inuit, "Qallunaat". 3 into larger social and economic relations has created a new environment in which hunting has acquired new significance. Political issues related to land claims, environmental protection, sustainable development and hunting rights (Smith and McCarter 1997; Nuttall 1998; Freeman 1998, 2000) have led to the articulation of a new or renewed ideology of hunting. "The driving force behind modern-day Inuit cultural change" writes George Wenzel, "is an effort to alter southern perceptions of the Arctic, including the place of Inuit in northern ecosystems"( 1995:175). To ensure their economic survival in the contemporary Arctic environment, Inuit must incorporate into their harvesting activities a "hunt for tradition" (Fienup-Riordan 2000) and a "hunt for identity"(Rasing 1999). In this process, Inuit hunt also for their economic place in Canadian and international relations. Most of my fieldwork for this dissertation was done among the Iglulingmiut who live in the present settlement of Igloolik.2 This Arctic community lies approximately 3,400 kilometres north of Montreal and one and a half hours (by plane) north of Iqaluit. It is located on a small island (10km by 20km) in the northern Foxe Basin, one mile off the northeast coast of Melville Peninsula. What drew me to Igloolik for this research was 2 Iglulingmiut in this dissertation means "the people of Igloolik. The designation was first used during the Knud Rasmussen's Fifth Thule Expedition (1921-1924) to describe the language and culture group including the Aivilingmiut ("people of the walrus') from the Repulse Bay region, the Tununirusirmiut ('people from the lesser shaded place') from the Arctic Bay region, the Tununirmiut,('people from the shaded place') from the land around Pond Inlet, and the Iglulingmiut ('people from the place where the houses are') from the northern Foxe basin region around Igloolik. Since the move into settlements, the term Iglulingmiut has come to be used to designate the Iglulingmiut proper, the people from the settlement of Igloolik. I adopt this specific usage for this work. 4 its longstanding reputation as being the "traditional community" in the Eastern Arctic. Inuit in Igloolik are part of a larger culture and dialect group of people who originally travelled across and inhabited camps in a vast territory that included the north Baffin region of the Eastern High Arctic, the Northern Foxe Basin, and the edge of Melville Peninsula (see map). The territory includes the flat tundra around Igloolik and Hall Beach, and the hills, mountains, glaciers and high escarpments surrounding the contemporary communities of Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet. During the five months that I spent in Igloolik in the spring and fall of 1997,1 spoke with community members and documented local efforts to preserve Inuit traditions. In 1997, Igloolik was a bustling community of over 1200 people. M y dissertation is also based on Arctic fieldwork that I undertook previous to 1997 in the neighbouring community of Pond Inlet which is on the northern tip of Baffin Island (Wachowich 1992, 1997, 1999). This was the site of my 1992 M A research which examined Inuit/Southern cross-cultural notions of "justice" in Pond Inlet. M y 1993-1994 work with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in that settlement involved two extensive oral history projects: the first documented narratives of "women's power" (Wachowich 1997); the second resulted in a collection of three-generational life histories (Wachowich 1999). This oral history work informs my analysis in this dissertation. In particular, my life history work with Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak and her mother Apphia Agalakti Awa (both transplanted Iglulingmiut who moved to Pond Inlet in 1972) provides narratives for analysis undertaken in Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 respectively. Inuit in the Igloolik and Pond Inlet regions began moving into permanent 5 communities in the 1960s and early 1970s. During this transition, these early Inuit settlements in many respects developed as microcosms where Inuit and Qallunaat intermingled, but where values of southern society were paramount (Brody 1975; Paine 1977). Settlements became satellites of the world system. As the capitalist world order has become more prominent in the Arctic, each settlement has sought its own identity, recognition, and economic claims. Cape Dorset has become known internationally for its carvers and print-makers, Pangnirtung for its tourist industry and weaving workshop, and Pond Inlet for its incipient eco-tourism industry (Soubliere 1999). As I demonstrate in Chapter 3, Igloolik is known as the "traditional place". During my fieldwork in Pond Inlet, in Iqaluit (the capital of Nunavut), and in Igloolik, the most frequent question I asked was "Why is Igloolik known as the traditional place?" In answering this question, some locals pointed to the long history of Inuit occupation of the region, which has some of the oldest archaeological sites in the Arctic (dating back 4,500 years). Other individuals pointed to Igloolik's geographical remoteness, and still others to its relatively recent history of contact. Most, however, speak of the concerted effort by Iglulingmiut to maintain their cultural traditions and the varied parties of southern researchers and reporters who have consistently arrived in Igloolik to study Inuit cultural history. Igloolik's status as "traditional" has been created, at least in part, as a product of the colonial encounter.3 3 Anthropological debates over static models of culture focus on the ways in which traditions are invented in response to colonialism (Wagner 1981; Handler and Linnekin 1984; Hobsbaum and Ranger 1983). While my analysis is informed by this body of literature, I draw on scholarship that goes beyond questions of authenticity or the 6 An argument underlying much of this dissertation is that Iglulingmiut have come to rely on Igloolik's designation as "the traditional place" in their relationships with outsiders. Parties of southerners come to this island each year to collect and study Inuit traditions. The data collected often contribute to a longstanding history of anthropological and ecological studies in the Arctic that frames the Inuit as a traditional and ecologically adaptive people.4 Outsider fascination with Inuit cultural practices represents an important part of the economy for the people of Igloolik because Iglulingmiut administrators, film-makers, oral historians and others deploy this interest in their culture as a resource base, drawing on government funds to support their subsistence economy. Thus, Southern interest in Inuit traditions is considered by some as analogous (using Iglulingmiut imagery) to the migrations of caribou, birds, whales, and to the herds of walrus. As I demonstrate throughout this dissertation, money is now critical to the continuation of subsistence hunting. By learning to present their culture in terms westerners can understand, by highlighting their adaptational abilities and by framing themselves as traditional, Iglulingmiut have acquired access to money to purchase and maintain the necessary equipment to hunt. Elders are subsidized to spend time on the constructed nature of tradition to explore the processes through which indigenous peoples themselves institutionalize tradition as a conscious model in processes of identity construction (Mauze 1997; Clifford 1997; Fienup-Riordan 2000). Expressions of tradition described in this dissertation are part of a broader set of dialogues about Iglulingmiut history, culture, and identity. 4 Riches argues that the persistent concern in Eskimology with the notion of tradition is due in part to paradigms established by early (pre-WWII) ethnographers and also to the political stake that contemporary Inuit themselves have in representing themselves as "traditional"(1995). land with their families, teaching land skills to young people from the community. Inuit women are sponsored to sew skin clothing. This allows Iglulingmiut to continue their relationships with the animals and, through the sharing of meat from the hunted animals, with the people around them. The fundamental paradox however is that to maintain their role as contemporary hunters, Iglulingmiut must fabricate and reinforce notions of "tradition" that speak to southern modernist ideologies. Sahlins refers to such processes of "cultural subversion" as "the assimilation of the foreign in the logics of the familiar - a change in the contexts of the foreign forms or forces, which also changes their values" (1999:xvi). Relationships with outsiders have become essential to Iglulingmiut subsistence. By implementing these frameworks to demonstrate to southerners that they still possess the ecological knowledge of their ancestors, in all its intricacy, Iglulingmiut gain power in their relationships with outsiders and the means to live as a contemporary hunting people. The Ideology of Hunting: New Technology and Old Practices Iglulingmiut have always incorporated new technologies into their subsistence practices. As they have become part of the world system, contemporary hunting roles have been fulfilled using an increasingly wide variety of activities. There are hunter-gatherer people Fred Myers notes, "who hardly seem to hunt or gather anymore"(1988:273). A broad body of arctic anthropological literature has attested to the preservation of the ideology of hunting despite changes in the physical and cultural environment. Damas, for example, demonstrated continuity in Iglulingmiut kinship 8 alliances from the 1820s to the 1960s (Damas 1963:98). Similar observations from the same region have occurred in analyses of the persistence of Iglulingmiut hunting roles (Rasing 1999) and naming practices (Kublu and Oosten 1999). Contemporary Iglulingmiut hunting ideologies encompass a varied array of practices. In accordance with this model, when Sandra Katsak, a young woman in Pond Inlet, worked with me to record her life history as part of the 1993 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples socio-cultural research mandate, and when she later used her honoraria payment to buy parkas in different shades of purple and blue for the people in her family, she was practising a form of social action akin to the subsistence strategies her grandmother practised forty years earlier sewing skin parkas for her family on the land.5 Similarly, an Iglulingmiut elder Ivalu told me a story involving his work as a paid instructor during a government funded land-skills camp for youth. He took a group of young men walrus hunting and taught them to kil l and butcher walrus in adherence to proper Iglulingmiut rules and rituals of the hunt. He then showed them how to cache parts of the walrus so that it would age into igunaq (aged walrus meat) - a delicacy among Iglulingmiut.6 Several months later, Ivalu returned to the cache, dug up that aged walrus 5 My work with Sandra Katsak was part of a three-generation life history project that I conducted in collaboration with Sandra's mother, Rhoda Katsak, and her grandmother, Apphia Agalakti Awa. I recorded Sandra's stories during the spring and fall of 1993 while I was doing fieldwork in Pond Inlet. I also documented her life stories during a trip she made to Edmonton in November, 1993. Sandra was paid a $750 honorarium and her stories were eventually made part of our life histories collection (Wachowich 1999). 6 M y spellings of igunaq and of most Inuktitut words, people and place names in this dissertation follow the standard orthography for Canadian Inuktitut devised by the 9 meat (when it was just the proper consistency) and sent pieces of it on a plane chartered to take Iglulingmiut hockey players to a tournament in Pond Inlet, where it would be distributed among his relatives in the settlement. To Ivalu, this was a story of him fulfilling his social obligations as a traditional hunter. A third example is provided by Iglulingmiut hunter Theo Ikkumaq who brought his family to Ottawa for ten weeks during the summer of 1997 so that he could work as a cultural interpreter at the Canadian Museum of Nature's Arctic Odyssey exhibit. In Ottawa, Ikkumaq practiced an equally important form of hunting subsistence by promoting Inuit cultural and political identity as a hunting people to southern museum visitors.7 Hunting, in this model becomes just as much about maintaining reciprocal relationships with family and community members, with animals, and with cultural outsiders, as it is about procuring food. Sandra Katsak's participation in the life history project, Arsene Ivalu's work as a land-skills instructor, and Theo Ikkumaq's work as a museum interpreter exemplify the ways in which external interest in the preservation of Inuit traditions is being increasingly implemented by Inuit as a new hunting practice used to foster social alliances. These Inuit Cultural Institute and officialized by the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada. I make exception however when I use I spelling taken directly from an archival text. Also, there is a recognized variation of Inuktitut word and name spellings in different regions of Nunavut. Double o's have been used interchangeably with u's when writing Inuktitut names and words (i.e Kublu vs. Koobloo, igloo vs. iglu), as have y/j, k/q, iq/erk, etc. When a person's name was spelled out for me during my fieldwork interviews, I employ that spelling. 7 Fienup-Riordan writes that contemporary Yup'ik who travel abroad to perform at gallery and museum openings are executing a form of social action analogous to hunting in the past (Fienup-Riordan 2000:209-272). 10 efforts illustrate how Inuit have learned to engage outside interest in their cultural practices as a form of social action in local communities. Dialogues about Inuit cultural traditions and about the essence of "Inuit-ness" have emerged as part of the colonial encounter in the north. As Igloolik elder Emile Immaroituk explained to me in an interview: We didn't talk about traditions in the past. There were no other cultures here with us and we didn't think of preserving anything because we were living it. It was all we had. We were living it. It was only in very recent years, long after the schools came up here, it was only when we stopped living the way we used to that we started talking about traditions. That is when we started talking like that (Fieldnotes 22/11/97).8 Fienup-Riordan, writing about the Yup'ik of Alaska, describes a similar set of subsistence activities that have developed in local communities based on the notion of tradition. People "hunt" and "harvest" their histories, she contends, in an effort to build "bridges of understanding between them and the larger world" (Fienup-Riordan 2000:xvi). These contemporary processes of historical consciousness, she calls "hunting tradition" (2000). Fienup-Riordan's discussion of Yup'ik bridge building is part of broader anthropological studies of the contemporary plight of people who live as hunters and 8 Of note is that there is no direct Inuktitut translation of Inuit "tradition" in the North Baffin/Northern Foxe Basin Inuktitut dialect. According to Iglulingmiut linguists, the closest word is "Inuit Iiiliqqusituqaq" which is best translated as "habitual way of doing things (in the past)". The word "Iiliqqusituqaq" comes from "liqqusiq", meaning "habit" or "custom", and the suffix "- tuqaq", "former" or "of old"(Fieldnotes 2001). 11 gatherers within the world system.9 Fred Myers, in his discussion of the critical trends in hunter-gatherer studies, asserts that "hunter-gatherers inhabit a world in which the dialogical relations between cultures, between theirs and ours, cannot be washed out of our studies" (1988:277). Inuit have had an longstanding investment in forging social, political, and economic alliances between themselves and southerners. But they have also had a stake in maintaining cultural boundaries and reinforcing notions of difference. Scholars have for some time been examining ways in which the history of colonialism has presented itself in different regions not simply as a struggle for power, but as arguments over the production of cultural meanings (Said 1978, 1989; Comaroff and Comaroff 1991, 1992; Friedman 1992; Keesing 1994; Thomas 1994; Ortner 1995). Anthropological literature testifies to the force and sheer number of such indigenous negotiations of cultural difference in other parts of the world, through mediums such as: narrative (Cruikshank 1990, 1998; Muratorio 1991; Bodfish 1991; Sards 1993; Basso 1996); religious movements (Sahlins 1985; Comaroff 1992); film (Turner 1992; Ginsberg 1995; Fienup-Riordan 1995); and art (Blodgett 1988; Fienup-Riordan 1996; Graburn 1986; Phillips 1998). Scholarship on this topic is broad. It speaks to the stake that indigenous people around the world have in engaging in discussions of their cultural 9 Discussions of the politics of history in hunter-gatherer societies have been informed largely by the Kalahari-San debate, specifically by the claims made by Richard B. Lee's evolutionary ecological paradigm that hunter-gatherers could act as a record of an earlier way of life. Wilmsen and Denbow, for example, argued that the remoteness of the Kalahari-San documented by outside observers was not indigenous, but partly created by the late nineteenth century collapse of centuries old mercantilism in the region (Wilmsen and Denbow 1990). 12 identities. Fred Myers describes the process through which indigenous peoples negotiate their cultural identities in a cross-cultural, discursive process he (drawing from Ortner 1989) refers to as "culture making". He writes about the ways in which the politics of difference are presently being negotiated and exhibited in the meetings between indigenous peoples and westerners taking place in art galleries, museums, and other multicultural locations. These cultural forms, emerging in contemporary intercultural practice should not be segregated from indigenous forms produced in other conditions: they may be new demonstrations of spirituality and authenticity - that is, redefinitions and rediscoveries worked out in the face of challenging interrogations from an "other". They are, however, no less sincere or genuine as cultural expressions in this response to history (1994:680). Performing cultural identities in different intercultural contexts, with all its "uncertainties and unsettled understandings," Myers claims, "becomes tangible as a form of social action" (1994:680). They are genuine efforts on the part of indigenous peoples to interact with the changing external forces in their environment. To Myers, the "translation" of this social action has become the new "ethnographic object" of anthropology (1994:679). M y dissertation builds on concepts from Myers and others to construct an ethnography of this form of social action among the Iglulingmiut. Through their engagement in processes of "culture-making" with explorers, anthropologists, government funding agencies, filmmakers and museum curators, Iglulingmiut have sought to alter their social environment to suit contemporary conditions and needs. Intercultural productions of identity have been one way in which Iglulingmiut have 13 maintained their subsistence hunting economy in the face of colonial change. Broadening the Notion of Subsistence Inuit have adapted to the colonial encounter by appropriating western notions of tradition and, through that process, have asserted their position as contemporary hunters in the world order. M y argument throughout this dissertation is that this process of culture-making, with all of its ironic appropriations of western imperialist frameworks of cultural difference, does not illustrate an increased westernization of the Iglulingmiut. This adaptation strategy, while part of the colonial encounter, finds its roots within an Inuit epistemology that was in place before the arrival of Europeans to the north. It is part of an abiding ideological system that defines Inuit place in the universe. I draw attention to an inherent paradox in this movement - that Inuit play upon notions of cultural difference and essentialness in their encounters with Qallunaat, yet their engagement in this enactment and re-enactment process is part of the Iglulingmiut effort to adapt, bring economic return, and ensure their subsistence in the world system. To contextualize Iglulingmiut identity construction within the broader ideology of subsistence hunting, I rely and build upon the work of Arctic scholars who argue that ideas of subsistence among northern nomadic hunters must extend beyond concepts of the ecological and .material to incorporate the social relationships and ritual exchanges that are part of hunting communities (Nuttall 1992; Fienup-Riordan 1983, 1990, 2000; Wenzel 1991; Dahl 2000). Jens Dahl, writing about the Inuit community of Saqqaq, Greenland, for example, argues that the social role of the Inuit hunter in the 14 "contemporary hunting mode production"is far greater than the actual economic value of his seal hunting (Dahl 2000:207). Hunting is not just a set of actions, he asserts, hunting "is also an ideology that confers meaning to the inhabitants of this small community" (Dahl 2000:7). Mark Nuttall, writing about kinship, community, and modernization in Kangersuatsiaq, Greenland, describes how "The meaning of survival and subsistence is expressed in the values and ideas inherent in the notion of community" (Nuttall 1992:153). Subsistence for hunting peoples is not just about hunting game. Practising land skills is also about embracing ideological frameworks which comprise values, actions, and relationships that perpetuate subsistence hunting. Almost two decades ago, Fienup-Riordan wrote that: it is possible, but altogether inappropriate to reduce subsistence activities to mere survival techniques and their significance to a conquest of calories. Their pursuit is not simply a means to an end, but an end in itself (Fienup-Riordan 1983:xvii). For these scholars, subsistence hunting is a social process engaged in to promote ongoing relationships between humans, animals, and the physical environment. If people behave morally in terms of their social relationships, i f they follow the proper rules and rituals with regards to critical social practices, such as sharing food from the hunt, then animals will share themselves in turn with hunters and social relationships are reproduced. Inuit Ways of Perceiving the Environment That Inuit experience the Arctic environment differently from southerners is a rudimentary claim. From the first voyages of Arctic explorers, the Arctic physical environment has been depicted as a force with which to be reckoned. Imagery of man 15 pitted against nature has persisted in Arctic colonial discourses. Anthropologists working in the Arctic and Subarctic, however, argue that hunters and gatherers, while active agents in the world system, do not make the same separation between humans and animals, and between humans and the land (Scott 1989; Fienup-Riordan 1990:167-191; Brightman 1993). Nor do they make the separation between an authentic past and present. Instead, hunting peoples perceive the world through lived experience. Ingold, for instance, states that: the world as perceived by hunters and gatherers is constituted as such by virtue of their very mode of engagement with it, in the course of their everyday, subsistence related practices. These practices cannot be reduced to their narrowly behavioural aspect, as strategically programmed responses to external environmental stimuli (Ingold 1996:148). Ingold argues that humans engage equally with one another, with non-human animals, and with the landscape through a series of reciprocal relationships and social interactions. Their actions are regarded by them as an ongoing dialogue, as "ways of dwelling" with the world around them (1996:144). The characteristic feature of hunter gatherers such as the Iglulingmiut, according to these models, is not so much their exploitation of land and resources as it is their sharing networks and the ways in which they engage through them with each other, with animals, and with the land. Wenzel describes the interconnectedness of this ideological system, as he witnessed it in Clyde River, on Baffin Island: Animals share with humans a common state of being that includes kinship and family relations, sentience and intelligence. The rights and obligations that pertain among people extend to other members of the natural world. People, seals, polar bears, birds and caribou are joined in a single community in which 16 animals give men' food and receive acknowledgement and revival (Wenzel 1991:60-61). In this framework, animals exist as "non-human persons" (Fienup-Riordan 1990:167-172) in the broader Inuit universe of beings. An experience that I had during an Inuktitut language course that I took in Iqaluit illustrates this Inuit view of animals as non-human persons. It was October 20 t h, 1997 and election day in Iqaluit for the public plebiscite on a proposal that there be gender parity in the legislative assembly in Nunavut (Gombay 2000). This proposal (which was rejected) was a controversial topic of conversation among students at the coffee breaks and lunch hour. Someone asked our teacher, Seporah, a question about who exactly was allowed to vote in the plebiscite. Seporah, a Iglulingmiut woman in her early thirties, who had flown in from her current home in Yellowknife to teach the course, answered this query flatly. "Everyone who is living here is allowed to vote," she said "everyone except the animals." This was said without humour or irony. Animals were analogous to people in Seporah's statement. They exist in Nunavut as a community like others with which the Inuit engage, except that, in this plebiscite, animals were being denied a ballot. We continued our lesson. Outsiders as Part of the Arctic Environment Northern nomadic hunters, like Seporah and her family, have maintained their place in the Arctic ecosystem through these relationships with Inuit, animals and with the land. I emphasize these social relations to draw a point about the Inuit collaboration with 17 Qallunaat in the construction of Iglulingmiut categories of tradition. The Inuit environment has, for millennia, included social relationships with outsiders who, like animals, were incorporated into Iglulingmiut subsistence strategies. Europeans were not the first set of outsiders to live among the Iglulingmiut. As I explain in Chapter 1, Iglulingmiut still tell stories of the race of strong, timid people (the Tuniit or Dorset people) who lived alongside them in camps a thousand years ago. The Europeans however, were different from the Tuniit and the animals. They were the source of material goods from lands faraway and they brought with them specific ideas about the inherent "nature" of the Inuit. Contact between the two groups was incremental. Chapter 1 describes how, by the time of official first contact in 1822 -when two British Naval ships, the Fury and the Hecla, commanded by Captains Parry and Lyon, wintered for two years in the Igloolik region - Iglulingmiut had already experienced centuries of contact with elements of European culture, technology, and diseases through long-distance travel and trade routes that spanned the Arctic. 1 0 The Inuit adapted to these outsiders as they had adapted to other living beings in their environment, by forging a series of reciprocal relationships. The Europeans who arrived had developed ideas of the people they were meeting from frameworks based on a modernist quest for "traditional", "remote" and "isolated" peoples. To maintain their subsistence, Inuit 1 0 Anthropologists Wolf (1982), Sahlins (1985), Roseberry (1989) and Wilmsen and Denbow (1990) argue that anthropological models of pristine, fragile cultures have overlooked both the histories of small-scale societies that were in place before the arrival of Europeans as well as the commonalities of experience between the pre and post-contact periods. 18 learned to negotiate these categories in the face of this growing influx of outsiders. For centuries, Inuit had incorporated relationships with different beings into their subsistence system. The cultural and material exchanges that ensued were just another case of Inuit adaptation. As contact continued, many of the incoming Qallunaat carried with them pre-conceived visions of the Arctic reaching as far back as the sixteenth century. A body of literature attests to the role exotic representations of Inuit play in western epistemologies (Balikci 1989; Fienup-Riordan 1990; King 1990, 1998; Fitzhugh 1997; Remie and Oosten 1999). "Few people on earth have been written about so prodigiously or pictured so often in an exotic light" writes Fienup-Riordan (1995:xi). As Chapters 5 and 6 illustrate, primitivist images of Inuit as vestiges of a stone age people were part of early ethnographic films, such as Robert Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North (Fienup-Riordan 1995; Rony 1996; Grace 1996), museum exhibits (Fitzhugh 1997) and turn of the Century World Fairs (King 1990). Western epistemologies of modernism, progress, nationalism, and science have been dependent on the production of images of Inuit who are painted either nobly, as "rugged individualists" (Fienup-Riordan 1994:47), or embodiments of the Protestant ethic (Balikci 1989), or ignobly, as uncivilized, modern day representatives of our stone age past (de Laguna 1994). Regardless of their own internal adaptations, northern nomadic hunting cultures like the Inuit and the Eskimos of Alaska have filled the role that Eric Wolf describes when he writes about how western industrial expansion has incorporated the search for "replicas of pre-capitalist, pre-industrial past in the sinks and margins of the capitalist, 19 industrial world" (Wolf 1982:18). Historic networks of engagement with the world system were ignored, he suggests, with the rise of the social sciences as small scale cultures have been instead demarcated as isolated, as primitive, as "people without history" (1982). These characterizations ignore the fact that throughout colonial contact, groups like the Iglulingmiut have continued their way of life by adapting to shifting social and economic relations; they have travelled to different regions to seek out and meet with outsiders; they have harnessed industrial technology and integrated contact with outsiders into their subsistence economy. My dissertation is an ethnography of this process. I illustrate how Iglulingmiut have adapted to the social, economic, and political changes brought to them with twentieth century neo/colonialism by negotiating their cultural differences and engaging in intercultural productions of identity. The Chapters: To pursue my analysis of these intercultural encounters and ensuing processes of cultural translation, I provide six case studies. Chapter 1 introduces a historical background to my study of Iglulingmiut cultural adaptations by recounting a number of stories of adaptation that have been paramount to Iglulingmiut history. Stories of the early meeting with the Dorset people, of meetings with explorers, with traders, and the celebrated story of Ataguttaaluk demonstrate how Iglulingmiut have historically adapted to changes in their social environment by engaging in a discursive process of culture-making with outsiders. Still today, through oral histories and storytelling, they celebrate the skill that their ancestors demonstrated in incorporating into their ideological system 20 the changes brought on by colonialism. This chapter also serves to situate historically, in the nineteenth century explorer accounts, Igloolik's distinction as a remote and isolated place. Chapter 2, entitled Scientific Traditions: Iglulingmiut and Arctic Ethnography, maps the idea of remoteness in Arctic ethnography. I describe how early ethnographers distinguished the Iglulingmiut as a more isolated group of people when compared to other Inuit in the Arctic. I outline how Franz Boas, during his (1883-1884) fieldwork, tried in vain to reach Igloolik, a place that he believed would hold the ultimate clues for his study of Inuit adaptation to the Arctic climate and ice conditions. A disease among the dogs in the region prevented this journey and he instead based his analysis on fieldwork that he did among the Inuit in South Baffin (who had been subject to over one hundred years of contact). Ethnographer Knud Rasmussen arrived in Igloolik in the 1920s and, despite the contact with whalers, traders, and the Christian Church in the Igloolik region by the time he visited, he still imagined himself journeying back through time to the original Inuit. The post-WWII era brought more southerners into this region and regardless of the effects of northern development during that period, Igloolik, nonetheless remained identified as a bounded, traditional place and the Iglulingmiut as a somewhat more pristine and authentic group of Inuit than those who lived elsewhere. Social science established working scientific frameworks prominent for the Iglulingmiut that described them as a remote, isolated, and traditional people. Chapter 2 ends with a description of the effects that this had on local people from 1969-1972, when theoretical notions of Igloolik as a remote community drew teams of scientists from the 21 south to set up laboratories and conduct medical and social science research on the Iglulingmiut as part of the International Biological Program Human Adaptability Project. I draw upon a story from Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak's life history that she recorded with me in 1993 and the literal and figurative scars that she describes to illustrate the effects of this onslaught of scientific research on community members. Subsequent chapters outline how, in the context of this community upheaval, a social movement was born in Igloolik. They describe contemporary efforts on the part of Iglulingmiut to address a history of advancing colonialism through deliberate processes of culture-making. An underlying theme relates to the different ways in which this culture-making has ensured continuing Iglulingmiut subsistence through their deliberate incorporation of western modes of representation into their culture. Chapter 3, entitled Igloolik as a Traditional Community, is based on my fieldwork in the community of Igloolik in the spring and fall of 1997. Following from Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak's story of the effects of medical and scientific research on the community in 1972, it describes the community's deliberate harnessing of the research industry, and the associated acting out of this Inuit control of this western fascination with Inuit traditions through a number of community-run traditional knowledge projects that were taking place when I was there. These projects were supported by government subsidies which provided funding for land-skills camps for youth, sewing workshops, Inuktitut language workshops, and other programs. But what these projects also did was provide hunting families access to the financial means to support their land-based economy. I write about the history of this movement, my own experiences in Igloolik and the ways in 22 which the Iglulingmiut appropriation of the means of collecting and preserving their traditions has changed the social climate for Inuit as well as for anthropologists doing research in the settlement. Chapter 4, entitled Images of Tradition: Ethnographic Film and Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation, is also based on my fieldwork in Igloolik. It describes the ways in which independent video production has been appropriated by Iglulingmiut film-makers and used as a form of social action to ensure and promote their identity as hunters in the modern world. Video technology has become a medium through which Iglulingmiut communicate cultural knowledge for social and political ends. M y analysis is based on my 1997 volunteer work with the Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation and in particular my evaluation of scenes from two videos that are part of their series of thirteen half-hour programs entitled The Nunavut Series (1994-96). I discuss these videos in relation to broader cultural goals of the Inuit film corporation as well as the history of Inuit participation as subjects of ethnographic film. I describe how the appropriation of video technology by the Iglulingmiut acts as a form of social action through which Inuit control the infiltration of southern communications media into their culture and at the same time present their voices to national and international audiences. Film sets have become sites upon which important Inuit relationships with each other, with their ancestors, with animals, and with outsiders are fostered and maintained. Chapter 5, entitled Life Histories as Adaptation to Changing Social Climates in the Arctic, describes another local Inuit effort to engage in social action through intercultural productions of Inuit identity. I describe my work with Apphia Agalakti Awa 23 as part of the Royal Commission Aboriginal Peoples Three Generational Life Histories Project11. Apphia Agalakti Awa was born and raised in the Igloolik area and moved to Pond Inlet in 1972. Her collaboration with me illustrates how the Inuit have appropriated anthropological life history methods as a means of subsistence. I quote a passage from her life history that speaks of the fear she felt as a young woman witnessing the death of a campmate and I illustrate how, by telling that story, she was reinforcing a number of different social relationships integral to subsistence on the land and in contemporary settlement life. In this way, she used storytelling as a form of social action. However, as the story underwent five years of transitions from Inuktitut oral narrative, to an English written transcript, and then to a published manuscript, the lessons of the story were tailored to different social environments and the story took on new adaptive meanings. Chapter 6, entitled Exhibiting Knowledge: Video conferencing at the Canadian Museum of Nature's Arctic Odyssey Exhibit, extends this culture-making process to sites outside the Arctic. I outline four dialogues which took place during a 1998 series of video conferences staged at Ottawa's Canadian Museum of Nature among museum audiences in Ottawa and Inuit in Igloolik. I analyse these video conference exchanges in the context of the history of museum representations and live exhibits of Inuit. I show how both Inuit videoconference participants, museum curators, and visitors negotiated Inuit and western histories and epistemologies in an effort to construct meaning in these 1 1 The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was struck in the early 1990s to investigate and make recommendations concerning communication and political relations between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples in Canada. This project was part of the Royal Commission's socio-cultural research mandate. 24 encounters. Inuit purposefully presented themselves according to familiar western paradigms of "the Arctic", "tradition" and "nature". By fostering these relations with outsiders, and translating their culture according to western conceptual categories, Iglulingmiut promote local economic goals and lobby for increased Inuit participation in international discussions about the North. Contact Zones In each chapter, I explore how these "intercultural productions" of Inuit practices have maintained Inuit subsistence in a changing social environment. M y chapters.are organized thematically, as case studies, rather than chronologically. In each chapter, Inuit culture-making emerges as a pragmatic effort to present Iglulingmiut epistemologies in a format accessible to multiple and multicultural audiences. These efforts take place in a proliferation of what Mary Louise Pratt refers to as "contact zones", "spaces in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact and establish ongoing relations" (1992:6).12 Contact zones are sites where subjects from different cultural and historical backgrounds come together to constitute themselves in relation to one another; they are meeting places tied to shifting national politics and to world markets (Pratt 1992, Clifford 1997:188-219). I find this concept of contact zones helpful for my analysis of Inuit adaptations to a changing social environment because it incorporates the innovative efforts of Inuit to 1 2 Pratt's further stipulation is that these relations usually involve "conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict" (1992:6). 25 articulate their culture in different multi-cultural locations. Contact zones can be regions as expansive as the North Pacific (Clifford 1997:302) or the Circumpolar Arctic, but, as I demonstrate in my dissertation, they can also be contexts where people come together to construct and objectify Inuit traditions for explorer and ethnographic literature, community projects, ethnographic film, life history projects and national natural history museum exhibits. This focus on contact zones as places for the definition of Inuit culture opens the door to an analysis of the new forms of identity construction that incorporate twentieth century tools and dialogues that are increasingly part of contemporary Inuit society. Inuit translate themselves, their meanings, their values and their identities both autonomously and in relation to external powers and processes. They do this in an effort to secure political power and ensure their place as contemporary hunters in the global system. A logical route that this dissertation could have taken would have been an analysis of culture-making processes that have been part of the production and marketing of Inuit art over the past thirty years. The literature on the importation of soap-stone carving and printmaking to the north is vast. The objectification and marketing of Inuit artistic traditions have in many ways provided a rehearsal for the processes that I describe in this dissertation. Because Inuit art has never been a principal industry in Igloolik, I have chosen instead to focus my analysis on alternate forms of cultural expression that have arisen in Igloolik primarily. While a small number of carvers make a living by selling their work through the Igloolik Co-Op or galleries in the south, there is no soapstone quarry close-by and Igloolik does not have the developed tourist industry emerging in 26 coastal settlements along the Northwest Passage that host tourist ships. As the following chapters illustrate, the colonial history of the Igloolik region has fostered forms of cultural production that are distinct to the region. 27 Chapter One: The History of Iglulingmiut Adaptations In order to understand how Inuit appropriations of southern romantic notions of Inuit culture have become adaptational strategies, an understanding of the longer history of Inuit adaptations is needed. This chapter provides a brief history of colonial contact in the Northern Foxe Basin region, and the different ways Iglulingmiut have negotiated intercultural encounters and socio-economic change through a process of culture-making. I do this by recounting a number of stories integral to Iglulingmiut history: stories of the Dorset people who populated the land before the Inuit; tales of cultural exchanges with the first European explorers who saw Iglulingmiut culture as remote and exotic; and the celebrated story of an esteemed woman in Igloolik who survived starvation and negotiated profitable economic relationships with early twentieth century fur traders. The underlying argument in this chapter is that Iglulingmiut processes of historical construction that emerged in the colonial encounter can be seen within a larger framework of Iglulingmiut adaptation. Historically, Inuit subsistence has been based on , adapting and cultivating reciprocal relationships with forces in their physical environment. The interface with representatives of Western culture is presented in Inuit oral traditions as just another set of forces. Although Iglulingmiut culture has been altered with their incorporation into the world market economy, Inuit have perceived these changes as proof of their adaptive abilities, not as testimony to the erosion of their culture. In their self-representations, Iglulingmiut make it clear that this adaptive strategy is a central component of their collective sense of self. They draw strength from their 28 recognition as an adaptive people. Pre-European Culture Contact: Contact Between the Dorset (Tuniit) and Thule People The climate around Igloolik is one of extreme seasonal changes in temperature (ranging from extremes of -45 C during the winter to 20 C during the summer). The break-up of the sea-ice that surrounds Igloolik occurs around the end of July each year and freeze-up occurs again in mid-October. The sun is below the horizon continually from November 29 to January 14. The northern Foxe Basin however is rich in natural resources and has supported one of the longest histories of human occupation in the Arctic. According to archaeological and Igloolik oral history records, culture contact between Iglulingmiut and Europeans was not the first intercultural encounter in the region. Radiocarbon dates at archaeological sites near Igloolik demonstrate almost 3,500 years of continuous occupation. The oldest sites are said to have been inhabited by the "Tuniit", a legendary people often identified with the archaeological Pre-Dorset and Dorset cultures of the Paleo-Eskimos. The Paleo-Eskimos reportedly moved into the Canadian Arctic from the west during a post-glacial warming period that lasted for several thousands of years but was ending when the Paleo-Eskimos began to migrate across North America (McGhee 1996:110). The Dorset people represent a Paleo-Eskimo cultural tradition that thrived during a period of rapid Arctic cooling that set in during the millennium between 2000 and 1000 29 BC. Their adaptation to the changing sea ice environment and their development of methods for hunting from the sea-ice allowed them to survive during this onset of cold weather when other Paleo-Eskimo hunting cultures became extinct. Archaeological evidence from sites around the Igloolik region provides records of the Dorset people hunting large sea mammals from the sea ice or from the shore - mostly seal but also beluga, narwhal and walrus.13 To adapt to the cold weather they developed insulated houses heated by oil-burning lamps carved from soapstone; they invented crampons for hunting from smooth ice; and they designed new and larger forms of harpoons, lances and other equipment (McGhee 1996:131-32). The transition to an ice-hunting economy during this period of cooling allowed the Dorset people not only to expand their territory, but also to achieve a stable adaptation that would support their way of life for another 1,500 years (McGhee 1996:118). However, the period of global warming that set in during the first millennium A D , and in particular the melting of ice sheets around 600 to 700 A D (McGhee 1996:196), is associated with the end of the Paleo-Eskimo/Dorset way of life. By 1000 A D , these Dorset people were being replaced by the Thule people, ancestors of the modern day Inuit, who migrated along coastlines from Alaska across the Canadian Arctic to Greenland. The Thule based their subsistence on large sea mammals, especially the bowhead whale, which they hunted using specialized gear from an umiak or open boat. McGhee writes that there were several centuries (probably around 1000 1 3 Walrus hunting has long been a predominant feature of Iglulingmiut subsistence with access in the region to one of the largest walrus herds in the world. 30 AD) when the two culture groups, the Dorset and the Thule people, possibly lived side by side in camps (1996:232).14 Iglulingmiut oral histories testify to this pre-Columbian culture contact. Elders recount how the Tuniit are remembered as a race of large people, strong but timid, who lived on the land before the Inuit. They carried boulders with ease and built many of the cairns and fishing weirs found throughout the territory. Two Iglulingmiut elders in the 1990's described stories that they heard of the Tuniit (or Tunijjuat) from their elders. According to Noah Piugattuk: What I have heard about them is the fact that they were slightly different from us... They used to fish at the mouth of the stream. It is also said that at one time there were those that hunted on the sea hunting walruses. It is said that even when they are alone they were able to stop a walrus (after they had harpooned it). They were stout and very strong, but it is said that they started to flee when someone misbehaved, ever since it is said they left this area and had not heard of them since (Piugattuk 1992, IE-246).15 George Kappianaq tells a similar story about the celebrated strength of the Tuniit: They were taller than that of Inuit and they were stout, I would think that they had the same muscle built as polar bears. It is also said that they were capable of pulling a walrus carcass... I have also heard that they were able to carry a whole carcass of bearded seal over their shoulder where they would have the 1 4 Between approximately 1000 and 1350 A D and further south, there would also have been contact and trade between the Dorset, the Thule and Norse Vikings who were travelling the shores of Labrador and Newfoundland (McGhee 1996:193-4). 1 5 Many quotations in this chapter and throughout this dissertation are from an ongoing oral history project conducted by the Inullariit Elders Society in Igloolik who have recorded more than 400 oral history interviews (see Chapter 4). The original interviews are recorded on audio-cassette tapes and translations of these interviews (in transcripts and computer file format) are kept, along with the tapes, at the Igloolik Research Centre. Copies have also been filed at the Northwest Territories Archives, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife. I reference them throughout this dissertation following the standard citation of the date of the interview and interview number. 31 head on one shoulder and the abdomen area in the other shoulder. They also could do this with a caribou carcass. You still can see their old qammat [sod houses] in some areas. It is said that they scare easily so they were led to flee away which also happened in Quebec. It is also said that they were fast runners (Kappianaq 1992, IE-249). Both elders also speak of how Inuit remember living among the Dorset: Certainly, they used to live in a camp with Inuit with their own dwellings so they also would participate in hunts especially walrus hunting and seal hunting through the breathing holes...It is also said that when the adults got mad or start to misbehave they would make faces instead, or they could use their knuckle to knock out someone i f they chose to fight back which was rare. It is said that they were humble people that did not like to get into conflict with the Inuit even when they lived in the same camp...They were hunters like the Inuit, they had hunting equipment like the Inuit... (Kappianaq 1992, IE-249). The only thing that I have heard about is one particular Tunijjuaq that resided among the Inuit once, it appears the story took place across the strait. What I heard is that he used to go out walrus hunting with the Inuit in the vicinity of Alarniq. It is said that when the conditions were right for one to go on to the moving ice they would go on to hunt walrus. This Tunijjuaq would not try to keep company of other hunters, towards night he could be seen returning with meat in tow. This was when the younger walruses (tiqituqqat) have landed in the early spring. As he got close to the camp he would be towing a whole young walrus which he did not bother to butcher, he would be towing the carcass as i f it was a seal (Piugattuk 1992, IE-246). Eventually, the Thule whale hunters replaced the Dorset people in the Arctic. The subsistence patterns of the Thule people, based on elaborate hunting strategies and nomadic subsistence patterns endured until the arrival of Europeans in the Canadian Arctic. Families travelled by dog-team and qamutiq along routes following the seasonal cycles of the animals they hunted: large game such as caribou, different species of seal, walrus, and whale, as well as fish and migratory birds. Availability of food from the land was often tenuous; weather conditions constantly shifted, impairing travel. Flexible hunting strategies, cooperation and alliances 32 between individuals and families were essential in order to maximize the sharing and distribution of the product of this diversified resource base. People came together in the winter in large sealing villages and split apart into smaller family groups in the spring and summer.16 Contemporary Inuit speak of how survival was always tenuous for their ancestors. Apphia Agalakti Awa describes how: ...people used to travel a lot. They travelled by dog team or they walked. Some even went as far as Greenland.17 If they knew how to hunt, Inuit could go almost anywhere without starving. Just as long as they caught animals, they could survive and keep on travelling, miles and miles and miles. They never stopped for very much time because they were always looking for animals to hunt. They never really settled down in a camp. People would starve and die when animals weren't around to hunt. They had really hard lives. In some camps, people starved, and people would hear about this in other camps. Starving did not happen every day, not every year either, but every once and awhile (Awa in Wachowich 1999:20). Inuit oral historians like Apphia Agalakti Awa recount how life in the early contact culture was arduous. Fear of famine and starvation pervade Inuit stories of their past. If a family's dogs died and they could no longer travel, i f they became stranded on the land, i f they did not have the necessary tools, or i f they found themselves without social alliances and sharing networks, they would die. Accentuated in these contemporary historical 1 6 Works by Parry (1824), Lyon (1824), Rasmussen (1929), Mathiassen (1928), Crowe (1970), Mary-Rousseliere (1984), Rasing (1994:47-54) provide overviews of Iglulingmiut culture during the early contact period. 1 7 Agalakti Awa refers here to a journey that took place in the mid-1800s when the Inuit shaman, Qitlaq, led a group of more than forty Inuit from Pond Inlet across Smith Sound to Greenland. Stories of this epic migration recount how the original group split once in Greenland. About half stayed and settled there while those remaining embarked on an ill-fated journey back to Pond Inlet. Many of them died of starvation during the voyage home (Mary-Rousseliere 1991). 33 constructions is the absolute exigency on the part of the Inuit to adapt to changing conditions and to strive for the maintenance of proper (and profitable) relations with the world around them. Early Contacts with Europeans: Captains William Parry and George Lyon in Igloolik During the 1500s, explorers sailing along the coast of Baffin Island were looking for a passage through the ice to the west. Inuit became incorporated into the world market at this time, as explorers and naturalists traded European goods with the Inuit for artifacts and furs. Wenzel argues that this arrival of southerners to the Arctic prompted "another kind of warming trend" in the Arctic analogous to the one that drove the Dorset culture to extinction (1995:171). This climate change, he describes as a warming "unrelated to environmental factors" but instead to the "changing relationships between the Inuit and 'the South"'(ibid.). Ice-filled waters of the Northern Foxe Basin prevented entry by explorers and whaling ships during much of the early contact period in the Arctic. However, extensive travel and trade networks expanded across the vast regions of the Arctic, providing Iglulingmiut with access to western commodities (wood, metals, tools etc.) arriving from the south. The first "official" contact between Qallunaat and Iglulingmiut on the shores around Igloolik took place in the early nineteenth century. Captains William Parry and George Lyon, along with one hundred and fifty five crew-members from the British Naval Expedition, spent the winters of 1822-23 and 1823-24 among the Iglulingmiut 34 after their ships became trapped in the sea ice (Parry 1824:492). They overwintered there among a population Parry suggested ranged between three and four hundred people (Parry 1824:549). Memories of these visitors, like those of the Dorset people, are part of Inuit oral history. Their tent rings, the crumbled walls built by the ships crew as wind breaks for their tents, the cairns that they left behind and the grave of one of the crewmen who died have become a part of the Iglulingmiut landscape, like other graves, tent rings and geographic markers that imprint their histories on the land. Popular accounts of Iglulingmiut culture that describe contact between the two groups were published by these explorers (Parry 1824, Lyon 1824). Although they were travelling through waters hitherto unexplored by Europeans, Parry and Lyon found a people who were not isolated from the outside world. Lyon's private journal illustrates how westerners were part of Iglulingmiut historical epistemologies, before the actual arrival of their ships in the northern Foxe Basin. He describes Inuit conceptions of strangers in 1823: The Eskimaux do not, like many other wild people, imagine that there is no world besides that which they occupy; but have some faint ideas of what the unseen countries are, and take great pleasure in hearing about them. They have many traditionary [sic] stories of Kabloona and Indians; of the latter of whom, under the name It-kagh-lie, they speak with fear and abhorrence: but the former, unlike the kabloonas of the early Greenlanders, are not looked upon as differing in species from themselves, but as good people who have plenty of wood and iron (Lyon 1824(1970):220). Southerners (Kabloonas) were recognized as a source of valuable wood and iron. During the whaling period, Igloolik Island was a nexus of interaction for the three main groups in the region: the Tununirmiut (people from the Pond Inlet region); the Aivilingmiut (people 35 from around Repulse Bay); and the Iglulingmiut (Stevenson 1997:269). Parry, for example, described meeting a woman named Appokiuk who, the year previously, had been travelling in more southern regions and had seen two Hudson Bay ships in the course of their annual voyage (Parry 1824:175). Elements of western material culture had already been incorporated into Iglulingmiut culture by the time Parry and Lyon arrived. Both explorers reported finding Iglulingmiut already using metal utensils and meat trays (Parry 1824:503; Lyon 1824:346 in Mary-Rousseliere 1984:443). Both Parry and Lyon compiled detailed accounts of Iglulingmiut culture in their journals. These journals provide data on the seasonal hunting patterns and cultural practices of the day, on the contact-zone that had emerged around the ships, on processes of cultural translation and also on cross-cultural misunderstandings that transpired between the two groups. Parry's narrative more than Lyon's describes how trade relationships were established between the two culture groups from the start. Parry recounts his first meeting with the Iglulingmiut that occurred on 1, February, 1822, not far from the iced-in ships: They appeared at a distance to have arms in their hands, but what we had taken for bows or spears proved only to be a few blades of whalebone which they had brought, either as a peace offering, or for barter, and which we immediately purchased for a few small nails and beads (Parry 1824:160). After having "bought all that they had to sell" and having "made them a number of valuable presents"(Parry 1824:159), the explorers and Inuit began frequenting each other's abodes. Parry describes these intercultural transactions. The Inuit, he said: always sat very closely on the deerskins which composed their beds, under which were stowed such articles as they were least willing to dispose of. They sold 36 however a great number of their things without reluctance; and it was indeed astonishing to see with what eagerness they would, for the mere sake of change and variety, barter one of their most indispensable articles for the veriest trifles in our possession. For instance, a single sewing needle, of which they possessed abundance not much inferior to our own, procured from them a large well sharpened panna, or mans knife made of stout iron, for which in point of absolute utility a hundred needles would not have been a fair equivalent. Various other instances of the same kind occurred by which indeed they were not ultimately losers, though they certainly would have been so had our intercourse ended here (Parry 1824:162). But the intercourse did not end there. Parry's narrative suggests that the Inuit developed a form of cottage industry around the sale of Inuit artifacts to the crews of the ships. A little more than two weeks after the initial encounter, 17, February, 1822, Parry complains in his journal of their various visits to the ship: they had become rather an annoyance in this way. They now brought with them a great many little canoes and paddles, sledges, figures of men and women, and other toys, most of them already bespoke by the officers and the men, and the rest for sale (1824:173). The Inuit village around the Fury and Hecla became in 1822-3 an early contact-zone between north and south. As the market in western commodities intensified, Inuit in the region altered their seasonal migrations to secure access to a short-term supply of trade goods provided by the ships. Inuit were also employed to hunt, to cook, to provide drinking water and to sew winter skin clothing for the crews. Parry bought dogs from the Inuit and employed Inuit men to teach him and his crew how to hunt. Parry paid Inuit to draw maps of the region around Igloolik.1 8 Inuit acquired pieces of valuable oak wood 1 8 In his PhD dissertation, partially based on 1988 fieldwork in Igloolik, Michael Bravo writes about the cross-cultural exchange that took place between the Iglulingmiut and British navigators aboard the Fury and Hecla. He specifically addresses the exchange of Inuit geographic knowledge and processes of cultural translation in the 37 for their bows, arrows, and spear heads (Parry 1824:212). They garnered commodities such as beads (ibid. :214), knives, metal utensils and tools. Iglulingmiut assessed Qallunaat tastes for Inuit cultural artifacts and then made such things as: toys, models, shades for the eyes and water-tight seal-skin mittens to sell to the crew (ibid: 174). As intercultural exchanges increased, so did the acrimony. Cross-cultural misconceptions of sharing and reciprocity increasingly came to a head. Parry resented what he considered aggressive Inuit bargaining tactics, writing in his account that: In the barter of their various commodities their dealings with us were fair and upright, though latterly they were by no means backward or inexpert in driving a bargain. The absurd and childish exchanges which they at first made with our people, induced them subsequently to complain that the Kabloonas had stolen their things, though the profit had been eventually a hundred-fold in their favour (1824:523). He complained of the "extreme selfishness of their general character" (Parry 1824:526), of the "want of gratitude evinced by these people" (ibid.:524-25), and of their stealing.19 Parry's effort to allay these problems however brought into focus the cultural misunderstandings between the two groups. In early March, 1823, Parry describes catching a man, Oo-oo-took, stealing and locking him up in solitary confinement for some hours in the Hecla's coal-hole to which "the Esquimaux only laughed at this as a production of nineteenth century maps of discovery (1992:207-214). 1 9 Rasing explains this sentiment expressed by Parry and Lyon as arising from their dismissal of the fundamental principle of reciprocity that governed Iglulingmiut life which made expressions of gratitude superfluous (1994:20). Sandra Katsak illustrates this same principle of reciprocity in her life history when she speaks of the banal nature of pleasantries among the Inuit. There is no need to say "thank-you" for small things, she explains, "The other knows the other is grateful. They just sort of know" (Katsak in Wachowich 1999:249-50). 38 very good joke" (1824:410). He continued that, in order to instill fear in the Inuit, he tried to impose a more serious penalty: The delinquent was therefore put down into the Fury's store-room passage, and closely confined there for several hours; when having collected several of the natives on board the Fury, I ordered him to be stripped and seized up in their presence, and to receive a dozen lashes on the back with a cat-o'-nine-tails (Parry 1824:412). Upon witnessing this corporal punishment, the Inuit left the ship "as fast as their legs and sledges could carry them" (ibid.). They returned soon after to patch up their precarious relationship with Parry: ...in less than eight-and-forty hours, men, women, and children came to the ships with the same confidence as before, always abusing Oo-oo-took, pronouncing themselves and us uncommonly good people, but evidently more cautious than before of really incurring our displeasure (Parry 1824:412). Lyon reports a similar incident: On the 25 t h (of February), a man stole a knife, or, properly speaking, confessed to having stolen one on the preceding day, and I accordingly consigned him to our coal-hole, where I kept him in durance for some hours. His countrymen who were on board seemed to care little about this, and even laughed when I purposed killing him. When they went away, some of our officers who did not know what had happened, met them on the ice, and were told unconcernedly, 'that Khiap-ka had stolen a knife, and that Lyon had put him into a black place and cut his throat.' I verily think that had I actually done so, no one, except his old mother, would have been afflicted. On the following day my offender brought the knife with him, and came, attended by another man who walked before him up the ladder, carrying the weapon in his hand. His procuring assistant was, as soon as I found, for the purpose of obtaining presents, the thief observing that I ought to give him something for returning the knife, and his companion declaring that he also had a claim on my generosity 'for having carried the stolen goods' (Lyon 1824:249). Despite the obvious problems and dramatic consequences of these early cross-cultural misunderstandings (based on conflicting notions of exchange and reciprocity), the 39 Iglulingmiut nonetheless developed adaptational strategies and did what they had to assure themselves access to wood, metal and trade goods. The Fury and the Hecla provided a rich and important resource base for the Iglulingmiut during that two-year period. Inuit Views of Western Culture: Qallunaat as a Force in the Inuit Environment: I have provided a brief overview of this nineteenth century colonial encounter from Parry's and Lyon's perspective. However Iglulingmiut oral histories that address the time when the British ships and crew became part of their Arctic environment produce a very different type of history. The British arriving in their lands became a resource base. Yet Iglulingmiut report how they approached the British with fear and awe. Visiting Europeans were incorporated within existing cultural frameworks regarding Inuit approaches to forces in their physical environment. Arctic anthropologists describe the significance of fear in Inuit culture. A concept eluding direct cross-cultural translation, fear expressed by Inuit is best described by the concepts of kappia and ilira. Kappia, "to fear or rouse the fear of physical injury," according to Jean Briggs, most closely relates to the word "fear" in English (1970:343). It implies an element of physical danger. Briggs writes that "People were kappia- of angry people, who might kill , or of evil spirits, tunrait, because no one knew what they might do to a person (Briggs 1998:148). Ilira, however, is a more complicated term incorporating feelings of respect and nervous awe with overtones of fear (Brody 1975:176-180; Briggs 1998:232-33). 40 Iglulingmiut ideological systems incorporated both kappia and ilira into their relationships with forces and beings in their physical environment. In an oft-quoted narrative recorded in 1921, Iglulingmiut shaman Aua explained this concept to Knud Rasmussen: 'You see' said Aua, 'You are equally unable to give any reason when we ask you why life is as it is. And so it must be. A l l our customs come from life and turn towards life; we explain nothing, we believe nothing, but in what I have just shown you lies our answer to all that you ask. We fear the weather spirit of the earth, that we must fight against to wrest our food from the land and sea. We fear Sila. We fear dearth and hunger in the cold snow huts. We fear Takanakapsaluk, the great woman down at the bottom of the sea, that rules over all the beasts of the sea. We fear the sickness that we meet with daily all around us; not death, but the suffering. We fear the evil spirits of life, those of the air, of the sea and the earth, that can help wicked shamans to harm their fellow men. We fear the souls of dead human beings and of the animals we have killed... we fear everything unfamiliar. We fear what we see about us, and we fear all the invisible things that are likewise about us, all that we have heard of in our forefather's stories and myths. Therefore we have our customs, which-are not the same as those of the white man, the white men who live in another land and have need of different ways' (Aua in Rasmussen 1929:55-6).20 When Qallunaat (like Parry and Lyon and their crews) wintered in their territories, Inuit incorporated these newcomers into existing cultural frameworks. Inuit oral histories abound with references to the fear that Inuit expressed in their contact with southerners 2 0 Addressing the validity of Rasmussen's ethnographic data on fear in Inuit religion, Jarich Oosten suggests that Aua's 1921 explanation of Inuit religion incorporated Christian paradigms. Christian Bibles (translated into Inuktitut Peck syllables) were circulated to Iglulingmiut camps in the early 1890's. Shortly afterwards, an Iglulingmiut hunter named Umik took up the position as lay-preacher, founding a religious movement which incorporated Anglican hymns with the waving of white flags, fervent hand-shaking and preaching (Freuchen 1935:389-390; Mathiassen 1928:234-236). Oosten argues that Aua had converted to this syncretic religious movement just prior to his discussions with Rasmussen. His depictions of Inuit traditional beliefs were thus articulations of culture contact at that particular historical period (Oosten 1988:69-81). 41 who arrived with their large vessels, their guns and other western goods, and interacted in ways Inuit found unpredictable.21 "Indeed they were feared" says one Iglulingmiut elder "at least my age group was not prepared to badger the white people at the time, in fact we feared them" (Paniaq 1990, IE-141). Another old hunter makes a similar statement: "Those whites, they had all the power and were extremely frightening. Yes, they were feared" (Anaviapik in Grigsby 1975). White people in Iglulingmiut territories asserted themselves in a powerful manner. By fitting Qallunaat into existing cultural frameworks of fear, Inuit neutralized that power. Europeans became analogous to dangerous animals like walrus or polar bears, animals who provided a resource base, but whose demeanors were carefully scrutinized by Inuit before engaging in a hunt. I will take up this theme of fear again in Chapter 5. Iglulingmiut oral histories tell of the ilira and kappia inspired in the Inuit through their exchanges with Parry and Lyon. But oral histories also illustrate how, despite this fear, Iglulingmiut were active agents in this colonial encounter: I have heard about an Inuk that was called Quliiqauyaq. He stole a shovel and he was taken. He was made to lie on his back on deck with his hands tied, the white people wanted to axe off his arms, when he was discovered that he had stolen a shovel he was taken. He was made to lie on his back on deck but his arm could not be axed, when they tried to axe his arm it looked as i f his arm was severed, so much so that the blade would stuck fast to the deck, but each time his arm was untouched. After numerous attempts had been made they gave it up. When they were done with him he blew them away and told them never to return again. As 2 1 Brody writes that "ilira of Whites is typically compounded by kappia: Whites inspire simple fear as well as the blend of respect and nervous apprehension indicated by ilira, and because the Inuit believe that the whites are prone to sudden anger, the element of such fear can be large" (Brody 1975:180). 42 the ship had spent a good deal of time in these regions, they kept wanting to return but it was no longer possible for them to return (Paniaq 1990, IE-141). Iqallijuq provides another telling of the story about the departure of Sir William Parry (referred to as Paarii in Inuktitut): Yes, that is right they were Paarii and the rest. I believe they wintered here for two winters where their ships were frozen in... I heard at the time when Paarii wintered there there was a shaman who was jealous over his wife when she started to go around with some white people. When the ships departed it is said that with the help of his helping spirit he blew the ship away so that no other ship can ever make it back to Iglulik (Iqallijuq 1991, IE-204). Despite the economic power wielded by the British navigators in their ability to provide goods from the south, Iglulingmiut nonetheless claim to have drawn upon the strength of their reciprocal relationships with forces in the Arctic physical and spiritual environment to blow these people away. Captains Parry and Lyon and the crews of the Fury and Hecla departed the region during the ice-break up, on the 28 t h of June, 1823. The resilience of the story of Quliiqauyaq's curse, recorded on tape as part of Iglulingmiut oral history 168 years later, illustrates how the Iglulingmiut continue to produce their own sets of cultural meanings from this encounter. They dealt with the visits of Parry and Lyon, in much the same way as they had other unpredictable forces of nature in the past. Added to this is the fact that the shaman Quliiqauyaq's spell is said to have remained powerful. No ships returned to the region for more than fifty years. Igloolik as a Remote Place ' The pack ice in the northern Foxe Basin made the Igloolik region difficult to reach 43 by ship. The Iglulingmiut however, were accustomed to travelling overland to trade with visiting whalers and explorers in nearby regions. Yet, in the nineteenth and twentieth century, with the popularity of Parry's and Lyon's journals in European circles, and the growth of Arctic exploration, Igloolik's reputation as a remote region grew. This remoteness, at least in part, was a sensational construction on the part of explorers each more interested than the other in making the Iglulingmiut seem exotic and isolated. In 1867 American explorer Charles Francis Hall, who was in the Arctic to search for John Franklin's missing 1847 expedition, reported travelling more than 300 miles overland to purchase dogs from the people in Igloolik.2 2 Hall set up a "trading mart" outside his hut and traded files, hatchets, knives, harpoons, wood, household pots, pan, needles and other metal items in exchange for dogs. He reported trading for fourteen dogs in as many minutes (Nourse 1879:302).23 Hall's trip to Igloolik and his published narratives describing this isolated group of people served as a model for Franz Boas's fieldwork plans, which I discuss in Chapter 2. Another explorer to travel overland to Igloolik was Alfred Tremblay, a prospector from the Charlevoix region of Quebec. Tremblay's story is often evoked by Iglulingmiut when they discuss Igloolik's historical distinction as a remote place. Tremblay initially 2 2 He wrote of how he spoke to these people of their memories of Parry and Lyon. A man, he reported, showed him a scar on his arm, saying that "he was once dead on board Parry's ship, and was brought to life by Parry's an-ge-ko bleeding him" (Nourse 1879:301). 2 3 Hall returned again in 1868, bartering supplies for meat and Inuit sketches of the coast of Foxe Channel and Admiralty Inlet (Nourse 1879:351-356). 44 came to the North Baffin region in search of gold. 2 4 When no gold was found, he travelled to the Igloolik region on March 20, 1913, after hearing from Inuit in the north Baffin about the existence of quartz veins on Melville Peninsula. In the travel narrative Tremblay published of his 1910-1911 and 1912-13 explorations, Cruise of the Minnie Maude, he recounts the awe and fear the Iglulingmiut displayed when first meeting him (Tremblay 1921:153). "Some of these natives" he wrote "had never seen a white man before and held them in fear" (1921:153). While statements such as these added to the dramatic appeal of Tremblay's travelogue and reinforced the Iglulingmiut imagery as a remote place, the historical record shows that seasonal movement of Iglulingmiut families had been shifting in that region since the mid-1800s to accommodate sporadic employment at whaling stations around Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay. Iglulingmiut had for decades been travelling to these sites to trade caribou meat, furs, skin clothing artifacts and ivory for useful southern commodities such as rifles, ammunition, whaleboats, knives, sewing needles, flour, sugar, tea, tobacco and metal pots. Whaling captain George Comer had been employed in the region by museums collecting artifacts and compiling detailed ethnographic accounts of the neighbouring Aivilingmiut of Repulse 2 4 In 1910 Robert Janes, a Newfoundland officer of the Canadian Government ship Arctic reported discovering nuggets of gold on the bed of Salmon river, several miles from the contemporary settlement of Pond Inlet. The report was a hoax, but this was not uncovered until after three expeditions (from Newfoundland, Montreal, and Quebec) had been arranged and set sail that same summer. Tremblay was a member of the third expedition (Tremblay 1921). 45 Bay for Franz Boas at the American Museum of Natural History (see Chapter 2).2 5 At the time of Tremblay's visit, this increased contact with whalers and traders was having a significant impact on the resource base in the region. Tremblay describes how, in the summer of 1913, members of his own expedition caught (and salted away in barrels) close to 3000 salmon at the mouth of the Salmon River, near Pond Inlet. This was a cargo valued at $25,000 (Tremblay 1921 :xi). Whalers harvested not only bowhead whales, but also other game animals. As Keith Crowe illustrates: The whaling captains employed their own crews and supplied Inuit with rifles in order to obtain meat, furs, and ivory. In 1867, for example, the ship Black Eagle took on board at Repulse Bay 20 tons of walrus, musk-ox, and caribou meat. In 1903, the Era took 350 musk-ox hides and the Arctic took 150 (Crowe 1970:68). Although this slaughter of game occurred on the borders of Iglulingmiut land, it nonetheless increased the stress on game around Iglulingmiut territories (Crowe 1970:68) and changed the traditional subsistence activities of the Iglulingmiut. Inuit were surviving this ecological destruction by harnessing technologies provided by the whalers. Whaleboats, wood and metal to use for sled runners and rifles allowed them to travel further in search of game resources and to have better success in hunting. Maintaining profitable relations with outsiders in order to buy fuel, ammunition, parts and supplies became increasingly crucial to Iglulingmiut subsistence. But it was not Tremblay's rifle or trade goods that awarded him prominent place in Iglulingmiut oral histories of the colonial encounter. It was Tremblay's proposal to open the island to 2 5 This data was incorporated into Boas's 1901 The Eskimos of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay. 46 outsiders that made him significant to the Inuit. Of particular importance is the sensational way in which Tremblay left the region. Inuit elders recount the story of Taamali, as they called him, and his departure from the island of Igloolik. Iqallijuq explains: ...a white man by the name of Taamali was brought over by dog team from Mittimatalik. [Pond Inlet]... It is said that he had a pistol so with it he shot the island of Igloolik as he walked around the shoreline. After he had shot the island he said that Igloolik was dead and that a ship will now be able to get to the island (Iqallijuq 1991, IE-204). Piugattuk describes: I saw a white man who was making his way to Igloolik from that area [Pond Inlet], this man was known as Taamali... It was said that he made it known to the people that Igloolik was like an animal, when an animal is shy, when they discover the presence of a man they will flee, and once they flee they are hard to get. Igloolik is comparable to that, the type that would flee away. Water below us is always full of year round ice drifts. This was at the time when the ships sailed, so it was difficult for these ships to come in on account of it... He said that he had made it to this area, he had looked at the old dwellings and the remains of the people. When an animal that is shy is killed, it becomes easy to get it. He said with his trip, it is also comparable that Igloolik too had died... He said that he pictured himself as the one that had killed it and took it. It would be some time, but from that time on it would start to get some visitors (Piugaattuk 1991, IE-181). While Iglulingmiut were incorporating western technologies into their subsistence system, these oral history accounts illustrate the prevalence of Inuit frameworks in these cultural encounters and the ways in which early southerners as well engaged in processes of cultural translation. Iglulingmiut Adaptation: The Story of Atagutaaluk In his narrative of his 1913 travels with Inuit families around the Igloolik region, 47 Tremblay describes arriving at a spot where, eight years earlier, in the spring of 1905, "an Eskimo tragedy" had taken place (1921:232-33). The spot where Tremblay arrived is now known to Iglulingmiut as Inuktorvik (the place where people are eaten) (Rasing 1994:54). It was the site of an act of cannibalism that has become a story of almost epic proportions in Iglulingmiut oral history. Several variations of the tale are also in circulation in travelogues (Tremblay 1921:132-33; Freuchen 1935:431-432; Rowley 1996:86), ethnographies (Rasing 1994:54-57), Inuit-produced independent video (Tarriaksuk Video Centre Women's Video Workshop 1993), dissertations (Evans 2000:456-487) and oral history collections (Atuat in Petrone 1988:141-147; Awa in Wachowich 1999:68-72). Both schools in Igloolik are named after Ataguttaaluk and the photographs of her and her second husband, Ituksaarjuat, hang prominently in the entrances. Ataguttaaluk's story is a prominent story in Iglulingmiut oral history and I draw upon it here to illustrate two points that run through my dissertation. First of all, Ataguttaaluk's story reveals the grave and dramatic adaptations to changes in the physical environment that Inuit were forced to make in the past. Faced with impending death, one's clothing, one's tent, one's dogs, and eventually one's family members became food and sustenance. Secondly, I highlight this story to demonstrate the ways in which this adaptive skill epitomized by Ataguttaaluk's story, and in particular her strong will to survive, has served as a symbol of cultural resilience for contemporary Iglulingmiut facing different, yet equally severe threats to their cultural survival in the modern world. As a youth, Ataguttaaluk, with her husband and their children, had been on a fall 48 hunting trip with a group of people in the interior part of Baffin island when they became stranded on the tundra. Game had been scarce and unseasonably warm weather and a heavy snowfall of wet snow had made it impossible for them to travel to pursue game. They began walking, but hunger made them too weak to carry their equipment. They built themselves a shelter and ate first their dogs, then their sleeping skins and spare clothing. As Apphia Agalakti Awa (Ataguttaaluk's great-niece) recounts: The children both died, and her husband told her, T am going to die soon too, wife of mine. Humans are made to live longer, so you must live to tell other people what has happened. Live with human flesh as long as you can. Make sure you live!' He said that before he died, so that is what she did. She lived by eating human flesh. Even though she couldn't eat him, she used her little children as food. She was all alone over the summer, fall, winter, and then it became spring again. She would take just a little bite of the flesh. This didn't make her full, but it stopped her from starving (Awa in Wachowich 1999:69). Ataguttaaluk survived through the winter by eating the bodies of her family. The following spring she was found by a passing couple, Palluq and Taqornaq, who were on their way to Pond Inlet to trade. She confessed to what she had been forced to do and was accepted back into the community. She remarried a man called Ituksaarjuat, and had a second family. Ataguttaaluk's acts of bravery and tenacity in the face of starvation and the fact that she had confessed her acts to the community brought her high respect among Iglulingmiut. As an adult, Ataguttaaluk and her husband Ittuksarjuat became one of the leading families in the region through their ability to manipulate shifting patterns of colonial exchanges to the benefit of Iglulingmiut. When the prices of Arctic fox furs boomed in 49 European markets in the 1920s they began a type of trading business.26 There was no trading post in the Igloolik region so Iglulingmiut had to make long sled trips to Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, or to Repulse Bay to trade.27 Ataguttaaluk and her husband spent their year travelling between the Igloolik and Pond Inlet collecting fox furs from the families in the Igloolik region and bringing them to Pond Inlet to trade for supplies. "Looking back now" said Apphia Agalakti Awa, "maybe it would be almost like a type of business that they ran" (Awa in Wachowich 1999:71). Ataguttaaluk then took on the role of re-distributing meat and Qallunaat supplies to the people in the camp. Apphia Agalakti Awa explained, She would make up little teas, little sugars, she would share with all the people in the camp and give them each a little something. She did not want anyone to be poor. If she had not eaten human flesh, she would not have lived, so she didn't want anybody ever to be hungry (Awa in Wachowich 1999:71). Ataguttaaluk incorporated the growing fox fur-trade industry into the Iglulingmiut sharing network. She helped forge social alliances in the community in this time of economic and social change. She also tapped another type of trade economy that was resulting from the influx of Qallunaat to the region. Ataguttaaluk's influence and prestige 2 6 In the 1920s white fox furs began replacing walrus ivory as a major item of trade in the region. By 1925 steel-spring traps were introduced to the region (Crowe 1970:69) and most of the Iglulingmiut had adapted their subsistence economy from one of hunting and fishing (interrupted only sporadically and seasonally by the whalers) to one that incorporated fox-trapping. 2 7 Hudson's Bay Company trading posts were opened in Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay and Repulse Bay in the 1920s. Igloolik had a temporary trading post for two years, between 1939-1941, but a permanent trading post was not opened in the region until 1947. 50 among Inuit in the region was recognized by outsiders who regarded her as a welcoming leader. The whalers called her the "Queen of Igloolik" and provided her with a headband that was made out of metal (Awa in Wachowich 1999:71; Rowley 1996:85). Long before his first encounter with her in 1921-22, Peter Freuchen, travelling as part of the Fifth Thule Expedition, had known of Ataguttaaluk's distinction as the "foremost lady of the Fury and Hecla Strait" (1935:431). In 1932, Ataguttaaluk befriended Oblate priest Etienne Bazin when he arrived in Igloolik to establish a chapel at Avvajja, fifteen kilometres northeast of the present-day settlement of Igloolik. Ataguttaaluk and her husband Ituksaarjuat adopted him and were baptized by Bazin as Roman Catholics. The "adoption" of westerners by Iglulingmiut not only safeguarded the survival of these Qallunaat, it also incorporated these westerners into Inuit reciprocal exchange relationships. In his memoirs, Graham Rowley describes his own adoption by Ataguttaaluk in the winter of 1937: Among the Inuit it was a common practice for any obviously incompetent white man to be adopted by an older woman who would make sure her adopted son was properly clothed and understood the ways of the Inuit world. Ataguttaaluk assumed this role for Reynold and me and we could not have had a more thoughtful and understanding adopted mother." (Rowley 1996:86). By "adopting" these visiting Qallunaat, Ataguttaaluk assured the Iglulingmiut access to trade goods. Ataguttaaluk is revered in Igloolik history as a cultural hero. Hers is a story of strength, of adaptation and of an ardent commitment to community relations. She had overcome three of the biggest fears during that period: the fear of starvation, death, and cannibalism. Upon her rescue, she had confessed her actions to the group and spoke 51 openly of her cannibalism throughout her lifetime. She had led the Iglulingmiut in an effort to integrate relationships with outsiders into the Iglulingmiut subsistence economy. Her eminence comes from the values of strength, honesty, adaptability and generosity that she represents - qualities Inuit esteem as the pillars of their culture. She died in the summer of 1948 in a camp where everyone had gathered for her death (Awa in Wachowich 1999:68). Conclusion By drawing on quotations from contemporary Inuit oral historians and from southern travelogues of early colonial encounters, this chapter illustrates the historic origins of Igloolik in southern discourse as a pristine and remote place and the ways in which Iglulingmiut have negotiated intercultural exchanges on their own terms. What comes through most clearly in this historical outline is the importance that Inuit place on their ongoing ability to adapt to change. As tales of the Dorset people reveal, contact with explorers was not the first intercultural exchange for the Inuit, yet it marked the beginning of the cultural encounter with the South in which Inuit are presently engaged. Colonial contact necessitated different forms of adaptative relations than those Inuit had forged with the Dorset people or with animals in their physical environment. The contact-zone that emerged between 1822-1823 around the Fury and Hecla offered the Iglulingmiut the opportunity to study these people and better understand western imperial frameworks. And while Inuit treated Qallunaat in a manner similar to the way they did other forces in their physical 52 environment, with a combination of fear and awe, they were nonetheless forced to negotiate conflicting cross-cultural notions of reciprocity in order to profit materially from these cultural exchanges. According to Iglulingmiut storytellers, when Qallunaat became menacing, an Inuit shaman imposed a curse on the British sailors and had the winds blow their ships out of the Strait. Thus, in the Iglulingmiut worldview, through their longstanding relationships with the physical environment (and their ability to draw upon shamanistic powers to conjure winds), Iglulingmiut exerted a certain degree of control over these nineteenth century encounters. With the growth of Arctic exploration in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Igloolik region gained a reputation in western circles as a remote and isolated place. Iglulingmiut of course had never considered themselves remote (despite efforts on the part of southerners like Alfred Tremblay to translate these southern ideals to the Inuit). Instead Iglulingmiut had their own historical frameworks in place which celebrated their survival as an adaptive people. The contemporary celebration of the cultural hero, Ataguttaaluk, brings to the forefront a number of values central to Inuit culture. Ataguttaaluk had survived the biggest fears of Inuit: she had become stranded, suffered starvation, lived through the death of her family and was forced to resort to cannibalism to survive. She has adapted her behaviour in order to deal with her environment. She then confessed and spoke openly of her act of cannibalism in order that people in the community could learn from her tragedy. In her later years, she became a powerful member of the community, instrumental in forging reciprocal social relationships with the incoming Qallunaat. 53 Ataguttaaluk's story exemplifies a shift in adaptation that the Iglulingmiut made in the twentieth century from adapting to their physical environment to adapting to their growing place within the capitalist world system. The 1920s, 1930s and 1940s were pivotal years in Iglulingmiut history as trading posts were becoming a permanent presence on the Iglulingmiut landscape. Ataguttaaluk then adapted to a new set of environmental changes in her world. She acted as intermediary in the colonial encounter who made these trade relationships profitable for the Inuit community as well as for the southerners. Stories of this woman's bravery, acumen, and commitment to the community continue to serve as a source of strength and pride for Inuit today who must deal with contemporary issues of cultural survival in the constantly changing social and political environment of contemporary Arctic settlements. Ataguttaaluk's story testifies to the Iglulingmiut ability to adapt. 54 Chapter Two: Scientific Traditions, the Iglulingmiut and Arctic Ethnography This chapter presents an analysis of another set of cross-cultural dialogues like those presented in Chapter 1, but in this case I will be discussing dialogues that have emerged specifically from the intersection between western science and Inuit culture.28 Informing my analysis is Eric Wolfs discussion of how anthropology has constructed images of bounded and pristine microcosms on the margins of western society (1982).29 My central thesis is that the modern scientific discipline of anthropology has created an image of the Inuit as a people to be studied. I review the anthropological construction of the Inuit and specifically the Iglulingmiut beginning with Franz Boas's 1883-1884 fieldwork in the Arctic. From there I analyse the processes of culture-making and intercultural translations that occurred during Knud Rasmussen's 1921-22 meetings with Iglulingmiut. Early ethnographers such as Boas and Rasmussen brought with them to the Arctic established scientific paradigms that altered, to a certain degree, their perceptions of Inuit cultural practices.30 Yet, as David Riches argues, the sheer volume, 2 8 Arguments that science can be seen as a culture with its own language, system of rules and behaviour etc. is exemplified in writings by Latour (1979, 1993), Franklin (1995) and others. 2 9 Wolf situates this movement in the historical rise of social sciences in the nineteenth century and its severing of the study of social relations from the economic, political, and ideological contexts in which they are embedded (1982:7-13). 3 0 Yet, Boas experienced a theoretical shift during his arctic fieldwork from an almost linear environmental determinism to an increased concern with historical 55 detail, and success of the research done by these "primary ethnographers" is largely responsible for the pervasive anthropological "image of the Eskimo as an 'exotic' hunting society" (Riches 1995:72).31 This chapter illustrates how these discourses of exoticism were cultivated in anthropological representations of the Iglulingmiut as a remote, pristine group of Inuit. I illustrate how lists of "traditional" Inuit practices collected by these primary ethnographers were used in post-WWII modernization studies as cultural standards against which social change could be measured. I discuss the direct effects of these scientific constructions and studies on local Iglulingmiut, particularly in the implementation during the 1970s of the International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project in the settlement. Rhoda Katsak's life story about the scars on her arm exemplify such effects. M y arguments are supported by a central theme: from the earliest meetings between Inuit and scientists, Inuit were made aware of the scientific value placed on elements of their cultural practices. In response to this, Inuit have commodified their knowledge as a means to adapt to a changing colonial environment. By examining particularism. The detailed lists of cultural data he compiled served as prototypes for subsequent anthropological fieldwork methods. 3 1 Riches writes that the "primary ethnographers, such as Franz Boas, Knud Rasmussen and Diamond Jenness, established a view of Inuit traditions not as ongoing adaptations but instead as a type of inert filter or brake, "an inertial force influencing Eskimo activity vis-a-vis the non-Eskimo world" (Riches 1995:72). He argues that subsequent arctic anthropological research has relied on this ideology, and that Inuit themselves have had a stake in promulgating this notion "of a shared contemporary culture that derives directly from tradition" to support different political agendas (1995:73). 56 records of meetings between Inuit and Qallunaat scientists, in different contact zones -whaling stations, trading posts, Inuit camps etc -1 demonstrate how, by the mid-nineteenth century, Inuit had consolidated their role as participants in the exchange of goods, information, and subjects of scientific analysis into their cultural tradition. Franz Boas and the Science of Anthropology Among the Inuit: I begin with the 1883-1884 fieldwork of Franz Boas in the southern regions of Baffin Island. While Boas's efforts to reach the Iglulingmiut, of the northern Foxe Basin were thwarted, his use of Iglulingmiut cultural data (collected by his fieldhands) when proposing his theories of cultural diffusion assigned the Iglulingmiut a place in the earliest anthropological paradigms as a remote and pristine people. By the time of his death in 1942, he was considered by many to be the father of North American anthropology, and credited with having"scientized" the discipline (Bohannan and Glazer 1988:83). In August 1883, Franz Boas boarded the vessel the Germania to spend a year among the Inuit. The vessel was en-route to evacuate seven scientists and four servants who were carrying out meteorological and magnetic observations at the German Polar Commission's research station, a camp called Kingawa (K'ingua) at the upper reaches of Cumberland Sound in the South Baffin region. Boas was 25 years old at the time. His expedition, partially funded by the German Polar Commission, was launched at a time of 57 burgeoning European interest in the scientific study of polar regions.32 This was start of Boas's scientific career and his first and only field research in the Arctic. Working at the zenith of nineteenth century exploration of the Arctic, Franz Boas was following a line of naturalists, explorers, and whalers who had explored the lands around Baffin Island and documented Inuit customs in their travel narratives. Like his predecessors, Boas's efforts were partially exploratory; he sought to correct the British Admiralty map that was in use at the time (Cole and Muller-Willel984:54). However Boas, a formally trained physicist and geographer, differentiated himself from these explorers. Maintaining that his mandates were first and foremost scientific, he set out specifically to investigate the relationship between people and their natural environment. In a letter to his fiancee before beginning his fieldwork he wrote: One thing, which I have not been able to state publicly and which I am happy to share with you, is the purpose my trip represents for me scientifically, since I am afraid that otherwise you might conclude from the entire enterprise that I am an adventurous spirit, when in fact I am not. The material that I want to collect up there, which will mainly pertain to the migration areas and routes of the [Inuit] bands, will provide me with a basis for an investigation of the dependence of the people's migration areas on natural boundaries (Boasl883 in Miiller-Wille 1998:38-9). In an earlier letter to his uncle, he had framed his scientific hypothesis in more detail: Specifically I am investigating the migrations of the Eskimo and their knowledge of the country they inhabit, and of nearby regions, in the hope of being able to 3 2 The First International Polar Year (1882-1883) had just taken place, and eleven nations had launched more than fifteen scientific expeditions (twelve to the Arctic and three to Antarctic), and established twelve research stations in the Arctic (Gerson 1958 in Korsmo 1999). Data on the earth's magnetic force, polar weather patterns, and other environmental phenomena was collected from these expeditions, geared to ameliorating navigational practices in this era of exploration. 58 demonstrate a precise interconnection between the size of the groups, the distribution of foodstuffs and the natural environment (Boas 1882 in Muller-Wille 1998:33). By illustrating the interconnectedness between Inuit and their natural environment during his 1883-1884 research, Boas sought to invalidate other theories of cultural evolution by establishing the North American origins of Inuit culture.33 The late nineteenth century was a period when Darwinian paradigms of evolution of the species and natural selection were being applied to natural historical classifications. Frederica de Laguna describes how, in 1865, prehistorians had already begun using ethnological data about small-scale hunting cultures such as the Inuit to exemplify the palaeolithic and the neolithic (1994). She writes about the place Iglulingmiut stone, bone, and skin tools held in verifying these classifications. Descriptions of Inuit social life and material culture detailed in the journals of Parry, Ross, and Lyon were compared with Palaeolithic finds to suggest that Inuit were nineteenth century replicas of stone age peoples (de Laguna 1994:8-9)34. 3 3 Boas believed that despite their adaptation as sea hunters, the Inuit belonged with a group of simpler, and presumably ancient cultures characteristic of northwestern Canada (de Laguna 1994:14). 3 4 Evolutionary frameworks were developed further using the twentieth century science of phrenology. Inuit of the Eastern High Arctic then became noted for their long high skulls (McGhee 1996:16). Scientists argued that it was the similarity between those Inuit skulls and skulls found in Upper Palaeolithic caves in the 1880s and 1920s that would prove that Inuit were stone age survivors (de Laguna 1994:10). 59 Boasian Critique of Evolutionary Theories: Processes of Cultural Diffusion Franz Boas's objective was to apply the scientific methodology that he had learned while training in geography and physics to the study of Inuit society, and by doing so invalidate European scholarship on the universal evolution of humankind. If it could be proven that Inuit migration patterns and cultural practices were indeed determined by the arctic environment, then Boas could demonstrate that their cultural origins had to be based in the region. His ultimate goal when embarking on his Arctic research project was to sail to the whaling station on Cumberland Sound where he would find Inuit guides who eventually would take him to the West Coast of Baffin Island, across the Fury and Hecla strait "on the shores of which the Iglulik band of Eskimos have their residence" (Boas 1883 in Muller-Wille 1998:40). The model for Boas's fieldwork plans was the explorer Charles Francis Hall who, in 1867, travelled 300 miles overland to the Igloolik region to purchase sled dogs (see Chapter 1). Hall's popular accounts, his fieldnotes, maps, meteorological, and ethnographic data from his travels had just been published in Washington in 1879 when Boas was planning his fieldwork (Saladin d'Anglure 1984:173). Hall was, for Boas, "the first one to prove how much one could achieve in arctic areas by adopting completely the Eskimo mode of life" (Boas 1885:35 in Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:45). He planned to use Cumberland Sound as a starting point and to replicate Hall's journey to the Northern Foxe Basin. There he hoped to have a long stay among a pristine group of Inuit (Saladin d'Anglure 1984:174). Boas's far-reaching goal with his arctic research was to investigate how aspects of 60 the arctic environment, specifically the variable topography and formation of marine ice, determined the distribution of seal populations (and also of other game) - and how these in turn directly affected Inuit group size, distribution, migration patterns, hunting strategies, and social organization (Boas 1964:52-54; Muller-Wille 1998:13)35. To Boas, the Iglulingmiut represented a people that had more thoroughly adapted to their natural environment than those Inuit who had been living among whalers and explorers. Boas believed he could use data from this isolated group to demonstrate the early stages of Inuit cultural development and thus anchor his scientific analysis of Inuit cultural diffusion.36 Boas never achieved his plan to reach the Iglulingmiut. Pack-ice and bad weather conditions during the ocean voyage north during the summer of 1883 kept the Germania from entering Cumberland Sound for six weeks. Once the ship docked, it was too late in the season for Boas to embark on his overland expedition to the Fury and Hecla Strait. His revised plans for a western expedition later in the season were again hampered when 3 5 At this stage of his career, Boas advocated a linear environmental determinism (with the natural realm determining the socio-cultural realm) that in his later work up the Northwest Coast he abandoned.. 3 6 The environmental determinism in Boas's Central Eskimo was incorporated by Marcel Mauss in his theoretical models of cultural materialism. Mauss's 1904-1905 Seasonal Variations of the Eskimo (based on fieldwork done by Henri Beuchat in the Western Arctic) argues that "primitive"societies such as the Inuit preserve the fundamental elementary forms that human cultures have lost through the process of western industrialization. Inuit social organization, Mauss argued, was based on a dual morphology balanced on the extreme seasonal changes in the Arctic. Social life was separated into a highly social winter season and a less social summer season (Mauss 1979). 61 disease among the dogs in the South Baffin kept him from securing a dog-team. Boas was restricted to short trips around Cumberland Sound from his operational base (the Scottish whaling station where the manager/trader James Mutch lived) and his dreams of studying the remote Iglulingmiut and neighbouring groups were thwarted. His investigations were limited to a region where residing Inuit had experienced over 100 years of contact with whalers (Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:45-51). He writes of his disappointment to his fiancee Marie: It was so very hard, however, for me completely to abandon a plan which I had long nurtured and cherished and worked for; so, as long as a spark of hope remained, I staked everything on reaching the longed-for Foxe Basin (Boas 1884 in Cole 1999:73). The Cumberland Sound Whaling Station Boas was confined to short trips from the whaling station and to research among what he considered to be a more acculturated group of Inuit. He was in the Arctic to explore Inuit adaptation to their natural environment. For decades before he arrived, this whaling station had been a popular meeting place for whalers and Inuit. It was a hub of activity during the 1800s. The irony of Boas's stay in the Arctic is that, despite the fact that the focus of his study was Inuit adaptation to their physical environment, he became confined to the whaling station where a discrete, yet equally pervasive form of Inuit adaptation was in the process of being enacted. In his ethnohistory of the region, Stevenson describes how, "no Inuit on Baffin Island participated longer in a foreign economic system than the Cumberland Sound Inuit" (1997:72). In 1846, Inuit began being employed at seasonal whaling stations in 62 Cumberland Sound and soon others from regions as far as Igloolik migrated to the Sound to find employment (1997:74). Stevenson details how whalers began purposefully wintering there in 1851 (1997:75) initiating more than a decade of intensive whaling (during the 1850s and 1860s), what he characterizes as "the banner years of the Cumberland Sound whaler fishery" (1997:81). By the winter of 1860, southern whaling crews may have numbered half the population in the Sound (1997:81). This influx of Qallunaat whalers decimated whale populations and overtaxed land resources. Whalers also introduced infectious diseases which had a devastating affect on the Inuit population (1997:73-88). As over-hunting took its toll in the 1870s and 1880s, fewer and fewer ships intentionally wintered in the Sound. By the time Boas arrived at Kekerten in 1883, Inuit were increasingly moving back to their original winter camps after nearly two decades spent in the company of commercial whalers. Yet, Kekerten remained a destination point for Inuit from other districts. In his diary, Boas writes about obtaining maps and information from hunters who had come from the Igloolik/North Baffin region (Boas 1883 in Muller-Wille 1998:135; Boas 1884 in Muller-Wille 1998:175). Although whaling ships rarely overwintered there in the 1880s, every spring and fall the Inuit from neighbouring and far-away camps still gathered around the station for the open-water whaling seasons. Boas describes their economic and social system: When the Eskimo who have spent the summer inland return at the beginning of October they eagerly offer their services at the stations, for they receive payment for half a year's work a gun, a harmonium or something of that nature, and a ration of provisions for their families, with tobacco every week. Every Saturday the women come into the house of the station, at the blowing of the horn, to receive their bread, coffee, sirup, and the precious tobacco. In return the Eskimo 63 is expected to deliver... a piece of every seal he catches... (Boas 1964 in Stevenson 1997:85). Boas had arrived in a region where, for more than forty years, Inuit from the region, and those who travelled to Cumberland Sound from faraway districts, had been incorporating relationships with outsiders into their subsistence economy. The Cumberland Sound had become an outpost of western capitalist expansion in the north where, around this post, western ideologies, and the trade in labour, meat, artifacts had become part of the Inuit natural environment. It operated as a type of "contact zone" (Pratt 1992) on the Arctic landscape. Tied to world markets in whale and fur products, it was a site where Inuit and westerners had established ongoing social relations. Despite his inability to reach the Iglulingmiut, Boas's fieldwork was deemed successful. Boas (and his servant and travelling companion Wilhelm Weike) collected data on the sun's position, on tidal fluctuations and on ice conditions and ice topography and how they corresponded to Inuit group distribution as well as on material culture, subsistence activities and settlement patterns. Boas traded western goods for Inuit data related to his topics of interest. He conducted an igloo-by-igloo census of all settlements in the Cumberland Sound area, collecting data on Inuit: as names; age; sex; birthplace; residence and kinship affiliation. By conducting informant interviews, he recorded in detail different customs, taboos, and rituals. He documented an extensive list of Inuktitut words (1894:97 in Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:54) and Inuktitut place names for 930 geographical locations (Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:52). He also collected geographic data, hiring Inuit from Cumberland Sound and those visiting from other regions to draw 64 maps. He wrote in his diary: "Almost the whole of Kikkerton is engaged in drawing maps for me, from which I hope to get on the track of my questions" (Boas 1883 in Muller-Wille 1998:134). However, despite the familiarity that these Cumberland Sound Inuit had with Qallunaat, amassing this data was no easy feat for Boas. "I have already achieved a good part of what I need to know", he wrote, " but you can't imagine how much of an effort is involved to drag all this out of these people" (Boas 1883 in Muller-Wille 1998:134-5). Boas's scientific research in the Cumberland Sound was jeopardised by an outbreak of diphtheria. He writes about this in a letter to his parents and sisters: It is terrible what devastation diphtheria and pneumonia are wreaking among the poor Eskimos now. One person or another is sick in almost every tent. Since the woman died recently another 2 children have died and a third is very sick! And they always come to me for help, yet I can do nothing [...] They come so trustingly to the Doctoraluk [I. -aluk = big, mighty] as I am called here, yet I can do nothing" (Boas 1883 in Muller-Wille 1998:130-31). Not surprisingly, some Inuit blamed the disease on Boas's presence in the region.37 The primary source of these accusations was a shaman named Napekin (or Tyson). "It was declared that no one was to have anything to do with me" wrote Boas in his diary, "above all no one was to let me into their huts or lend me their dogs" (Boas 1885 in Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:57). Boas was, however, the only source of ammunition in the region. He delivered an ultimatum to the shaman: 3 7 Stevenson suggests that Boas himself may have introduced this disease (1997:84). 65 I let him know that he would get nothing from me, even i f I saw him starving before my own eyes, i f he did not first come to me and ask me into his iglu (Boas 1884 in Cole and Muller-Wille 1984:58). Shortly after this declaration, the shaman invited Boas into his igloo, and after six weeks of somewhat strained interactions, Napekin eventually travelled to Boas's camp and made peace with gifts of seal pelts and offered his service to Boas in the spring (Cole 1999:75-76). George Comer's Museum Collecting and the Legacy of Boas's Science Boas left the Arctic in August, 1884 (364 days after he arrived). He eventually married and settled in New York, taking a post at the American Museum of Natural History. Although he faced considerable obstacles in fulfilling his original research plans (he was never able to reach the Iglulingmiut), his fieldwork methods for the laboratory-like study of Inuit culture advocating small-scale intensive scientific expeditions and detailed ethnographic lists served as a prototype for twentieth-century anthropological fieldwork methods. The Central Eskimo, published in 1888 with data from his year among the Inuit of Cumberland Sound and adjacent parts of Baffin Island, is considered the first comprehensive "scientific" survey of the ecology and culture of the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic and is a standard reference in anthropology. The identification and listing of Inuit material culture, customs and practices in this book (organized to demonstrate principles of cultural diffusion) guided subsequent anthropological analyses of Inuit culture. Although Boas did not return to the Arctic and focussed his subsequent work on 66 the Northwest Coast, he continued to write about the Inuit until 1907. He hired fieldhands such as whalers James Mutch (with whom he had stayed in Kekerten), George Comer, and Anglican missionary Edward James Peck to collect Inuit artifacts and ethnographic data during their voyages to the Arctic. Boas drew up shopping lists for all three men enumerating desired artifacts and ethnographic data. He sent them copies of his publication Central Eskimo to use as a methodological guide for their ethnographic collecting and he paid them for their written notes. Whaler George Comer was perhaps the most prolific of Boas's three fieldhands. Between 1893 and 1912, Comer made seven wintering whaling voyages north of Hudson Bay and collected more than 2,000 ethnological specimens (Ross 1984:145). Most of this collecting was done for Franz Boas and the American Museum of Natural History3 8. Comer was a valuable affiliate to Boas. He had access to cultural data on the Iglulingmiut in the Northern Foxe Basin, which Boas had not been able to.reach. Before Comer's voyage of 1900-1902 aboard the Era, Boas presented him with several shopping lists requesting among other things, materials from the remote Iglulingmiut.39 Comer returned from this journey with more than three barrels of ethological specimens, 3 8 During his last Hudson Bay voyage of 1910-1912, Comer also agreed to collect for the National Museum in Ottawa that at that time was in the process of amassing their Inuit collections (Ross 1984:150-51). Introducing the segregated reporting of traditional versus transformed Inuit practices in his Arctic scholarship (Hickey 1984:15), Boas made efforts to procure Inuit/Eskimo material culture collections that did not show European . influence (Ross 1984:148). 3 9 Adding to this list in a later note, he mentions "I omitted in my letter the mention of the Eskimo skulls and skeletons which I should like to have. The more you can bring of these, the better" (Boas 1900d in Ross 1984:149). 67 including Iglulingmiut artifacts and a coat from the Iglulingmiut shaman, Qingailisaq (Saladin d'Anglure 1984:176). He also collected songs, stories and tools from this group. During his subsequent whaling voyages of 1907-09 and 1910-12, Comer was commissioned by Boas to collect plaster casts of Inuit faces.40 Comer provided the museum with 220 casts that were said to represent ten groups of Inuit; these included 177 casts of faces, forty-one of hands, and two of torsos (Ross 1984:154). In the masks were the faces of two famous Iglulingmiut shamans, Pilakapsi and Ivaluarjuk.41 George Comer also collected various photographs, sound recordings of Inuit songs, dances, and tales and skeletal material, including close to a dozen Inuit skulls (Ross 1984:160-1). By employing Comer, along with other Arctic fieldhands, Boas was able to expand the collections at the A M N H and publish two lengthy ethnographic monographs to complement The Central Eskimo. These included The Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay (1901-07) and Second Report on the Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay (1907). He also published more than two dozen scientific papers and newspaper articles on the Arctic (Ross 1984:146). M y attention to the work of Franz Boas and its relation to this dissertation is twofold. Firstly, I argue that his ardent desire to reach Iglulingmiut lands and his belief that Iglulingmiut would represent a authentic example of Inuit adaptation to their natural 4 0 This emerged from Boas's rising concern at that time with issues concerning population decline among the Inuit, racial mixing, and cultural assimilation. Life masks were used to collect, classify, and preserve the physical appearance of individuals from various culture groups. 4 1 Saladin d'Anglure provides a photograph of those masks (1984:177). 68 environment (more so than the Inuit in Cumberland Sound) provided the foundation for a popular and enduring stereotype in the social sciences of the Iglulingmiut as a more pristine and environmentally adaptive group. Secondly, I suggest that Boas's inability to reach the Northern Foxe Basin and his ongoing efforts to document this isolated group after his return south through the work of his Arctic fieldhands equally reinforced the western notion of the Iglulingmiut as a remote and bounded group. Knud Rasmussen and Members of the 1921-1924 Fifth Thule Expedition: The first scientific expedition to arrive in Iglulingmiut lands was the 1921-1924 Fifth Thule Expedition led by ethnographer Knud Rasmussen. This expedition was instrumental in terms of the scientific construction of the Iglulingmiut. Rasmussen was the son of a Danish missionary father and a half-Greenlandic mother. His first language was a Greenlandic dialect of Inuktitut. He left Greenland for Denmark as a child and returned at age twenty-three as part of the Danish Literary Greenland Expedition (1902-1904) after which he published People of the Polar North (1908), a narration of his encounters with the Smith Sound/Polar Inuit in northern Greenland. In 1910 Rasmussen, along with naturalist Peter Freuchen, established a trading post at Thule, Greenland. With the proceeds from this enterprise, Rasmussen funded seven expeditions that he named "Thule Expeditions". The most famous of these was the 1921-1924 Fifth Thule Expedition on which he and his colleagues conducted ethnographic, geological, and archaeological surveys of the area from the east coast of Baffin Island along the Arctic Coast of mainland Canada and into Alaska. 69 Accompanying Rasmussen on the Fifth Thule Expedition were six scientists and field assistants, among them Peter Freuchen, archaeologist Therkel Mathiassen, and ethnographer/geographer Kaj Birket-Smith. Also leaving for America with him were a group of Greenlandic Inuit.42 The Fifth Thule Expedition produced a body of scientific monographs describing details of Arctic archaeology, physical anthropology, physiography, geology, botany, and zoology. Also described in these monographs are the social and material culture of such groups as the Iglulik Inuit (Mathiassen 1928; Rasmussen 1930), the Caribou Inuit (Birket-Smith 1929; Rasmussen 1930), the Netsilik Inuit (Rasmussen 1931; Birket-Smith 1929), and the Copper Inuit (Rasmussen 1932). Knud Rasmussen, like Boas, was concerned with questions of origins. By collecting ethnographic data across arctic America, from Greenland to Siberia, he endeavoured to trace cultural diffusion and to ascertain the North American origins of Inuit culture. His monographs attempted to prove the hypothesis that Inuit culture developed from an inland Paleo-Eskimo culture and a coastal Neo-Eskimo culture.43 The 4 2 Iggianguaq, a member of this group, died of influenza on the boat trip from Greenland but his wife Anarulunguaq travelled with Rasmussen's party throughout the expedition. Also accompanying Rasmussen was Arqiorq and his wife Anaranguaq, Nasaitordluarsuk (Bosun) and his wife Aqatsaq and a young man called Miteq, a cousin of Anarulunguaq. 4 3 Rasmussen was informed by, among others, the theoretical work of Danish scholar H.P. Steensby who argued that the Inuit were originally an inland people originating near the Great Slave Lake regions in the northern interiors of Canada. Steensby proposed that ancient Inuit (either led by migrating caribou herds or driven out by "hostile Indians") moved up to the Central Arctic coast and developed a maritime existence. From there they were said to have eventually migrated east and west along the coast to Greenland and the Bering Strait. However, a portion of this group, Steensby proposed, did not follow the others but stayed in the Canadian interior, settling in the 70 descendants of these proto-Inuit, the Caribou Inuit of the 1920s were, to Rasmussen, surviving examples of an ancient "original" Eskimo culture. But, while other members of his expedition were addressing questions of origins by collecting data on the material culture and subsistence practices of the regions visited (Mathiassen 1928; Birket-Smith 1929), Rasmussen's focus was instead on the symbolic culture. He sought to find evidence of a stone age people from the words of the shamans. Rasmussen's expedition was oriented to his quest for the original Inuit religion.4 4 Rasmussen proposed that the original Eskimo religion "was built on ideas of a higher, elevated power that was the universal force of air, nature, and intelligence, Sila." (Sonne 1988:30).45 Sila was considered by Inuit as a force of nature, a force arousing fear, wonder, and dependence among the Inuit (Sonne 1988:30). Although he never cites Boas in any of his writings, Rasmussen sought to scientifically define and document this barren lands west of the Hudson Bay (Steensby 1917 in Burch 1988:81-85; de Laguna 1994:14-15). 4 4 By the time the Fifth Thule Expedition was launched, Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Diamond Jenness, and the crew accompanying them as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1918), had returned from the regions west of Igloolik with geographic and ethnographic data and artifacts. Both Stefansson and Jenness explored questions of Inuit origins but neither had sufficient knowledge of Inuktitut to address in any detail questions of symbolic culture. 4 5 Rasmussen's approach to the scientific study of Inuit religion was fashioned as a result of his exposure to the 1912 writings of an early Swiss theologian and religious historian Nathan Soderblom. Soderblom was a critic of evolutionary notions of primitive religions in use during that period. He proposed a scientific study of religion founded on the notion that the roots of all (western and non-western) religion could be found in the powerful experience of mana, a cross-cultural essence expressed in the "The Holy" (Sonne 1988:23-24). Rasmussen adapted this to Inuit society through the concept of "sila". 71 "sila" force through a Boasian-inspired list of Inuit myths, taboos, and shamanic words. The Fifth Thule Expedition thus presented the chance for him to "travel back through time" in search of what he thought would be a primordial Inuit religion (Sonne 1988:24). He began this journey among the Iglulingmiut. Rasmussen and the Iglulingmiut Shamans: The 1921-22 Construction of Tradition I now turn to the meeting between Rasmussen and the Iglulingmiut. Rasmussen's descriptions of Iglulingmiut cultural and symbolic practices, based on his observations and discussions with Iglulingmiut shamans, have served as a foundation for a broad range of Arctic ethnographic literature. However, on closer examination of the politics of this ethnographic exchange between Rasmussen and the Iglulingmiut shamans, it becomes clear that the data recorded reflect a form of Iglulingmiut adaptation to the changing social and economic conditions of the early contact-culture of the 1920s in the Northern Foxe Basin. Culture-making and the construction of Inuit cultural identities for ethnographers during that period were cultivated as an Iglulingmiut subsistence strategy. Rasmussen and his companions on the Fifth Thule Expedition left Greenland for America in mid-September, 1921. Arriving by boat on the shores of Baffin Island, they stopped on a small island in Lyon Inlet, on the border of Iglulingmiut territory, that they named "Danish Island" after their homeland. There they built winter quarters and established a base camp for the first winter of their expedition. Their preliminary objective was to wait until the ice froze to a thick enough depth for travel by dog-team. Then they would set off to establish contact with the Iglulingmiut from whom they would 72 obtain original ethnographic information on Canadian Inuit cultural practices. Iglulingmiut data would enable them to undertake comparable research with other Inuit groups, starting with their neighbours to the southeast, the Caribou Inuit who Rasmussen hypothesized were the ancestors of all Inuit. In late November, they departed from Danish Island on their first overland expedition in North America. Excitedly, Rasmussen wrote: "The first meeting with the Eskimos of the new world was yet before us" (Rasmussen 1927:XIV). Rasmussen describes his inaugural encounter with Inuit of the American Continent in the first pages of both his travel narrative Across Arctic America (1927:3-4) and his scientific monograph Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos (1929:13). On 4, December 1921, he met with the Iglulingmiut hunter, Pilakapsak, and his companions, who were on their way back from the home of Captain George Washington Cleveland, also known as Sakkuartirungniq, a former whaler and manager of the Hudson's Bay Company Post who lived in Repulse Bay. Rasmussen describes their garments: A l l was so unlike the fashions I had previously met with that I felt myself transported to another age; an age of legends of the past, yet abundant with promises for the future (1927:5). Porsiman (Nasaitsordluarssuk), Rasmussen's Greenlandic travelling companion, also recalled this first meeting with Canadian Inuit. In a 1972 interview with anthropologist Mary-Rousseliere (when Porsiman was 70 years old), he described how: We went up to them and invited them to camp close by on the land. While we went ahead I could hear the Canadians call 'We are going to have a good time!' because we were going to camp together' (Porsiman in Mary-Rousseliere 1976:22). 73 After a night of feasting and recording stories with his group, Rasmussen explained his scientific objectives to the Iglulingmiut: We were going to buy and carry back to our own country souvenirs of the daily life of the Eskimo, in order that the white man might better understand, from these objects, the different way the people of the northern ice country had to live. And we were going to make maps and pictures of this part of the country in which no white man had ever been (Rasmussen 1927:6). The irony of this passage is apparent when one considers that a century earlier (in 1821-22) one hundred and fifty five Qallunaat sailors (Parry 1824:492) from the ice-bound ships the Fury and Hecla had wintered for two seasons in Iglulingmiut territories among a population Parry suggested ranged between three and four hundred people (Parry 1824:549). As Chapter 1 of this dissertation explains, since the early nineteenth century prospectors and traders had been increasingly arriving in the Northern Foxe Basin and Inuit themselves had been travelling to different whaling stations. A particularly lucrative market in the trade of Inuit traditions and artifacts for western goods had been established in the region two decades earlier when these same Iglulingmiut family members were hired as ethnographic informants by George Comer (who was collecting data in the region for Franz Boas at the American Museum of Natural History). The casts of Pilakapsi and his brother Ivaluarjuk's faces were made part of the collections of masks at the American Museum of Natural History (Saladin d'Anglure 1984:177). Rasmussen nonetheless details how, when he posed his questions of Inuit religion to Pilakapsi, he believed that he had (metaphorically) voyaged back in time. He states: And soon I learned that these people, despite their tea and flour and incipient enamel-ware culture, were, as regards their view of life and habit of thought, still but little changed from their ancestors of ages past (1927:8). 74 Amimiarjuk, Pilakapsi's son, recalled this incident in 1976 in an interview with Guy Mary-Rousseliere: He asked us all, my adopted father Pilagapsi and all of us, to go see him (at Danish Island): he wanted to learn more about us. But Sakkuartirurniq [Cleveland] forbade our going there (Amimiarjuk in Mary-Rousseliere 1976:23). After this meeting, members of the Fifth Thule Expedition followed Pilakapsi's directions and travelled to the Hudson Bay trading post of the American whaler-cum-trader George Washington Cleveland (called Sakkuartirurniq by the Inuit). They spent several days in December of 1921, consulting with Cleveland about their expedition, feasting, and square-dancing with the Inuit to music from a gramophone (Rasmussen 1927:10). During these festivities Rasmussen was introduced to Ivaluarjuk, Pilakapsi's oldest brother, also known as one of the oldest Iglulingmiut shamans at that time. From Ivaluarjuk, Rasmussen collected a vast body of geographical information, maps of the region, and narratives about religious practices, legends, and myths (1927:11; 1929:16-19). On their way back to the base camp on Danish island, Rasmussen and his travelling companion Bosun met an old woman, Takornaq, fishing on the sea ice. They stopped at the camp where Takornaq and her husband Padloq lived and spent a few days recording her information and stories (1927:12-17; 1929:19-35). Rasmussen and his party returned to Danish Island in late December 1921 to plan for their January expedition southeast to Caribou Inuit country. Soon after setting out on this winter expedition, they met a third brother of Pilakapsi and Ivaluarjuk, Aua, and his wife Orulo. I highlight Aua's meeting with Rasumussen not only to illustrate further the particular dynamics of this early cultural encounter, but also because of its relation to a 75 1968-1972 ethnographic encounter between an Iglulingmiut, Rhoda Katsak, and scientists that is detailed in the second part of this chapter. Aua is the grandfather and namesake of Rhoda Katsak's father. While the 1969-1972 meetings were part of a carefully designed, broadscale scientific study, ethnographer Knud Rasmussen describes his meeting with Aua as occurring by chance and having an almost mystical significance. He writes: ...it was bright starlight towards the close of the journey, but we had had a long and tiring day, and wished for nothing better than to find shelter without having to build it ourselves. Suddenly out of the darkness ahead shot a long sledge with the wildest team I have ever seen. Fifteen white dogs racing down at full speed, with six men on the sledge. They came down on us at such a pace that we felt the wind of them as they drew alongside (Rasmussen 1927:21). Rasmussen's romantic discovery narrative presents his ethnographic encounter as dictated by fate. However, by the time Aua met him, Rasmussen was well known in the region, having camped in Iglulingmiut territories for almost six weeks. More than likely, Aua was aware of this international ethnographic expedition travelling in the region distributing western trade goods in exchange for information and narratives on Inuit religion. Rasmussen had just collected ethnographic data in the camps of both of Aua's brothers, Pilakapsi and Ivaluarjuk. He had visited George Washington Cleveland and the Inuit at the Hudson Bay post and had camped with Aua's neighbours Takornaq and Padloq. Rasmussen had conceivably visited, hunted and square-danced with most of Aua's relatives all of whom were aware that he was about to depart from their territories and travel south to the study the Caribou Inuit. Rasmussen writes that on the evening that he first met Aua, he and his companion Miteq were on a hunting trip hoping to find walrus meat for their dogs. He was told by 76 some "local Eskimos" which direction they should head: we had come up to the neighbourhood of Cape Elizabeth, north of Lyon Inlet, where, as we had been told, there were walrus to be found out on the young ice beyond the fringe of the old (Rasmussen 1929:45). While the Arctic landscape may have seemed like an isolated and stark land to cultural outsiders during that period, it was a well travelled region filled with extensive travel and information networks between camps. It is plausible that the "local Eskimos" who informed Rasmussen of the location of walrus were relatives of Aua's who purposefully sent Rasmussen in the direction of Aua's camp. When there was a foreign party in the land distributing western trade goods, Inuit would organize themselves to share access to these commodities. The eagerness of Aua and his extended family to ally themselves with Rasmussen and his party and to host them for three weeks at their walrus hunting camp was further motivated by more than the quest for material goods. The early 1920s was a time of tremendous upheaval for the Iglulingmiut. While the nineteenth century had brought the occasional visit by explorers and the annual sojourns of whaling ships to Iglulingmiut shores, the early twentieth century saw the arrival of non-Inuit traders, missionaries, and R C M P as permanent residents to the north. The authority that these southerners assumed, with their supply of trade goods such as flour, sugar, tea, rifles, ammunition, fabrics, and alcohol, conflicted with the power and authority of Inuit shamans. Their often deliberate breaking of Inuit taboos and implementation of rules from the south disrupted the Inuit social order. In his scientific reports describing Iglulingmiut social life, Rasmussen makes only 77 brief mention of the impact of whaling on the boundaries of Iglulingmiut territories, as well as the effects that enduring relations with Qallunaat residents, such George Washington Cleveland and another Hudson Bay trader Captain Berthie, were having on the community. These observations would have undermined his hypothesis that Igloolik was en route to the site of the original Inuit religion. His colleague and travelling companion Peter Freuchen's popularly written autobiographical narratives can be read against Rasmussen's scientific account. Narrating his experiences on the Fifth Thule Expedition (Freuchen 1935), Freuchen describes social evenings of partying, alcohol consumption and square dancing with the local Iglulingmiut women at both Cleveland and Berthie's posts (1935:385-386). The year, 1922, when Rasmussen recorded Iglulingmiut traditions, marked a disruptive and chaotic time in Inuit history. Farther south, the "Great Famine" was taking its toll. Between 1916-1925, more than a thousand Caribou Inuit died of starvation, cutting their population by more than half (Burch 1986; 1988:90-99). During that period, Iglulingmiut were experiencing their own battles with disease and social change and they were likely hearing of the famine to the southwest through the far-reaching travel and communication networks that branched across the Arctic. They were also experiencing the first deleterious effects of a steady supply of alcohol to the community and of the activities at the trading posts of Cleveland and Berthie, as recounted in the more popular accounts (Freuchen 1935). Shamanic powers had for centuries been a valuable commodity in Inuit society. They were used to battle illnesses, disruptions in the community and difficulties with the 78 hunt. Songs, stories, and words from the shamans's language were borrowed, bartered, passed to apprentices and sold from group to group. Shamans were often summoned from great distances to work their foreign powers on a camp. A type of trade network in shamanic secrets thus existed which may have added to the obvious economic motivations Iglulingmiut shamans expressed in seeking out scientists such as Rasmussen to exchange their cultural knowledge. In this era of mounting colonial pressures, Iglulingmiut shamans may have been hunting for power in their social relationships. Aua, by inviting Rasmussen to his walrus-hunting camp, could ostensibly have been attempting to familiarize himself with western ideologies and establish reciprocal relationships with Rasmussen's party. Just as Inuit studied the behaviour of the animals that they hunted, they also studied the behaviour of Qallunaat at that time. Through this, they learned adaptive measures to mediate the upheaval in the Inuit social environment taking place during that colonial period. Indeed, after spending three weeks with Rasmussen, Aua and his family journeyed to the Melville Peninsula where they appropriated the symbols of another western ideology: they "embraced Christianity" and joined a syncretic Christian movement (Freuchen 1935:389-390). Rasmussen and the Early Market in Inuit Traditions: Ethnographic data regarding Inuit conceptions of life and death, shamans, spirits, taboos, songs, and dances was obtained from Aua and his family. This was instrumental for Rasmussen in his subsequent interactions with groups in other regions. In his fieldwork among the Netsilingmiut in the central Arctic, for example, he used the 79 Iglulingmiut data as a form of checklist against which he compared data from other groups (Remie 1988:107). Rasmussen also used Iglulingmiut data as a currency that he traded for shamanic information from other groups. Rasmussen spent seven months in Netsilingmiut territories, from the 28 t h of March to November, 1923 (Remie 1988:105). He described in his report of his sojourn how "with the exception that the terms of company and hospitality imply, one got nothing without payment from the Netsilingmiut: even for conversations for scientific purposes they wanted payment" (Rasmussen 1931:51). Payment was demanded especially when he recorded their words in writing. "My writing them down made these things something I could take home with me" (1931:52 in Remie 1988:107). Payment consisted of trade goods but also Iglulingmiut ethnographic data. He writes: In addition he gave me the words of several magic songs, I paying for them with some of those that I had got from the Iglulingmiut. It was considered that these transactions were quite legitimate, for as they were made though the agency of a white man they could not, it was thought, offend the spirits (1931:13 in Remie 1988:108). Rasmussen's Construction of Iglulingmiut Culture Groups: The information that Rasmussen obtained during his stay in the Northern Foxe Basin provided him with data for his published material on the Iglulingmiut (Rasmussen 1929, 1930), which in turn has provided the foundation for subsequent anthropological descriptions of Iglulingmiut early-contact culture. However, as Bernard Saladin d'Anglure points out, most of Rasmussen's Iglulingmiut data came from just a few individuals. Of the ninety Iglulingmiut shamans identified in Rasmussen's census in his 80 Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition in 1921-22, he used only eight as informants. In fact, Aua's dialogues with Rasmussen (an exchange that lasted for only three weeks, between 27 January and 16 February, 1922) together with those of his shaman wife Orulo and his oldest brother Ivaluardjuk, make up over 64% of all of Rasmussen's information on Iglulingmiut religious practices (Saladin d'Anglure 1988:69-70).46 Thus, understanding of Iglulingmiut symbolic culture [that have become the mainstay of Arctic anthropological literature describing Iglulingmiut early contact culture] came from only a few Inuit. Saladin d'Anglure discusses what he calls the "construction of the Iglulingmiut" that took place during the Fifth Thule Expedition (1988:72-73). One of the goals of the expedition was to describe and classify various Inuit culture groups. Rasmussen describes the Iglulik Inuit group as being divided into three groups: the Aivilingmiut, the Iglulingmiut, and the Tununermiut (Rasmussen 1929:9). Saladin d'Anglure describes how, despite their widespread acceptance, this classification of bounded cultural groups ignores the effects of semi-nomadic movement within the region. Ethnohistorical studies such as those done by Crowe (1970), Ross (1975), Stevenson (1997), as well as work done as part of the Inuit Land Use Occupancy Project (Freeman 1976), and Inuit oral histories recorded as part of the Igloolik Oral Histories collection (see Chapter 3) and in 4 6 More than 50% of his data for his text on the intellectual culture of the Iglulingmiut was derived from his conversations with these three men (Saladin d'Anglurel988:73). Also from Aua, Rasmussen procured lists of words to a powerful secret shamanic language which Rasmussen later published as part of a volume entitled Iglulik and Caribou Eskimo Texts, Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition 1921-1924, Vol 7, no.3 (1930). 81 print (Ungalaaq 1985; Anaviapik 1998; Wachowich 1999) demonstrate the historic importance of mobility in the region. The spatial partitioning and classification of Iglulingmiut by early ethnographers fails to take account, not only oftraditional migration routes, and travel to whaling stations and trading posts during this early contact period, but also the intermarriage and migration that blurred the boundaries between culture groups. Saladin d'Anglure explains how the three main spokespersons, Pilakapsi, Aua, and Ivaluarjuk, all had a Netsilingmiut father from the central high Arctic who was orphaned and then adopted by an Iglulingmiut family.47 According to Saladin d'Anglure, Rasmussen's three classifications: the Iglulingmiut, Aivilingiut, and Tununermiut are thus artificial designations which have more to do with attempts by the Fifth Thule Expedition to define bounded culture groups for the purpose of scientific classification than with the historical patterns of movement in the region.48 Accounts of these early ethnographers illustrate how western efforts to define Inuit culture groups appertained more to prevailing anthropological paradigms and related European understandings of cultural origins and processes of cultural diffusion than to the actual encounters. Nonetheless, early Inuit adaptations to these colonial exchanges 4 7 Saladin d'Anglure writes that in reconsidering the case of Ittuksarjuat and Ataguttaaluk (considered the King and Queen of Iglulik) during that period, it is revealed that Ittuksarjuat had roots in the South Baffin. He was first married in the Cape Fullerton region, not far from Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson Bay, and arrived at the turn of the century to Igloolik. Ataguttaaluk had lived for many years in the North Baffin before marrying her second husband Ittuksarjuat (Saladin d'Anglure 1988:72-74). 4 8 Ernest Burch makes a similar claim writing about the inherent contradictions in Rasmussen's societal designation of Caribou Eskimo (1988:87-88). 82 through processes of culture-making were interpreted in ethnographic literature as authentic, pre-contact Inuit cultural beliefs and practices. The theoretical notion of Iglulingmiut as a bounded and remote people developed in these early ethnographies has endured and gone on to inform subsequent theoretical models and anthropological studies of modernization. After Rasmussen's return to Greenland, and following the social changes brought to the Arctic during WWII, large-scale, detailed ethnographic expeditions such as these ceased. The 1930s, 40s, and 50s brought epidemics of tuberculosis and measles to Inuit camps in the Eastern High Arctic (Grygier 1994). The European market in white fox fur plummeted at this time and reports of hunger and disease among the Inuit were publicized in the southern media. In order to set the stage for a discussion of the changes in Iglulingmiut culture-making processes in the post-WWII period, I provide here a brief overview of relevant elements of post-WWII colonial relations. Northern Development, Residential Schools and the Establishment of Settlements: Assimilation vs. Adaptation Post WWII policies of Northern Development were implemented in the 1940s, and Inuit were incorporated into the Canadian welfare system (Tester and Kulchyski 1994). In 1944, the Family Allowance Act was passed by the House of Commons, and Inuit across Canada were counted, indexed and assigned disks with identification numbers (Tester and Kulchyski 1994:71). These numbers were later replaced with legal surnames, added to the traditional name (atiq) given at birth (Alia 1994). In 1945, the 83 Canadian government launched an aggressive anti-TB, X-ray and evacuation campaign in the Arctic. Hundreds of people infected with tuberculosis were sent to southern Canadian hospitals for treatment (Grygier 1994). The Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line), comprised of sixty radar sites along the 70th parallel, was constructed across the Arctic at this time to provide advance warning to North Americans of a nuclear attack from the USSR. The D E W Line site closest to Igloolik, in Hall Beach, was opened in 1955.49 In the late 1950s, church-run residential schools (both Catholic and Anglican) were opened in the Eastern Arctic. These had a profound impact on Inuit in the region. Many Iglulingmiut children who had been baptized Catholic were sent to faraway Chesterfield Inlet, on the west coast of Hudson's Bay. Anglican children were sent to Churchill, also in the Hudson's Bay region. Residential schools were part of a southern effort to counteract the dramatic effects of Northern Development on Inuit social and economic life. Anthropologist/Arctic administrator Diamond Jenness expressed the sentiment of many of his contemporaries of the period when he lamented: We have set up a complex government in their territory but offered them no real place in it.... We have destroyed their old hunting and fishing existence, but not brought within their reach another way of life that will replace it (Jenness 1964:161). The solution argued was to vigorously train Inuit children at the schools in western modes of thought in order to prepare them for what was considered would be their 4 9 Damas (1963), Crowe (1970), Mary-Rousseliere (1984) and Rasing (1994) have documented the changes to Iglulingmiut economic and social life as a result of their contact with policies of Northern Development. 84 eventual assimilation into southern society and possible resettlement in the south: We should bring them in family groups, settle them in small colonies, and watch over them as zealously as a sergeant watched over the 'other ranks' who have been committed to his charge (Jenness 1964 :176).50 Inuit however, did not share this southern perception of schools as a panacea for their dying culture. Oral history accounts of this era illustrate how, despite the impact of paternalist government policies, many Inuit parents ascertained that their decision to send their children to residential schools was a purposeful adaptation strategy. By apprenticing their children temporarily to westerners, and training them in western conceptual frameworks, Inuit could thus interact more efficiently with their changing social environment, and eventually re-establish control of their social relations and sovereignty over their lands. Says one elder: Many of us at the time were envious of those who could speak English, and we were merely committed to giving our children the opportunity to go to school. We wanted to help our children and support them in having the opportunities... that is one thing I am sure that each parent had in mind....We wanted our children to have the opportunity of being fluent in English.... I had a sense of inadequecy [sic] for not knowing English. I didn't want my children to be like that - how can it be described -1 felt limited by the way I was, and so I wanted my children to be educated... It's only now that I am aware of some things, like they had a hard time. M y reason was that I didn't want them to be stuck like we were....Personally, I really wanted my children to go to school so that they could develop skills that I didn't have...We had only just come in contact with the 5 0 This demonstrates a shift from Diamond Jenness's early Arctic policy proposals. In 1922, following his fieldwork in the central Arctic, he appealed for the institution of "a kind of quarantine" in that region that would keep the Inuit from falling victim to the diseases and other "scourges of our civilization" (Jenness 1922:242). By the 1960s, however, he considered that these scourges were already entrenched. 85 government and we feared and obeyed them (Anonymous in McGrath 1996).5' A federal day school opened in Igloolik in 1960 and populations in the Eastern Arctic settlements like Igloolik grew rapidly. Mandatory attendance was imposed and hostels were built to house students whose parents continued to live on the land. Those families, however, were denied family allowance payments if they refused to bring their children to school at the end of the summer. The government constructed small, low-rent houses with oil stoves, lights and water tanks in an effort to encourage families to live year-round in the settlement. The houses were poorly insulated, difficult to maintain and often overcrowded. Living together in large groups year round was new to the Inuit and after living on the land many found the confinement of western sedentary life stressful. Families continued travelling in and out of the settlement but by 1972, the administrative pressures had mounted and the last of the families in the Igloolik region moved from the land to live year round in the settlement. The social and economic effects on Inuit life in the Eastern Arctic of the move into settlements were profound, as Inuit were brought into daily contact with a broad set of southern economic, social and political relations. Wage labour, consumer goods and 5 1 These statements are from an interview between Janet McGrath and an anonymous elder in a 1996 publication "More than words: Former students of Joseph Bernier Residential school and Turquetil Hall speak out." Many of the Inuit students at this Chesterfield Inlet residential school were baptized Catholics from the Igloolik region. The rigorous educational program offered by the Catholic clergy produced many contemporary politicians in Nunavut. However public stories of abuses suffered by students first began to emerge at a 1991 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples public hearing and then again at a 1993 Joseph Bernier Residential School reunion. A subsequent 18-month R C M P investigation determined that there had been widespread physical and sexual abuse at the school. 86 government bureaucracy became part of everyday life in the settlement and this affected interpersonal relations.52 Settlements across the Eastern Arctic became microcosms of Southern society, where Qallunaat values were upheld by a small minority of ruling Qallunaat (Paine 1977; Brody 1975). In 1972, the First Anik-A telecommunications satellite began broadcasting C B C television signals into seventeen northern communities and introduced television, long distance telephones and southern radio.53 Oral and written accounts from this period speak to the hardships that family members suffered separated from each other when the children were sent to schools. The level of Iglulingmiut control over scientific exchanges and the associated commodification of their cultural knowledge that characterized pre-WWII meetings was attenuated with changes to their physical an social environment brought on by colonialism and policies of northern development. The 1960s and 1970s heralded an era of profound disruption and upheaval in Iglulingmiut history. Modernization Studies: The Grey Literature David Riches argues that the "romanticising of, or romantic attachment to the past" (Riches 1995:83) that was cultivated in the works by early ethnographers was further perpetuated in a modern context. Anthropological research in the Arctic in the 5 2 Louis-Jacques Dorais details the effects of modernity on the Inuit settlement of Quaqtaq (Dorais 1997). 5 3 As Chapter 5 outlines, Igloolik banned the importation of television until 1981 and of cable channels until 1991. 87 late 1950s and 1960s turned to studies of acculturation and the effects the move into settlements was having on the Inuit. A series of research programs and area economic surveys was sponsored by the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources (now Department of Indian and Northern Affairs). The stated purpose of these programs was to inventory resources and to help Inuit make effective use of these resources (Lotz in Wenzel 1997). Acculturation studies done by the Northern Co-ordination and Research Centre, by the Department of Northern Affairs, as well as monographs by the National Museum of Canada (Damas 1963; Balikci 1964), examined social change in Arctic communities for the purpose of effective policy making for the north. These studies on changing cultural practices maintained the idea that an essentially Inuk traditional culture had existed before the imposition of Canadian social policies and that such traditions constrained Inuit responses to northern development (Riches 1995:83). Inuit were interviewed as informants in these community studies. By then, many Iglulingmiut families had moved off the land and were living in settlements which made them more accessible as scientific subjects than they had been in the past. The onslaught of southerners in the 1950s and 1960s created a new colonial environment in the north that in effect weakened the trade value of culture-making processes on the part of Iglulingmiut. In the skewed economic and political relations between Inuit and whites in the settlements, ethnographers no longer had to barter with individuals to document their cultural knowledge. Settlement-bound Inuit were readily available to provide information for surveys, questionnaires, and interviews about topics related to such practices as food consumption, health and social issues, land use, technology, sharing 88 networks and kinship patterns. This data was then compared to descriptions of the authentic "traditional culture" described in the narratives of Boas, Rasmussen and their contemporaries. Enduring characterizations of the Iglulingmiut as remote, as untouched and authentic, and as rich in tradition that were documented in the early-contact period persisted throughout this modernization period, but they were used as a template with which anthropologists could compare modern day Inuit and measure social change. Anthropological Paradigms and Igloolik: The International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project One resonant example of the theoretical application of western imagery of remoteness and isolation on the Iglulingmiut culture occurred when the International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project (IBP-HAP) based their Canadian • Arctic fieldsite in Igloolik. The IBP-HAP was a multi-disciplinary international research project that set out to analyse cross-cultural data on human biological adaptation to different ecosystems. It was inaugurated in July, 1967 as part of a five year program initially modelled on the projects that took place during the International Geophysical Year of 1957 and 1958. Close to thirty-two nations participated in this broadscale international scientific research effort on the human biosphere. Botanists, zoologists, biochemists, biophysicists, geneticists, ecologists, and other scientists studied such topics as food shortages, radiation hazards, the changes in and extinction of certain plant and animal life and many other biological problems. The Human Adaptability branch of the project engaged anthropologists, biologists, demographers, ecologists, geographers, and 89 medical scientists in a study of the effects of the environment on health and the health consequences of modernization on human populations. Amassing biological data on what were considered "isolated groups", it operated on the assumption that: small inherited differences of body build and biological characteristics had emerged between various ethnic groups over many centuries of separation from each other, and that such differences had given certain populations a survival advantage when exploiting a specific habitat. One basic objective of the IBP-HAP was thus to trace the potential extent of human adaptation to adverse environments, determining how far differences in biological characteristics had influenced the observed patterns of colonization. It was further hypothesized that humans as a whole had made an evolutionary adaptation to the lifestyle of hunter-gatherer or subsistence farmer over many centuries, and that levels of both fitness and health would be much lower in populations which had abandoned the traditional way of living. It was also suggested that in traditional indigenous communities, the importing of various diseases had acted as a selective process, restricting physical activity patterns, causing an acute decrease of fitness in infected individuals and killing the least-well-endowed members of the local population (Shephard and Rode 1996:43-4). The multinational study of Inuit adaptability was to be carried out along what was perceived by scientists to be the original routes of Eskimo migration. Circumpolar studies of environmental adaptation took place among a number of what were considered by scientists as "ethnic groupings." French and Danish scientists focussed on the Upernavik region in western Greenland, and U.S. participants studied the Alaskan routes. Research was also done among groups such as the Ainu, the Lapps (Saami) and various small Siberian populations (the Chukchi, Evenki, nGanasan and Dolgans) (Shephard and Rhode 1996:7). The main Canadian branch of this multi-nation study was concentrated in Igloolik and neighbouring Hall Beach (Shephard and Rode 1996:44-46).54 5 4 Some IBP studies and extensive anthropometric measurements were also carried out in Kuujuaq, Quebec (Shephard and Rode 1996:44-46). 90 Igloolik, which in western scientific frameworks had come to be understood a remote, traditional place, was subsequently made into a laboratory for dozens of academics and scientists from universities and research centres across North America. 5 5 Throughout the springs and summers, and in sporadic winter visits between 1968 and 1972, scientists arrived in Igloolik en masse to perform batteries of tests on almost all of the Inuit population living in their region (the combined Igloolik/Hall Beach population was listed as 753 in 1969). The scientific research was geared mostly at collecting data on the Inuit body. Individual Inuit were subject to different combinations of tests. Most had standard medical examinations performed and medical histories recorded. They were photographed from different positions and had anthropometric measurements taken of their skulls, faces, and parts of their bodies. In Igloolik between 1968 and 1971, one hundred and forty six Inuit were subjected at least three times to a series of fifty anthropometric measurements and photographs (Pena 1970:9). Extensive film footage of "Eskimo habitual motor activity" was collected over the course of the project (Hughes 1970:3). Sixty-six families in 1969 participated in studies of dietary patterns (1970:4). Blood pressure was tested. Blood, urine, and, in 1971-72, more than 350 hair samples were procured (Hughes 1972). Dental casts were collected and dentition studies made. 5 5 In 1969, for example, twenty-one different scientists from universities of Toronto, Alberta, Manitoba, McGi l l and Chicago, as well as from the Department of National Health and Welfare arrived in Igloolik (Hughes 1970:7-8). This research programme had a significant effect on social relations in the community at that time and later. 91 Over five hundred Inuit had their chests and skulls X-rayed and as many had hands, feet, and legs X-rayed. Detailed sociological and psychological interviews took place on a number of topics.56 Tests were performed on the Inuit detailing everything from dental hygiene and cold tolerance to IQ, reproductive history, and general physical and mental health (Hughes 1970, 1971, 1972). Skin grafts were collected from sets of siblings as part of a study relating to white-blood cell (HL-A) antigens, their connections to organ transplants, and the ability to identify genetic markers in human populations (Dossetor et al. 1971; Hughes 1971). Biological, sociological, and psychological data from the Igloolik branch of the International Biological Program Human Adaptability Project was presented at yearly "Toronto Igloolik Conferences" and compared with data from other "Eskimo studies" (at meetings and conferences around the world) (Hughes 1970:6). Four extensive scientific volumes and numerous theses were published as a result of this four-year study. The colonial politics of settlement life at that historic period facilitated these tests. Inuit settlements of the 1960s and 1970s were administered very much as microcosms of white society (Brody 1975; Paine 1971, 1977). Inuit themselves still discuss the ways in which Inuit rules rituals strictly adhered to while hunting and travelling on the land succumb to the rules of the Qallunaat in the context of settlement life. The late 1960s and early 1970s was a transition period in Igloolik, marking a time when the last of the 5 6 Between 1969 and 1970, for example, three batteries of psychological tests were, administered to one hundred and eighty individuals. Samples from four age groups were tested and an attempt was made to classify individuals according to categories of "traditional" and "transitional" depending on their way of life (Hughes 1970:3-4). 92 families were moving off the land to live year-round in the settlements. Inuit networks of social relations were at odds with those of this new environment. For example, many dog-teams were shot at this time by the R C M P as part of an extermination program, ostensibly to control canine diseases in the settlements but also (as many Inuit contend) to curtail the nomadic patterns of Inuit (Awa in Wachowich 1999:111 -112).57 Hunters with no dog-teams had trouble providing food for their families and eventually became dependant on government assistance to meet their daily needs. During the time of Rasmussen's and Boas's studies, travelling Inuit were able to control the duration of their interactions with Qallunaat scientists. Scientists were dependent on Iglulingmiut at that time for food, desired artifacts, and information on hunting spots and travel routes. Inuit relationships with these cultural outsiders was largely based on an assertive short-term trade in information and goods with visiting scientists. But during the IBP-HAP, Inuit were no longer nomadic and were already contracted into a uneven set of relationships with government officials, school teachers and community nurses, many of whom were facilitating this international research project. Food and supplies were shipped directly from Montreal to these visiting scientists, bypassing the historical need that outsiders had to trade with the Inuit. And although compensation was provided for hunters who took scientists out on the land, no payment was offered to Inuit in the settlement of Igloolik for their participation in these 5 7 In April, 2000 the Makivik Corporation and the Qiqiqtani Inuit Association lodged an official complaint with the governments of Quebec and Canada and called for a joint public inquiry into the government ordered dog-killings during the 1960s and 1970s (George 2000:3). 93 tests (Hughes 1971:111). The colonial relations of power and the impact of this scientific testing on the Iglulingmiut is evident in the individual stories of Inuit. Rhoda Katsak recalled her memories of this scientific endeavour and the scars that it left her with more than twenty years later when I was working with her recording her life stories (along with those of her mother and her daughter) as part of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples three-generation life history project. I turn to the story that Rhoda told me about this historical event in Iglulingmiut history: "This group of scientists" I was telling Josh last night about how my scars were itching. They were itching and itching and it reminded me about the story about how I got them. It was in 1971 or 1972. We were in Igloolik and I was probably about thirteen or fourteen and this group of scientists, or whoever they were, they came into town. They called themselves anthropologists.58 I remember it was a big deal for these guys to come in. We heard about it before they came. It was like major news in the community, a big study going on in our small town. The day after they came in, my family was told to go to this little building next to the nursing station. That is where they were working, this little building. We went over there, my mother, my brother Jakopie, my older sister Oopah and myself. I think my mother had somebody on her back, Ida maybe, I don't know. I don't know if it was just my family that was tested. I don't think it was everybody in the community, just certain families I think. They had some sort of a list and I think they were picking names from that list or something. I remember us walking over there. We didn't know what was going on. First they had us climb up and down these three wooden steps, three steps up and three steps down. We climbed up and down. They wanted to see how much we could do without getting tired. They watched us while we did it for a long while, then when our hearts sped up 5 8 Of note is that, while the researchers came from a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines ranging from geography to dentistry to medicine, they were referred to by people in Igloolik as anthropologists. I suggest that these early constructions of anthropological practice had an impact upon subsequent Iglulingmiut regard towards anthropologists. 94 they got us on this little bicycle and they put respirators on us. I had never been on a bicycle before. I didn't really know what to do but they put me on the cycle and told me to breathe into the respirator. They made us take turns on that for the rest of the afternoon. They did some other tests too. I don't remember all of them. I remember they tested our blood pressure and took blood samples from us. The big thing I remember though was that they took bits of skin off our fore-arms. First they made the whole skin area numb, then they took this very long thin cylinder, like a stick, sharp on one end, and they kind of drilled it into my arm to cut the skin. They took the skin off, it was at the end of this little cylinder thing. It was all inside. They did that twice. Once they took the two pieces of skin off my arm, they put in skin from my sister Oopah and my brother Jake's arm. I got their skin. Jake got my skin and Oopah's. Oopah got Jake's and mine. I think my mom was there just to monitor the tests. Of course we were her children so she had to be there, maybe to consent or something like that. I don't think it was a matter of her consenting though. I don't think she thought of it that way. Then, after they did that, they put bandages on. It didn't hurt that much at the time. It hurt later, like a regular cut would, but it didn't hurt at all at the time because of the anaesthesia. My grandfather had been on his way hunting that same day the researchers were in. He was probably in his sixties at the time. I heard they were quite amazed that he was out on the land and hunting every day at that age so they chose him to have this heart monitor thing attached to him. They wanted to know how much stamina he had, how much his heart could take. The heart monitor thing was attached to his body with a set of straps but it was attached outside his caribou parka. For me it seemed kind of silly because the monitor itself was quite heavy so I am sure his heart would have beat much differently if he hadn't been carrying anything for the scientists. He spent the whole day with this thing strapped to him while he was hunting. We heard about this story afterwards from my grandfather. There was this other time, kind of like that one with the anthropologists, when I got my teeth checked. Al l of my life I had never thought that my teeth were any different than anybody else's. That time though, we were told that we were going to have our teeth checked for some sort of study by some Qallunaaq who was coming into the community. I don't remember them doing any fillings or dental hygiene or taking any teeth out. I think they were doing some sort of study on Inuit teeth. At that time when they looked at my teeth I didn't have any cavities. I didn't have cavities until I was twenty or twenty five. I was eleven or twelve then. They looked at my mom's teeth and my teeth an maybe my sister's teeth too. They were really amazed at my teeth. I had white spots, white chips on the front of my teeth. The dentist thought that was really strange. He kept looking at them and looking at them, putting my mouth up and looking at them, looking at the bottom. He kept looking at my teeth. Finally he told me to smile 95 and he took a picture. He asked me certain things, like what sorts of food I ate. He thought that maybe the spots were from a big concentration of calcium. That is what he said. He thought they were there because of big concentrations of calcium. I guess I had strange teeth compared to everyone else. I don't know. They don't bother me. Those situations for us, like the ones I just described with the anthropologists and the dentists, there were lots things like that going on when I was growing up. In Igloolik there was lots of research going on about the "Eskimo." There was study after study after study about us. I don't even remember all of them. It was like they couldn't get enough. There were always researchers in the community and questionnaires going around asking all sorts of questions, what we did, what we wanted, that sort of thing. The researchers, most of the time, they just did whatever they wanted when they were up here. A lot of the time they didn't bother to explain themselves very well. A lot of times we didn't really understand what was going on. We just did whatever they told us to do. People in the community, Inuit, would complain to each other during those years. They would say stuff like "Oh, here they come again to study us." I think that maybe even today there are some of the same attitudes in town when a researcher goes into a house and starts asking questions. We might think "you again", that kind of thing but we would still be, what is the word... "polite". I guess that is the word. We would still say "yes" to being interviewed. Even though we might talk about it between ourselves, talk about all the researchers coming to study us. Even though we might say those things to each other, a lot of times we would still be polite and agree.... I remember with my skin grafts, they told us that they were trying to find out if a person got burned, if they could get a graft from sibling's skin. Maybe they thought Inuk skin was different from Qallunaat skin. I don't know. It sure would have been nice to know what they were doing at the time.. Anyways, the grafts didn't heal into my skin. Jake's and Oopah's skin fell off and the holes healed over. Those anthropologists are very lucky the cuts weren't on my face... We were told to go back to that place a couple of times because they wanted to check to see if the grafts were staying. We went back but it was nice to see them go and not stay. I remember being happy when Jake and Oopah's skin fell off my arm. I was happy that I disproved their theory. I have had the scars ever since. They don't go away (Katsak in Wachowich 1999:174-177). In the first part of the chapter I illustrate how Inuit adapted to early Arctic ethnographers by accepting them into their world and manipulating southern "romantic" notions of the remoteness of Igloolik for their own economic gain. Inuit adapted early 96 encounters with scientists by turning their way of life into something to sell. But, with the post-WWII influx of southerners, Inuit could not tolerate to the same degree the scientific research implemented in their communities. By the time the thirty-two-nation, interdisciplinary International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project took place, the reciprocal research relationships that the Inuit established during the early contact period had given way to relationships of inequality and economic dependency representing a new era of 1970s "welfare colonialism" (Paine 1977) in the modernized Arctic. The biological tests were done on the Inuit during a time of social upheaval, when Inuit were scrambling to adjust their social life and cultural practices to adapt to new social relations that were part of modern Inuit settlements. The move from the land, the opening of residential schools, the shift from a hunting/trapping to a wage labour economy, and the effects of alcohol threw their traditional system of social relation into turmoil. The move into settlements was a period of crisis for the Inuit. Rhoda's mother Apphia Agalakti Awa speaks to the effect this had on adults in the community (Awa in Wachowich 1999:137-140). Rhoda Katsak's account of her literal and figurative scars from this cultural encounter illustrate the impact these feelings of powerlessness were having on newly settled Inuit. Conclusion: The IBP-HAP brought dozens of scientists to the north and the object of analysis in this particular instance was not so much Inuit cultural practices and material culture artifacts as it was the Inuit body. This chapter illustrates how Inuit were able to adapt to 97 early colonial encounters through an economy based on culture-making. Whereas a cottage-industry in Inuit artifacts, information and stories developed in the pre-WWII period, Inuit in the 1970s were unable to demand payment for their cultural data, or samples of their blood, hair, skin and x-rays of their bones. Adaptation was not possible in the social environment of the 1970s settlements and in the face of such an intimidating force of scientists. Rhoda's story highlights the impact of this scientific colonialism on her family. On another level however, Rhoda's story also illustrates the process that took place after the IBP-HAP scientists left Igloolik (which I will take up in Chapter 3). Rhoda Katsak told the story of her scars more than twenty years after they had been cut into her arm. In her account, the power relations of this colonial encounter are evident. Yet during the twenty years between when Rhoda had her skin taken and her subsequent storytelling, many changes had taken place in the north, most prevalent of which has the been increased political power of Inuit politicians and an amplified Inuit voice in the governance of their homelands. Eric Wolf writes about the processes through which groups of people are drawn into nations and how, in this process, social relations of power become expressed in ideation. He describes how communicative codes, scripts of power, are embedded not in the individual mind but in the public life of the culture (1999). Scripts of power are continually building up, maintaining, modifying, dismantling and destroying cultural processes (Wolf 1999:19). The history of scientific research in Northern Foxe Basin from Boas's time to the time of Rhoda's storytelling demonstrates such fluctuating scripts 98 of power. Rhoda Katsak and her family felt powerless when used as subjects for the International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project. Since the 1970s, a social environment has been cultivated in Igloolik where research and the collection of Inuit traditions has become a highly politicized and value-laden subsistence activity. In 1993, Rhoda Katsak was in a position to convert this life experience into an object of exchange. By collaborating with me, Rhoda adapted the story into written format that she could send into circulation in southern culture, first through its publication as a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples report, and eventually through the publishing of a three-generation life history book, Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women (Wachowich 1999). In 1971, Rhoda and her siblings Jake and Oopah were unable to demand payment for their skin samples. But in the contemporary social and political environment in the north, Rhoda is now able to sell the story of the skin grafts. She was paid an honorarium to participate in the Royal Commission project and she profits financially each time a scientist, a tourist, a student, or an interested reader at stores north and south of the tree-line purchases the published book where she details her life. The economic life of Rhoda Katsak's story illustrates the ways in which culture-making has been re-incorporated into the Iglulingmiut subsistence economy. Rhoda's life history storytelling is similar in many respects to that engaged in by her great great-grandfather Aua in his meetings with Rasmussen, but it draws upon a set of social relations reflective of the contemporary Inuit struggles for cultural survival. The next chapter will illustrate the evolving Iglulingmiut efforts to ensure their 99 cultural survival by commodifying of their traditions from the time when the skin grafts were taken to the time when this experience was made into a story. 100 Chapter Three: The Construction of Traditions in the Settlement of Igloolik This chapter documents the ways in which Iglulingmiut have appropriated western modernist notions of Igloolik as a "remote" and "traditional" place and used them in their own processes of culture-making. Building on the previous sections which described how Inuit objectifications of their cultural practices served as an adaptation strategy within the colonial encounter, this chapter presents the first of four case studies that show how this colonial history is negotiated in the contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence system. This chapter looks at how Inuit have responded ideologically to a colonial domination that hit its high point in the 1970s by developing a series of formal efforts to define and preserve their cultural identity as a hunting people. During my 1997 fieldwork in the settlement these efforts were embodied in a number of government-sponsored, community-run projects established to document and maintain Inuit "traditions". Oral history, land-skills, language and other projects serve a number of local, socioeconomic functions in Igloolik, but most of all they ensure the continuation of contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting [as it is defined in this chapter] by reinforcing relationships among Inuit, between Inuit and animals, and between Inuit and the environment. Such relationships also include their relationships with southerners. As Iglulingmiut draw upon their colonial history (described in the previous chapters) and reinforce Igloolik's reputation as the "traditional" community in Nunavut, increasing numbers of researchers, journalists, curators and filmmakers visit the 101 settlement to secure information on and testimonies regarding Inuit traditions. Culture-making on the part of Iglulingmiut - and specifically the appropriation of western scientific and cultural knowledge-collecting - has become akin to an industry, which in turn has altered the social environment for anthropological research in the settlement. I detail the shifting boundaries that took shape around my anthropological fieldwork in Igloolik. In this politicized social environment, it was not Iglulingmiut traditions but instead these contemporary processes of cultural translation and the social, economic, and political relations to which they tend that became my ethnographic object.59 Igloolik: A Contemporary Hunting Community Igloolik lies on a small island in the northern Foxe Basin, located one mile from the northeast coast of Melville Peninsula and approximately an hour and thirty minute plane ride north of Iqaluit. Igloolik is one of twenty-eight communities in Nunavut. In 1997, its population was close to 1200 people, with more than half under the age of twenty-four. Approximately 93% of the population speak Inuktitut, the dominant language of the community.60 I spent the late-winter and spring months of 1997 in Igloolik conducting fieldwork for this dissertation. I was studying the different 5 9 Fred Myers writes that the translations of such culture-making processes, "the ways in which the performance is 'stitched-together' discursively and practically", have become the new ethnographic objects for anthropologists (1994:679). 6 0 According to a Statistics Canada Census report, the population of Igloolik in 1996 was estimated at 1,174 (Statistics Canada 1996). At the time when I was there, there were also three outpost camps that operated in the region by approximately 18 people. 102 community projects established to preserve traditions in the settlement. I returned to the settlement again for a month the following fall, after five weeks of Inuktitut language training in Iqaluit. M y fieldwork in Igloolik took the form of formal, taped interviews as well as many informal exchanges with people of all ages discussing the traditional knowledge projects taking place in the settlement and the associated politics of Iglulingmiut identity.61 This chapter is also based on research from archival sources, administrative files in Igloolik and Iqaluit and the extensive oral history recordings compiled at the Igloolik Research Institute. I will return to the politics and practice of my fieldwork later in the chapter. First I want to illustrate the political and socio-economic dynamics that were in place during the period when I was in this settlement. Igloolik, in 1997, was equipped with many of the same modern conveniences of hamlets and towns in the south: a community hall, a hockey arena and curling rink, a coffee shop, Co-op and Northern stores, and elementary and secondary schools, both with gyms. Evening and weekend activities in Igloolik included: hockey games, volleyball, badminton and basketball as well as bingo, square dances and weekend "teen dances."62 There were three churches: St. Matthias Anglican Church; St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church; and the Full Gospel Pentecostal Church, which held evening prayer services and 6 1 1 conducted taped interviews with a total of twenty individuals including: eight elders, seven middle-generation people (35-50 year olds) two youth, and three non-Inuit (two teachers and a filmmaker). 6 2 Although often referred to as "teen dances" in Nunavut communities, these contemporary rock and dance music dances are attended as well by young people in their twenties and thirties. 103 healing circles. There were also women's sewing groups, various youth groups and other activities. Igloolik in 1997 shared many outward similarities with similar-sized hamlets further south. Yet hunting still dominated the daily existence and cultural practices of Iglulingmiut. Land food made up more than 40% of the food consumed by Inuit residents (Baffin Health Board Survey 1994). Seal, caribou, fish, birds, walrus, whales and bears were supplied to extended families by a group of full-time hunters who distributed this land food to the community through traditional sharing networks.63 Elders, in particular, who had never developed a taste for Qallunaat food, relied almost entirely on land-food for their diets. Meat from the hunt, as in the past, was often brought straight to the homes of the elders where family members gathered to feast. When families had extra food, they sometimes used the community radio to announce that there was meat to share for anyone who was hungry. While hunting still figures predominantly in the contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence economy, these land-harvesting activities provide more than just food to the Inuit. Rasing, in his 1994 ethnography of Iglulingmiut social processes, writes of a strong attachment to hunting in the era of settlement life. Although Iglulingmiut working wage jobs are no longer thoroughly dependent on hunting to survive, a major element of its present preeminence, he declares, is in the expressive value hunting holds for community members. Hunting, "the essence of life in the past," is now not just about the Damas (1963) provides a thorough analysis of Iglulingmiut sharing networks. 104 activity but it is also about the role it plays in contemporary processes of identity construction (1994:172). He continues: To the Iglulingmiut, hunting is the means to distinguish themselves from Qallunaaq, a means to emphasize and maintain their own identity in the context of settlement-life and the dominant role played by Qallunaaq. Hunting is the means par excellence to express identity and maintain self-respect (Rasing 1994:172). Conversations, community activities and social relations among Iglulingmiut revolve around people's roles in this subsistence activity. While hunting provides food for people in the community, at the same time these practices nourish and ensure the survival of an all-encompassing set of social relations that constitute the Iglulingmiut subsistence system. Milton Freeman describes how subsistence in northern hunting cultures must be understood as the complex of activities associated with procuring, processing, distributing, and consuming locally obtained foods, and includes the social relations and beliefs required to support (and, in turn be supported by) these activities (1997:8). Thus, this Iglulingmiut subsistence economy is enabled not only by the hunters, but by other men and women who work full-time to provide cash income to buy hunting equipment, by grandparents who tell stories to teach young people elements of a land-based economy, by grandmothers who help raise grandchildren, who process skins, who hold feasts, and who distribute meat, and by entire families who gather to feast on raw or cooked meat from the hunt. The community as a whole participates in different ways in the Iglulingmiut claim to be a hunting people. Ethnographies of contemporary hunting communities by Wenzel (1991), Nuttall (1992), Dorais (1997) and Dahl (2000) describe the adaptation of the hunting mode of 105 subsistence to modern-day activities of Inuit settlements. Inuit hunting communities in the circumpolar world, and across Canada, share these adaptive practices. Yet there was a distinctive set of subsistence activities taking place in Igloolik during the spring and fall of 1997 that was particular to the residents' own distinctive colonial history. This subsistence economy incorporated a process of culture-making through which Iglulingmiut were drawing on their colonial past - and their categorization in western epistemologies as a remote and traditional people - as a vehicle to ensure the survival of the contemporary Iglulingmiut land economy. Subsistence in Igloolik, during the time that I was doing fieldwork, encompassed not only Inuit skills in hunting, but also the skills involved in representing themselves as traditional hunters in the modern world. In 1997, these signifying practices took a number of innovative forms. When I first arrived, for example, I noticed the number of young people, especially men, with long hair. As it turned out, Iglulingmiut men and women were growing their hair for roles as seventeenth century Inuit in a movie of an Inuit legend filmed that was being planned for production by Igloolik Isuma Productions.64 Women who were growing out perms, layers, and bangs into braids and topknots wore bobby pins and barrettes; men had their hair in their eyes. I was also told of the sewing, land-skills, and drum dancing workshops taking place, and that participants in these and other projects were being quoted in national and local newspaper articles and videotaped for documentary and 6 4 This film, Atarnarjuat, was four years in the making. It was shown in its world premiere in Igloolik in December 2000. Chapter 4 analyses Inuit video-making and the mandates of Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation. 106 community event clips for local television. I had missed, by two weeks, the Igloolik Qaggiq (Return of the Sun) celebration that takes place the third week in January, coinciding with Inuktitut Language Week to which politicians such as the Premier the Northwest Territories, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development had been invited. Within my first few days in the settlement, I realized that I had come to a place where the documentation of "tradition" had become akin to an industry that was integral to their hunting mode of life. This reputation of Igloolik as a remote and traditional settlement had also drawn a number of other southerners. During my four months of fieldwork in the spring of 1997, a consultant from the Inuit Communications Corporation arrived to do a pilot project on Internet conferencing and film-maker John Houston arrived to commission actors for an action-film to be shot that summer in Iqaluit. A n assembly of social studies teachers from communities around the Baffin spent a week researching in the Igloolik oral history collection, looking for culturally relevant material to insert into the school curricula. A group of northern social-work students from Arctic College in Iqaluit arrived to research Inuit forms of conflict resolution in families. Four teachers from Detroit, Michigan, also arrived in the settlement, attempting to set up an Internet network between their students and those in the primary school in Igloolik.6 5 Staff from a museum in the United States 6 5 The principal of Igloolik's secondary schools told me in an interview that he receives dozens of such requests each year, (and literally bags of mail) from teachers and students in Canada, U S A and Europe who want to establish interactive networks or correspondence between students in their schools and Inuit students in Igloolik. Contemporary Iglulingmiut thus learn as children how to objectify their cultural practices for outsiders. 107 were there for a few days to interview carvers, to purchase Inuit carvings and to attempt to engage Iglulingmiut in an interactive site at their museum.66 There was a curator from the Canadian Museum of Nature in town for a few weeks attempting to initiate a number of different projects related to their 1997-1999 Arctic Odyssey exhibit at the museum (see Chapter 6). Compared with my own anthropological fieldwork sojourn, many of these visits were relatively short-term. However, I also shared the bunk-house for several months with a sociologist from Memorial University who was in Igloolik conducting research on women's sewing circles, and anthropologist Bernard Saladin d'Anglure, who had been writing about the Iglulingmiut for close to thirty years, was expected to arrive a week after my departure. While part of the Iglulingmiut adaptation to the colonial encounter has included a maintenance of their place in western epistemologies as a remote and isolated place, Qallunaat who fly into Igloolik find themselves instead among other outsiders in a dynamic contact-zone. Igloolik is a site firmly connected to the world system that continually brings Inuit and southerners together in distinct and often paradoxical ways in processes of cultural translation. Culture-making and Symbolic Practice: Sled Dogs in 1997 One incident that illustrates Iglulingmiut processes of culture making and their adaptation of their traditional technology to the contemporary social environment in 6 6 This project never got off the ground, as Iglulingmiut who were directing the "traditional knowledge projects" in the settlement were already involved in a similar interactive museum project with the Canadian Museum of Nature (see Chapter 6). 108 Igloolik, relates to a couple of sled dogs that I literally walked into when I stepped off the plane in Igloolik in February 1997. Making my way across the tarmac to the small terminal with my parka hood up and my head down, I tripped over two portable kennels holding two huge husky dogs shifting restlessly in their cages. These dogs were the talk of the town for the first few days I was in Igloolik; the stories came to me in bits and pieces, and in several variations. The two dogs that were being loaded on my plane were, I was told, on their way to Ottawa where they were to be euthanised, stuffed and shipped back to the Arctic to be placed in the Nattinnak Tourist Interpretive Centre which, in 1997, was under construction in Pond Inlet on the Northern tip of Baffin Island, approximately a four day snowmobile (or one to two-week dog-team) trip northeast of Igloolik. There, they would then be attached to a qamutiq (sled) in the tourist centre beneath a life sized fibreglass narwhal suspended from the ceiling and be displayed as "traditional Inuit sled-dogs". Dogs were the mainstay of arctic transport for thousands of years. But with the introduction of snowmobiles, dogs fell into disuse. R C M P policies implementing the shooting of loose dog-teams in the settlements in the late 1960s further changed the traditional place of dogs in the Iglulingmiut subsistence economy. Although, by 1997, Inuit no longer used dogs for hunting or travelling, teams were still kept by various hunters either to teach younger Inuit hunters traditional dogteaming skills, or for use in commercials, documentary films or independently produced videos (see Chapter 4). Dogteams were also used by outfitters to take tourists and big-game polar bear hunters out on the land. 109 A sled-dog from one such team had been purchased from a hunter in Pond Inlet earlier in the season by Parks Canada. The hunter shot the dog and sealed it in a special dog-box sent to him from Winnipeg. The seal on the box, however, had been defective and the dead dog had spoiled in the community freezer. When no one in Pond Inlet volunteered a new dog, a Parks Canada representative used the community radio in Igloolik to ask i f anyone had dogs they wanted to sell for this display.67 The two Iglulingmiut dogs at the airport that day had belonged to an old hunter's team. The man had recently died of cancer and, following the Inuit practice of quickly disposing of the belongings of people after they die, the wife wanted to dispose of his dog-team. When the announcement aired on the radio, the dogs were purchased from his widow for what people in the settlement considered a substantial amount of money and were flown out of Igloolik on the day I arrived. The process through which these two living dogs were transformed from working sled dogs to stuffed displays for southern tourists to Pond Inlet, and the Inuit participation in it, illustrates the larger process presented throughout this dissertation whereby the Iglulingmiut subsistence economy has adapted to neocolonial politics of settlement life in 6 7 Igloolik is a likely site to purchase dogs for a museum display. In the 1970s, fear of the extinction of the Eskimo dog breed (due to 1960s-70s R C M P policy of shooting loose dogteams in the settlement as well as interbreeding with imported southern breeds) led to an effort to restart and salvage the breed. In 1976, Igloolik, as a "remote and traditional community", provided a part of the pure, pedigree, foundation stock for an "Eskimo dog project" which eventually led to the registration of the breed with the Canadian Kennel Club (Carpenter 1976). Igloolik's reputation as a source of purebred Canadian Inuit dogs grew during the 1980s and 1990s and Igloolik dogs are now advertized as a source for several breed stocks for commercial dogsledding outfits (i.e. http://www.dogsledding.com/Dogs.htm). 110 order to incorporate symbolic practice. The hunter and his wife represent a generation of Inuit who grew up on the land dependent on sled dogs for their survival. People without dogs could not travel or hunt for food. Dogs were carefully trained; they were treated almost like children (Awa in Wachowich 1999:88-90). In times of starvation, however, people would have to resort to using their dogs for food. Less than forty years later, faced with expanding forces of modernization, Iglulingmiut sled dogs are being used for a new source of subsistence in a different social environment. Finding innovative uses for their technology and adapting to new environments has been part of the traditional hunting communities since before contact. In 1997, this adaptation had come to incorporate complex and often paradoxical representational practices that are strangely disjointed from material reality. The old woman in Igloolik no longer needed those two dogs, so she sold them to Parks Canada officials in order to procure cash that she needed to buy food for her family and gas for their snowmobiles. Dogs, once used for transport or (in extreme cases) food, are now used to represent "traditional culture" in commercials, films, and for tourists and big-game hunters from the south. If subsistence in Igloolik has become dependent on the Iglulingmiut representing themselves as a people working to "preserve" their traditional culture, the two Iglulingmiut dogs, stuffed in Ottawa and then mounted in the Pond Inlet tourist centre embody the ultimate irony of this movement. The Construction of Iglulingmiut Traditions The Iglulingmiut widow who sold the dogs was accustomed to adapting in different ways to changes brought on by modernization in the Arctic. Her early years I l l were spent in the 1940s, a post WW-II period that ushered in a permanent and authoritative presence of Qallunaat in the Arctic and the implementation of federal government policies of northern development. The previous chapter describes the dramatic effects these policies had on the Inuit social environment when they moved from the land into government built settlements in the 1960s and 1970s. This chapter focusses on the political response to policies of assimilation and the colonial relations in the settlements. This response was initiated by a younger generation of Inuit in the 1970s, many of whom were graduates of residential schools. Trained in western modes of thinking and acting and accustomed to navigating government bureaucracy, they began a formal effort to temper the social and economic infiltration of western culture to their homelands and to redress the assimilationist policies of the era. Louis Tapardjuk, one such graduate, spoke to me of the prevailing sentiment of the period: I realized that I lost a lot of my culture and my tradition when I went to school. And when I finished school, I was so sick of people just pushing people, pushing Inuit. Inuit were so... always ready to please the white people. I just had enough of it. I couldn't tolerate this kind of business. I became a radical person, a real radical mover... We all knew that elders in those days weren't too happy about the way things were happening, like tying the dogs. The dogs were free before and that was important, but we were forced to tie them to the house, and i f they were untied, the dogs were shot. And we needed them for hunting.... And no one fought this. The area administrator said "It is the law" and the police said "It is the law." And you know, they succumbed to this. It was not good (Fieldnotes 11/04/97). Tapardjuk and his political contemporaries began a concerted effort to acquire a degree of political power and economic self-sufficiency in the context of settlement life. Various political institutions were formed, such as the 1971 establishment of the national Inuit political organization, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada. ITC immediately began lobbying at a 112 national level for Inuit political autonomy, land claims, community control and the inclusion of Inuit cultural content into the school curriculum. In 1976, ITC (Inuit Tapirisat of Canada) submitted the first of a series of Eastern Arctic Inuit land claims to the federal government.68 One year later, in 1977, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) was formed with a mandate to bring issues of sovereignty and self-determination common to the Inuit of Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Siberia, to the international arena.69 Constructions and assertions of Inuit cultural identity became part of these national and international efforts by Arctic peoples to defend themselves against further exploitation and from assimilation by the western world. For the Iglulingmiut, these political movements came in the wake of the International Biological Program Human Adaptability Project, and the arrival of dozens of scientific and social-science researchers to Igloolik (see Chapter 2). The four years in which Iglulingmiut acted as subjects for scientific and social science research taught Inuit of all ages subtle and intricate ways in which objectifications of their cultural differences could be used as objects of value and 6 8 This eventually led to the Nunavut Final Agreement, signed in 1993 by Nunavut leaders and representatives of the Canadian Government. Under this agreement Inuit in the Eastern Arctic surrendered aboriginal title to over 80% of their lands, waters and offshore areas of Nunavut, in return for certain rights, benefits, and the title to 350,000 square kilometres of land in the new Territory of Nunavut (established 1999). 6 9 Other scholars have written on the evolution of Inuit land claims that ultimately led to the Nunavut territory (Duffy 1988; Mitchell and Tobin 1999; Dahl, Hicks and Jull 2000) as well as with the history and workings of International Inuit organizations (Nuttall 1998). M y analysis highlights the socio-political dynamics specifically in Igloolik. 113 interest to outsiders. Subsequently, a process of culture-making emerged in Igloolik. Iglulingmiut began seeking their own place in national and international circles by using Igloolik's centuries-old reputation in western epistemologies as a remote and traditional place to develop new socio-economic designs. A formal elders group called the Inummariit Society was founded in Igloolik in 1971 with an instituted mandate to preserve Inuit traditions.70 One of the first projects embarked upon by the Inummariit Society was the construction of a two-storey stone and cement igloo-shaped building at the centre of the settlement. Government funding to support the construction of the building was secured by a Catholic Oblate missionary/administrator. The building was completed in 1972 and named the Igloolik Cultural Centre.11 The stone igloo served as a local exhibition space, equipped with cabinets and shelves used to display material culture collections, such as hunting implements, skin clothing, qulliit (stone lamps) and tools that people were no longer using since their move to the settlement. Just a few years after the Inuit move into settlements, hunting tools, lamps and skin clothing were being displayed in a museum site to symbolize of a bygone era. Visitors to Igloolik were directed to the Centre and elders were solicited to give 7 0 Inummariit is an Inuktitut word for "real" or "genuine" Inuit. It was used in the past to designate the more knowledgeable and influential elders in a camp. 7 1 Missionaries often acted as facilitators in the modernization process in the Arctic by translating for government officials and promoting the schooling of Inuit children in residential and government day schools. Yet, missionary lamentations regarding the loss of traditions and increased westernization of Inuit life are well recorded in missionary publications from that period (Mary-Rousseliere 1972, 1974, 1976-77). .114 workshops inside the igloo, to tell stories about their life and travels on the land, and to teach younger Inuit about the "traditions" that had been essential elements of daily life just a few years before. A friend in Igloolik told me once that she remembered her grandmother donating her qullik (singular of qulliit) to the Cultural Centre after her move into Igloolik from her hunting camp in the late 1960s. "It was a nice big black stone qullik" she told me, "It was really really nice." She recalled coming home from boarding school in Ottawa in the summer of 1973 and going to see her grandmother's qullik, set on a shelf in the igloo. She described the strange feeling of cultural loss that she had seeing the qullik sitting beside others of different shapes on a shelf in the cold stone and cement stone igloo when just a few years earlier she had watched her grandmother carefully tending to this same qullik's flame in camps (Fieldnotes 13/11/97). The grandmother had used it to heat her home and to cook food for the family. In the Cultural Centre, the lamp was taking on a new set of meanings. The lamp now symbolized a time, in the far distant past, when the Inuit ancestors eked out survival on the land. The lamp's new purpose was to provide for Iglulingmiut through its use as a cultural artifact. The Igloolik Cultural Centre's stone igloo became a powerful symbolic site for the constructions of Inuit cultural identity in Igloolik in the 1970s. By salvaging, collecting, and exhibiting material culture artifact from their life on the land in this exhibit space, Inuit became engaged in a process, initiated by outsiders more than a century earlier, of evaluation, objectification, and marketing of their material culture. Outsider valuations of Inuit traditions and of objects in their material culture (drawn from the historical encounters between Inuit and explorers, whalers, ethnographers, museum 115 collectors, administrators, and International Biological Program Human Adaptability Project scientists) influenced what was collected and displayed at this site. Skin clothing, qulliks and harpoons (technology from their pre-contact culture) were displayed in the exhibit; cotton parkas, metal pots, and old rifles (technology from their early contact culture) were not displayed. The cement and stone walls of the Cultural Centre designated a place for a new and permanent discourse on Inuit traditions that had been practised by the Inuit only periodically in sporadic encounters with Qallunaat in the past. Yet, the stone igloo was impractical; it was made from the wrong materials for the Arctic environment. The building was hard to heat and its stone walls frosted over and blackened with use of the Inuit qullik. Visitors complained that it was cold, drafty and damp. Skins dried or rotted in this environment. After a few years, government funding was withdrawn from the Institute. The Inummariit Society disbanded. No longer functioning as symbols of Inuit culture, tools and artifacts were taken back by families. The igloo was boarded up and eventually began to disintegrate. When the roof caved in, the igloo became a pile of rocks. Children played in the rubble of the former building until the early 1990s when a stone fell on a child's head and killed him. Community members removed the rocks and cleared the site. It remained vacant for several years, until 1995 when the Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation constructed their office and studio on the empty lot (see Chapter 4). The story of the stone igloo and its ultimate collapse illustrates the ways in which Iglulingmiut in the 1970s began working within the increasingly bureaucratized social environment, to use institutional structures as vehicles to support their culture-making 116 processes. In an effort to assert their cultural identities in the context of settlement life, Iglulingmiut deliberately engaged with categories of Inuit material culture that were part of the earliest colonial encounters. With the support of federal funding and the Inuit Cultural Institute, Inuit transformed themselves into a museum culture, as tools, clothing and lamps on this site were converted into artificial symbols of the Inuit ancestral past. In western cultures, the connection between museum practices and discourses of western science and nationalism is well recognized (Haraway 1984-85; Coombes 1988; Appadurai and Breckenridge 1992). This construction of a stone igloo museum space, however is not without its ironies in the Inuit context. Museums, permanent cement structures, and the valuation of material goods is extrinsic to this formerly semi-nomadic people. As the story of the igloo demonstrates, without outside funding, these ideational processes rapidly crumble. Inuit must then move on to find other mediums to ensure the sustainability of culture-making as an Iglulingmiut subsistence strategy. Documenting Inuit Relationships to the Land: the Inullariit Projects The exhibition space of the Igloolik Cultural Centre stone igloo and its display of Iglulingmiut material culture became a site on the local landscape that marked Inuit efforts to assert cultural and historic rights. Yet, as Inuit political organizations and associated land claim discussions developed in the 1970s and 1980s, the Inuit struggle to assert rights over their homelands became increasingly dependent on their ability to demonstrate a unique relationship to their environment. As a new generation of Inuit born and raised in the settlement was growing up, it became increasingly important for 117 Inuit to prove that their relationships with the land were still strong. Land had increasingly became a symbol of Inuit cultural identity; their relationship to it was what distinguished Inuit from Qallunaat. Inuit in Igloolik initially began this effort to document their relationship with their physical environment through a series of Inummariit serial publications called the "Inummariit Collection" which documented in print oral traditions important to life on the land. This series became part of an emerging Inuit written tradition (Gedalof 1980; McGrath 1984; Petrone 1988). Inuit elders at this time had begun a movement of appropriating western media to document their oral traditions on tape as well as on paper. A series of oral history projects was instituted by the Inuit Cultural Institute in Rankin Inlet. The most extensive of these oral history projects however began in Igloolik in the late 1980s. According to my fieldwork discussions with Iglulingmiut involved in this effort to document Inuit traditions, the impetus for the magnitude of oral history recording initiated in Igloolik came when Dutch anthropologist Wim Rasing arrived in Igloolik to conduct two fieldwork trips between 1987 and 1989. Rasing recorded extensive oral history interviews for his (PhD) study of changes to Iglulingmiut forms of social control (Rasing 1994). When Rasing departed from Igloolik, he left copies of his interview tapes in the settlement. The elders and interpreters with whom he had worked then carried on with these interviews independently and as a result formed a local elders group called the Inullariit Elders group. "We just kept doing interviews" said Louis Tapardjuk, the 118 Secretary of the Inullariit Society in 1997 and one of its original founders. In an effort to seek outside funding for their projects, the Inullariit Elders group, in collaboration with John MacDonald, director of the Nunavut Research Institute in Igloolik, incorporated themselves as a Society under the Northwest Territories Societies Act. Tapardjuk described this organizational move as follows: Because the community has so many tapes, and we were constantly interviewing the elders about specific topics, so I decided with John [MacDonald] that we would get them [the Inullariit Elders group] incorporated and then we could access funding from government agencies. Government agencies require an incorporated body for them to entertain a proposal for funding. So we threw in language enhancement projects and cultural enhancement projects. Unless Inullariit Society was incorporated, they couldn't really entertain our proposal from Inullariit because they were not an entity. We got them incorporated and started doing language enhancement projects and we started doing specific interviews on North Foxe Basin oral history. That was funded through Heritage Canada, Parks Canada. And then we did others, specifically on weather and stars and so forth. And that is how most of our projects got started (Fieldnotes 11/04/97). The Inullariit Society was incorporated in Igloolik on 7 December, 1993 and soon after began a comprehensive oral history project which numbered close to four hundred interviews at the time of my 1997 fieldwork. The oral histories document different aspects of Inuit life on the land. Topics in this collection range from life history interviews to documentation of traditional forms of social control, skin preparation and sewing, child-care, traditional dietary practices, astronomy and Inuit cosmology, land-navigation and hunting practices. A series of interviews with twenty-five principal families was used to create a composite kinship chart and another set of interviews was underway to document geographic data and Inuit place names when I was in Igloolik. Along with these and other projects, there were also a number of spin-off projects taking 119 place such as an effort to create an Inuktitut reference dictionary on dialects of the North Baffin region and a training program to promote Inuktitut literacy among Iglulingmiut youth. This training program workshopped oral history methods of collection and editing by using the Igloolik Oral History Collection as a source.72 For generations, storytelling and oral traditions has been integral to Inuit social life. The Inullariit Oral History Project has perpetuated the age old practice of oral histories, but in the context of contemporary settlement life. Territorial and federal government funding pay the elders to record their oral histories and fund the high costs of translating these oral histories into a format accessible to cultural outsiders. Almost all of the oral history interviews are conducted in Inuktitut. They are recorded on audio-tapes and transcribed in a word-processing program into both Inuktitut and English. These translations are then stored in a computer data-base which acts as an encyclopaedia of Inuit traditional knowledge. Key-word search programs allow quick-searches on various topics of interest. The originals are stored at the Igloolik Research Centre, but copies of the tapes and transcripts from these federally funded interviews are sent to the Prince of Wales Heritage Centre in Yellowknife where the Inullariit Oral History Collection is housed for use as a reference for non-Iglulingmiut scholars. Storytelling in this context is still basic to Inuit subsistence, but in their converted, English, electronic, and dispersed format, Iglulingmiut oral histories are gleaned and processed for a more commercialized distribution to national and international audiences. 7 2 Information on the various Inullariit programs and the budgets is drawn from my 1997 archival research with the Inullariit Society files (1993-1997). 120 Winter and Summer Survival and Land Skills Camps: Soon after this oral history project began, the Inullariit Elders Society began a series of summer survival and land skills programs. Like the transmission of oral histories, teaching young Inuit the skills of a land-based economy had always been essential to Inuit survival. In 1994, the Federal Government established a Community Wellness Initiative for aboriginal communities across Canada called "Brighter Futures."73 In their applications to federal funding agencies under this program, the Inullariit Society emphasized that the rejuvenation of proper relationships between Inuit and the land was necessary to community health. In their 1994 proposal, they declared: The loss of "land skills" means more today than not being able to function effectively while hunting, or being unable to prepare skins for clothing; it is a loss of cultural pride and dignity. Everywhere in Nunavut, there is ample evidence to attest to this fact. A well designed, well conducted, community supported program, as proposed here, would help young Inuit of Igloolik learn some skills and knowledge that made their ancestors successful; and hence develop cultural pride and positive image (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). Securing funding for land-skills camps finances Iglulingmiut attempts to encourage and reinstate to some degree their relationships with animals, with the land, and with each other. Such funding fosters a new form of survival befitting settlement life. The first land-skills camp began in August, 1994 with three consecutive camps set up in a region about 100 miles east of Igloolik. Six male and six female students over the age of fourteen were assigned to each four-day camp, under the tutelage of an older man 7 3 Brighter Futures (Child Development Initiative) is a Canada-wide program that was launched in 1994-95 and designed to assist First Nations and Inuit communities in developing community-based mental health and child development programs. 121 and woman. One was a marine mammal hunting camp, another was a caribou hunting camp, and the third was a combination of marine mammal and caribou hunting. These camps taught students the basics of survival on the land. Young women were instructed in scraping, stretching and preparing skins for mattresses and clothing as well as basic skin-sewing techniques. They learned how to collect and cook with moss and lichens that grow on the tundra in the summer as fuel. Young men were taught how to stalk game and how to butcher, prepare and preserve meat. They were taught the techniques of making skin ropes and bladder-floats (avvataq). Later in the season, an all-male winter survival camp was held where young men learned how to navigate the Igloolik region by land using trails, snowdrifts, sun, stars, maps, and landmarks. They also learned to navigate using modern navigational tools, such as Geographic Positioning Systems. These youth were taught techniques to make shelters such as igloos, trenches, snow caves, tunnels and makeshift tarp shelters. They learned how to test the thickness of ice, how to determine whether or not the ice was safe for trave, how to find seal breathing holes and how to use boats and rifles adhering to the proper safety measures. After the camps ended, the role of the Inuit elders and administrators in the land skills program became one of demonstrating to external funding agencies the role camps played in strengthening Inuit environmental knowledge. In a report from the August 1995 land skills camp submitted to Brighter Futures administrators in the Department of Health Canada, elder David Irngaut documented on tape the way he taught the students to stalk caribou: 122 One thing for certain they learned how to stalk a caribou properly. For instance, one time we went by foot to hunt caribou. So then we sighted a caribou, the caribou are evasive animals, they first started out by stalking it side by side which is not the proper way of doing it, but I was able to tell them step by step, they are good listeners. I know that they learned when the caribou have sighted us it is not proper for one to stoop low otherwise the caribou is going to flee away. I told them that they should just stand up and walk towards it, they learned this very quickly (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). In this same 1995 report, a woman elder, Josephine, spoke of her work with the young women at the hunting camp: When a caribou was caught, I showed them how to dry the skin, how to dress the ears, how when the edges are crimped that they cannot dry. I also showed them that by putting the skin out to dry in a certain way then they could be used for clothing purpose. Also the sinew thread, when they were butchering the caribou and the sinew was being removed, I showed them how the remove the meat properly after we had returned to the tent. I worked on the first sinew then I told them how to do it on their own so they learned that how to dry them properly (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). The reported success of both the Inullariit land skills and the oral histories projects incited a number of spin off projects. Funding was secured to run traditional skin-sewing workshops to teach young women how to prepare and sew caribou and seal skin clothing.74 There was an Inuktitut Language Week administered by the Inullariit each January during which time they attempted to bridge the widening linguistic gap between the Inuktitut of the elders and the Inuktitut of the youth in the community. 7 4 During my 1997 fieldwork, there were four elders in the settlement holding evening classes different nights of the week and nineteen women signed up for these courses. The skins were supplied by hunters from the animals caught during the land-skills camps. Caribou and seal-skin clothing from these camps were used to outfit future land-skills camp participants. Along with learning skin-sewing skills, these workshops also provided women with venues to meet in groups to discuss personal and community issues. 123 Workshops and phone-in local radio programs were part of this program, where Iglulingmiut deliberated over the interplay between "old and new" Inuktitut words and proper Inuktitut grammar.75 Language week coincided with the Qaggiq Celebration, modelled on a traditional celebration that marked the first return of the sun to the sky each January. Ceremonies celebrating Inuit culture were held in a large ceremonial igloo made specially for the event, with drum dancers, square dancers, a fashion show of traditional skin clothing, speeches and throat singers. The staging of cultural traditions at these ceremonies was aimed not only at Iglulingmiut but also at the outside communities, with Nunavut and national politicians invited to each year's Qaggiq celebration. Through the reported success and promotion of these activities in government proposals and in the popular press, Iglulingmiut are able to ensure that culture-making remains viable as an Inuit subsistence strategy in Igloolik. Inullariit Projects and the Strengthening of Social Relationships The various Inullariit projects I observed in 1997 were geared to the strengthening of traditional reciprocal relationships between humans, animals and the land that were 7 5 There is ongoing concern over the increasing entrenchment of English words in the Inuktitut vocabulary, such as: "Happy Birthday", "welcome home", "hamlet", , "mayor", "rubber", "pamper", "garbage", "okay", "darn", "juice", "butter", "bye-bye", "all-right" and "puppy" (Fieldnotes 22/04/97). In response to this, a recent effort is underway on the part of the Nunavut Territorial Government to create more Inuktitut words reflective of the modern world and to consolidate and standardize the Inuktitut language. In collaboration with two high-tech, Ottawa based, web-design companies, the Nunavut territorial government has created a website and an online dictionary, with translations of words such as "computer", "helicopter", and "e-mail", that work in Inuktitut, English and French (Cryderman 2000). 124 essential to the continuance of the Inuit hunting mode of subsistence. Priority for enrollment in these funded programs was given to students who were no longer in school or who had no adults to teach them. In the Inuit hunting culture, age grades into adulthood are measured by the first kil l of different animals. Hunting at these land-skills camps allowed young people to strengthen their relationships with each other and to mature in their relationships with nature. Madeline Ivalu, a woman elder explained this in a 1996 Inullariit report: The smallest one, the one who was youngest, he tried to be as capable as he could. It seemed like he could cry easily, since he lived with his grandmother. He did not cry at all and was happy most of the time, and would ask questions and he called me nukaksakuluk.16 He would not hesitate to ask questions. He became very lovable too. He wanted to catch a caribou, and since he did not get a caribou yet, he said, that his jacket only got bloody since he had been helping to carry caribou meat. He finally got a caribou when they were to be leaving the next day. It was such a joyful occasion! (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997) The bond that was reestablished between this young boy and woman elder described above was seen as crucial in the context of settlement life in Igloolik. A generation gap and increased polarization particularly between Inuit elders and youth had been a problem since the institution of schooling and the move into settlements. Young people were raised inundated by Qallunaat values and practices while many of their 7 6 This term translates roughly into "dear little, almost, younger sibling of the same gender" (Fieldnotes 22/04/97). The use of Inuit kinship terminology most likely had to do with the namesake (atiq) relationship between this young boy and the elder. Inuit children are given the names of recently deceased kin or community members and said to share in the soul (and thus in all the relations) of the person. The young man, by addressing the elder woman as his younger sibling during this land-skills sessions, was forging a connection with the past and calling up traditional ancestral relationship between he and the elder. 125 elders still adhered to an older, land-based moral code. During the late 1990s, when I did my fieldwork in Igloolik, the listlessness of Inuit youth was being blamed for a rash of teen suicides that had occurred during the previous two years. This alienation of Inuit youth was a popular topic of discussion across the Arctic in 1997. In Igloolik, this had been foreshadowed by an event that had occurred five years earlier. A number of young people were caught experimenting with a Ouija board game brought in from the south. This incident was still being discussed in 1997 as it had caused a great deal of concern about the spiritual well-being of the youth of the community. Ouija boards are board games with letters and a pointer that are said to summon spiritual forces to spell out answers to questions for the players. Between seven and twenty-five children (depending on the version of the story) participated and were possibly affected. It was said that the Ouija board had opened a passage to the underworld and invited dark spirits into the settlement. Stories of spirit sightings emerged from people of all ages. People saw shadowy forms and cats that weren't there.77 Nightly prayer sessions were held in the Anglican church. Television, rock music, the apathy of Inuit youth, as well as the youth/occult culture arriving from the south were among the things blamed for this predicament. Bonfires were built on the sea ice where young people were invited to burn their rock and roll CDs, heavy-metal t-shirts and other items considered Satanic. Elders phoned in to the community radio station and announced on the air to the affected youth that they were praying for them and trying to 7 7 There are few cats in the Arctic. Some Qallunaat bring their cats with them to the North, but because of the number of huskies in the settlement, they remain indoors. 126 block this passage to the underworld that they felt had been opened. Youth at that time were perceived as unstable. This event was still being discussed in the community five years later in 1997. Concern over the Ouija board brought to the forefront a wider feeling of unease about the infiltration of western values and a weakening of the authority of the elders in Igloolik.7 8 The elders felt that they had lost control over young people in these Qallunaat-modelled settlements. To the elders and to most Inuit however, the land remained the domain of Inuit values. Land-skills camps, igloo-building classes, traditional skin-sewing classes, and drum-dancing classes not only served to keep young people who are out of school (or without parents) busy, but also provided a venue where elders are able to re-establish their authority by grounding Inuit youth in the values of their Inuit culture. In a 1996 report, elder Arsene Ivalu described the lessons he taught at a land-skills camp: I would try and show them what to do, that was the way it went. Because of that, it seemed like they were becoming our own children. To learn the way of becoming an Inuk, that is the reasons they came to this area. I tried to advise them regarding that... The concept of helping each other seemed to make them more willing to do things. When they were here, it was a wonderful time. They were not lazy and would walk around looking for caribou.... The way they became, they were not lazy anymore. I was very happy about them (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). One of the first lessons taught to the young in the camps is that Inuit life on the land is difficult and that people are expected to share and to develop stable relationships. 7 8 Ironically, many of the "traditional" elders are ardent Christians. Christianity is an imported tradition that was introduced by Anglican and Roman Catholic Oblate missionaries in the 1920s and 1930s. The responses of elders to the Ouija Board incident could in certain lights be interpreted as concerns over a threat to Western orthodox Christianity and not to traditional Inuit beliefs. 127 Madeline Ivalu documented in that same report how she taught the young women in a land-skills camp important lessons about dealing with hardships and the importance of maintaining peace in a camp: So we moved in there, to the big tent. It was apparently very cold, very cold at night. We slept for only two nights and moved into our previous tent. I felt they learned more about moving around, since I moved around. The young girls who have come here, seemed like they were against each other in a way, not really. When they came for a meal, we got them together and told them that a woman's word spreads all around. I gave them a talk and told them that is has been like that since time immemorial. We tried to give them a talk about living well. I told them that this was the old way. When one woman says something at first, I told them that a woman's words can go very far. It can be heard all around, that is what I told them (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). Healthy relationships with each other and with the land were necessary for Inuit subsistence in the past. Through the land skills projects, this Inuit elder attempts to emphasize the power of these social relations in the present day. Learning how to keep good relations among women is a land skill analogous to learning how to hunt. I will expand on this theme in greater detail in Chapter 5 which addresses the lessons embedded in an Iglulingmiut grandmother's life history. This report about the land skills camp illustrates the importance of women's relations to Inuit survival today. Inullariit Projects and the Iglulingmiut Economy: The lessons taught by the Inullariit Elders Society about how to survive on the land, how to respect the land, how to obey the elders and how to treat each other with courtesy are lessons that the elders had learned from their own parents in camps. They are lessons that Iglulingmiut taught their children in the generations before the Inullariit 128 Elders Society was incorporated. Distinguishing contemporary Inullariit Elders Society lessons, however, from lessons in the past is their reliance on outside agencies for their operation. The Inullariit Society is a charitable organization. A l l of their programs are supported by endowments, small grants and/or technical support from such organizations as: the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories, the Nunasi Corporation, the GNWT (Department of Education, Culture, and Employment), the "Brighter Futures" Program, the Muttart Foundation of Edmonton Alberta, the Polar Shelf, as well as from local donations. Financial support is awarded to participants working in all facets of the community programs. This money is in turn used to provide for families and buy supplies, ammunition, gasoline for snowmobiles, to support contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting. Income from Inullariit projects contributes substantially to the contemporary Igloolik economy. According to Inullariit Society files for example, individual oral history projects oriented to topics such as kinship, traditional foods and place names had budgets between $12,000-$ 16,000. In 1997, elders were being paid honoraria of $30/hour for each interview. Translators were paid $15/hour to orally translate and $20/page to translate and type these interviews into the computer program. Inuit elders were being paid $10/page to transcribe audiotapes into Inuktitut syllabic transcripts. Similarly, a series of drum dancing workshops netted over $3,000 in funding for the manufacture of drums and the instruction of drum-dancing techniques. Skin-sewing projects were bringing in close to $7,000 each season. The Qaggiq Celebration was 129 receiving thousands of dollars each year for drum dancers, igloo-builders, traditional dancers and contributing elders. Land-skills programs and camps accounted for between $25,000 and $40,000 each year. Elders were being paid $175 to act as land-skills instructors and Inuit hunters were receiving rental fees and wages to transport supplies, students and the families of the elders in their Peterhead boats out to a summer caribou camps. Equipment such as freighter canoes, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, hunting gear and tents were being rented from hunters in town. Funding was being paid to administrators to draw up proposals, write reports and post web pages describing these various projects (Inullariit Elders Society files 1993-1997). The money brought into the settlement with Inullariit programs has become crucial to the survival of Igloolik's land based economy. Ironically, in the late 1990s when I was there, at the same time that older hunters were being paid to document their traditional land skills in oral history recordings and to teach "traditional" hunting practices of the past, a financial crisis among wildlife harvesters existed in Igloolik. Outfitting a hunter in Igloolik with the necessary snowmobile, rifles, ammunition, gasoline, canoes, boats and four-wheel all-terrain vehicles could cost tens of thousands of dollars. High unemployment, low incomes and the high cost of living in Igloolik were placing hunting equipment out of the reach of lower income Iglulingmiut families.79 A 7 9 The cost of living in Igloolik in 1990 was estimated as being 65.4% higher than in Montreal and food prices in 1991 were 74% higher than in Yellowknife (Baffin Regional Health Board 1994). During my fieldwork in Igloolik in 1997, food prices were more than double prices in Vancouver. This is due to the fact that many foodstuffs and other goods that do not arrive on the yearly sea-lift vessel have to be flown in from the south. A loaf of white bread cost over $2.50; a two-litre carton of milk was priced at close 130 hunter income support program, operated through the Nunavut land claim settlement, was instituted in 1997 as part of a government effort to serve the minimum cash flow needs of this subsistence economy. The Hunter Support Program was aimed at providing funding for snowmobiles or boats for full-time subsistence hunters, but, in 1997, funding was just starting to be received by applicants to this program. To live, hunting families who were waiting for their applications to be processed depended on wage labour or social assistance payments. Low wages prevented working wives or other contributing family members from establishing savings to buy hunting equipment.80 In 1997, young people in Igloolik were being recruited for various Nunavut government training programs offered at Arctic College in Igloolik and Iqaluit, but the few jobs available to Inuit were still in the service industry which paid low wages.81 Young people who for personal or family reasons could not leave the settlement to pursue higher education or better paying to $6; a cauliflower once cost me $8. 8 0 The average income (for ages fifteen and over) reported in 1996 in Igloolik was $17,049/year (as opposed to the national average of $25,196/year) (Statistics Canada Census 1996). In 1997, the Nunavut government organizations such as the Nunavut Implementation Planning Committee, and the Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated were in the process of developing political, economic, and social programs, land management regimes and training strategies, one of which was a decentralization plan, promising more jobs for small communities. But these plans had not yet affected the Iglulingmiut social and economic environment in 1997. 8 1 The main sources of employment were the Territorial Government, the Hamlet office, the two schools, the nursing station, the library, the R C M P station and the housing authority. Local businesses and institutions such as: Savik Enterprises, The Co-Op and Northern Stores, Tujormivik Hotel, Isuma Productions, Tarriaksuk Video Centre, the Hunters and Trappers Association, the Igloolik Research Centre and the local radio station also provided employment. 131 jobs had much invested in learning the proper skills and acquiring the proper equipment for a land-based economy. The paradox inherent in this cultural exchange is that in 1997, while increasingly marketing their traditions and promoting themselves as traditional hunters in the modern world system, Iglulingmiut were not actually able to procure the necessary funds for the young people to buy snowmobiles, guns and gasoline in order to hunt on the land. Funding through the Inullariit Society was available to young men to attend workshops on traditional navigation systems or on how to build shelters, drums or tools. Young women were similarly paid $15/hour to attend traditional sewing workshops. However this sporadic income was not enough to enable them to purchase the equipment and supplies they needed to practice these land skills and hunt for food on the land. The representations of their hunting practices, in this instance, had become more economically feasible than their actual hunting practices. Through the success of these various projects, the Iglulingmiut had successfully created a subsistence economy supported by the western iconic images of Inuit traditional culture. As the Inullariit program for community empowerment grew, Igloolik became increasingly recognized as the hub of cultural traditions in Nunavut. Various Nunavut government headquarters related to this effort were established in or moved to Igloolik, such as the Nunavut Social Development Council, the Inuit Heritage Trust and the Baffin Cultural Institute. The Nunavut government's Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth was designated for Igloolik. In 1997, seventy jobs and two hundred new people expected to move to Igloolik with this new government department (including 132 employees and their families). The national reputation of Igloolik as a source of traditional knowledge was magnified in January, 2000, when the Inullariit Society won the federal government's 1999 Northern Science Award. Until this time, the award had always been granted to individual researchers who were most often from the south and usually affiliated with southern universities. In presenting the award at ceremonies held in Ottawa, the Nunavut Member of Parliament highlighted the recognition and legitimacy the scientific award bestowed upon Inuit traditional knowledge, putting it on almost the same footing as Western scientific knowledge (Karetak-Lindell in McKibbon 2000:n.p.).82 President of the Inullariit Society and Iglulingmiut elder, Arsene Ivalu, flew to Ottawa for the ceremonies. He used this national forum to promote the mandate of the Inullariit Society, declaring "The culture is not being shown enough... The thing is it's not dying at all because we are going to make it continue," said Ivalu. (McKibbon 2000:n.p.). By appropriating western notions of salvage and cultural preservation and using them in his speech, Ivalu was drawing upon a history of colonial encounters with outsiders (and subsequent colonial guilt) in order to bring a message of hope to western scientists. The Inullariit, he pledged, act as a break to (what outsiders perceive as) Inuit cultural destruction. By travelling to Ottawa and engaging in this intercultural dialogue, Ivalu 8 2 Mark Nuttall writes about the irony that exists when advocates of indigenous knowledge who criticize science as a field of inquiry then assert indigenous traditions, values and knowledge as "science". This appropriation of a discourse of science, he describes as "part of the process through which indigenous peoples construct a rhetorical vocabulary to challenge the Western scientific perspectives they see as influencing their lives and placing an imposition on their rights to self-determination" (Nuttall 1998:89). 133 was rallying financial and political support for the Inullariit projects in order to ensure that his family and community would acquire the necessary financial support for the survival of their land based economy in the twenty-first century. Social Science Research at the End of the Twentieth Century As the previous section illustrates, thirty years after the Iglulingmiut had been powerless subjects for research undertaken by the International Biological Program Human Adaptability Project, they became recognized as exerting a measure of control over research in the settlement. Outside funding for traditional knowledge projects had become part of Iglulingmiut subsistence patterns. In the previous two chapters I document how environmental barriers kept early explorers and anthropologists from reaching Igloolik, thus distinguishing it as a remote and pristine place in western epistemologies. Franz Boas had, as his ultimate goal, to reach Igloolik but poor ice conditions and disease among the dogs confined him to the south Baffin region. Now, a century later, with regular air service to and from the settlement four times a week, Igloolik is more physically accessible to scientists. Contemporary anthropologists no longer navigate through blizzards, ice squalls, threatened with starvation and frostbite as did those in the days of Boas and Rasmussen, however, we do now face considerable boundaries to our research practices and find ourselves navigating through the often difficult social terrain in the changing political climate for research in the arctic. The past three decades a growing Inuit nationalism and the accompanying politicization and mercantilization of Inuit traditions has created a charged environment for social science 134 research. Anthropological practice now intersects with Inuit processes of culture-making that have been incorporated into community life and made into a new subsistence strategy by the Inuit. The previous pages have described elements of this subsistence strategy. I turn here to an outline of this new social climate for social science research in the north and in its effects on my own research practice. By describing elements of my own fieldwork methodology and practice in Igloolik in 1997, and in particular my incorporation into existing culture-making processes, I illustrate how these Iglulingmiut adaptations to social science have become in turn a rich ethnographic objects of analysis. The politicization of traditional knowledge and issues of intellectual property was becoming increasingly an issue both in academic circles and in the Arctic when I began my research in Igloolik in 1997. In academia over the past three decades an increased and formalized attention has been paid to the power, politics, and ethics of social science research and to the development of collaborative strategies in the field. Tensions in the Arctic regarding the role of social science were increasingly prevalent in the late 1990s and were brought poignantly to the forefront by Inuit leader Martha Flaherty during a 1994 address to the Association of Canadian Universities of Northern Studies, Fourth National Student Conference. Flaherty called into question the role, history and nature of scientific research in the Arctic. Arguing that there was a lack of Inuit participation in the "entire research process, from beginning to end", she declared that the "concept of 'freedom of expression'" could now be interpreted as a " 'freedom of exploitation' - the freedom [on the part of southern scientists] to exploit Inuit knowledge for one's own gain" (Flaherty 1995:179). Flaherty's words received wide coverage. They were 135 published in the Nunavut newspaper, the Nunatsiaq News, and were broadcast on community radio shows throughout the Arctic. When I arrived three years later talk was still prevalent about anthropologists building "million dollar careers on the backs of Inuit elders."83 The 1990s perception that Flaherty highlighted, of "exploitation" on the part of social science researchers, created a very different set of social and environmental constraints for anthropologists than those that existed in the days of Boas. 8 4 One current and authoritative series of constraints is bureaucratic. Before arriving in Igloolik, I was required first to have my detailed research plan approved by boards of the Igloolik Hamlet Council, the Nunavut Research Institute and the University of British Columbia Ethics Committee. Proposals were sent to all three organizations outlining my objectives, the methodology for my project, the proposed number of interviews and the honoraria to be paid. Another set of obstacles to my Arctic research was monetary. At the advice of the head of the Igloolik Research Institute, I based my honoraria payment on the $30/hour rate set by the Inullariit Society. The Hamlet Council of Igloolik approved my research 8 3 This exact phrase was used during a radio phone-in show when I was visiting Pond Inlet in 1997. There had been recent press coverage regarding issues of social science research in the north. Although it is possible, both my friend (who translated for me that statement from the radio-show) and I did not perceive the words from the caller that day as directed at me. I was in Pond Inlet as a "private citizen" at the time; I was not conducting any research. And I had no previous relationships with the caller. 8 4 1 use the term environment here to include encompassing social relations (including those with outsiders) that make up the social environment of the Inuit. 136 three weeks later but the Nunavut Research Institute, after sending my application to three Inuit organizations for review denied my license. An Inuit politician on the review board had declared that the honoraria were too low, that my research topic (the study of how traditional knowledge projects were taking place) was too broad and that my choice of communities too narrow. After several phone calls and letters (I outlined in detail my previous research experience in Pond Inlet, Igloolik's approval of my research topic, and my reasons for setting honoraria at the Inullariit rate), the politician endorsed my research and the Nunavut Research Institute granted my license. Licensing problems overcome, I spent the first month in Igloolik accustoming myself to the rhythm of the community. I began doing archival research in the Inullariit Society files, and becoming acquainted with the people running the various traditional knowledge projects in town. Jens Dahl, in his ethnography of the remote Greenlandic community of Saqqaq, describes the difficulty of arriving as a foreigner in small Greenlandic settlements that are already "woven into a network of kin relations." He states how "the feeling of loneliness and of being at a loss in such a situation is known not only by Danes, but by all foreigners" as "outsiders have lived in the settlement for years without ever really becoming part of the community" (Dahl 2000:39). During my previous fieldwork trips in Pond Inlet, I had become acquainted with such dynamics. However, I thought myself fortunate during my first few weeks in Igloolik because I knew two women my own age who had lived in Pond Inlet in the summers of 1991 and 1992 when I was there. We had been in our early twenties then and had played softball and attended teen-dances and parties in the community together. Also we had 137 corresponded occasionally for the few years after my stay in the settlement. Upon my arrival in Igloolik, we became reacquainted. During my time in Igloolik, they both invited me to their homes for parties, or took me along with them to bingos, to various community events and to teen dances. Once I had familiarized myself with the settlement, I engaged myself as much as I could in the social life of the community. I taught as a substitute teacher at the junior high and high school and through this met some of the young people and teachers. I volunteered for the Isuma Film Corporation and was involved with different Isuma, Inullariit'and school projects that were oriented to preserving Inuit traditions. I went to igloo-building classes and also to caribou skin-preparation and sewing workshops. I attended Inullariit Elders Society seminars where young men were learning how to meld Geographical Positioning Systems technology with traditional Inuit navigational knowledge about wind directions and snow formations. I attended a workshop for Inuit social workers exploring traditional forms of managing family relations. I helped with a feast given for Inuit elders flown in from Pangnirtung to learn from the Inullariit Society how to launch their own elders society and traditional knowledge programs. M y understanding of the events I attended was, of course, hampered by my limited knowledge of Inuktitut, but some of the participants spoke English and important elements were often translated and explained to me in the hours and days following the events.85 8 5 Although I was introduced to Inuktitut words and phrases during my 1991-1993 oral history work in Pond Inlet, my formal language training in Inuktitut (in the 138 I held a number of initial interviews with English speaking people involved in these projects. These were held in a number of different locations. I met with people for formal interviews at the Igloolik Research Centre, at my bunkhouse, or in living rooms and kitchens.86 I also conversed with people at the Northern Store, at the coffee shop, during feasts, meetings, square dances, teen dances, bingos,'sewing workshops, igloo-building classes, community hockey games, at private parties and in homes while watching television.87 As the Inullariit elders became accustomed to seeing me around, it was suggested on a few occasions that I engage in an oral history project similar to that of Wim Rasing (1994). Rasing, as part of his PhD research in the settlement ten years earlier had engaged in an extensive, seven-month oral history project documenting traditional forms of social control. Yet, Igloolik's research environment in the 1997 dictated that large scale oral history projects necessitated substantial government grants. Iglulingmiut participation in research projects had become a way in which people could buy food, household items and hunting supplies. My relatively small student budget form of Beginning and Intermediate Inuktitut classes at Arctic College in Iqaluit) took place between my two fieldwork trips, in May and October, 1997. 8 6 The Igloolik Research Centre is a prominent round fibreglass building in town. Opened by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in 1975, it holds laboratories, a library, offices, and equipment to facilitate scientific research in the settlement. The adjacent bunk-house is where I resided. 8 7 1 continued my fieldwork documenting the ways in which people were defining categories of tradition after I left Igloolik and began five weeks of Inuktitut training in Iqaluit. There conversations about Inuit traditions in this administrative centre took place in class, while riding in cabs, or while socializing at Coffee Shop, the Legion or the (Tulugaq) Bar (popularly known as the Zoo). 139 combined with the high cost of living in Igloolik, the cost of interpreters as well as honoraria expenses circumscribed the types of research in which I could become involved. I had only enough money to pay people for a limited number of interviews.88 This abbreviated number of formal oral history interviews was nonetheless sufficient for my own research objectives. I had previously collected extensive oral histories in Pond Inlet and my objectives from the outset had been to examine the process through which contemporary Inuit were discussing and interpreting traditions in local communities, rather than partake in the actual recording.89 I had a limited fund set aside for interviews with some of the elders directly involved in traditional knowledge projects. After I had spent approximately a month in town, and after I had inquired as to the various current programs in town, I began looking for an interpreter to allow me to 8 8 Elders in Igloolik were paid $30/hour for each interview. Interpreters were hired at $15/hour for the interview itself and then received additional wages for the verbatim translation of the tapes. In contrast to early anthropologists who, like Inuit, depended on land food, contemporary researchers most often purchase food from the Northern Store and pay $35-$40/day to stay at the Igloolik Research Centre bunk-house. Northern Science foundations such as the Northern Scientific Training Program and the Canadian Circumpolar Institute as well as my Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant provided me with funding to pay for my living costs and honoraria, but the money did not cover a stay of more than five months in the Arctic. 8 9 While a different discourse on traditions could certainly be recorded on the land, my anthropological research has for the most part been based within the boundaries of Inuit settlements. Male anthropologists can often accompany hunters on hunting trips by offering to pay for gasoline and some of the supplies. Social relationships in Inuit communities, however, are often divided along gender lines and my understanding was that a woman anthropologist inviting herself along on all-male hunting trips would be considered inappropriate. Thus, besides occasions in Pond Inlet when women invited me out on the land with their families, many of my formal and most of my informal discussions of Inuit traditions have been held in women's circles in town. 140 conduct interviews with certain Inullariit elders. My research experience in Pond Inlet, and my work there with six separate interpreters for three different projects had made me appreciate the crucial role interpreters play in all elements and at all stages, of Arctic anthropological research endeavours. In the introduction to both my previous oral history works I discuss the challenge of finding interpreters who are comfortable in the interview settings and who have strong command of both English and of the type of Inuktitut spoken by the elders (Wachowich 1997, 1999). Most professional Inuktitut translators are from the middle generation (35-50 years old) who spent part of their early lives speaking Inuktitut on the land and then were educated in English schools. These women and men are often balancing school or government work positions with family obligations and are not available for work on small projects. I consulted one of the administrators of the traditional knowledge projects and was immediately put in contact with a twenty-three year-old young mother in town. A lively and kind person, she had been an active youth in community affairs while she was at school and had participated in the Baffin Regional Traditional Games. Her boyfriend was unemployed that spring as he waited for the approval of his request under the hunter-support program to get a new snowmobile in order that he could begin hunting. They were short on cash. When I was told that she was expecting my call, I immediately recognized her name. She lived up the hill from the bunk-house where I was staying and was the daughter of a woman who had died of stomach cancer a month earlier. The death of her middle-aged mother had been slow and painful and the community was still reeling from the loss of this vital community member. People in Igloolik, and in particular this 141 young woman's extended family, wanted to make ensure that the 23-year old daughter of this woman was cared for. They wanted to find her employment that would get her out visiting in the community, provide her with some spending money and help her learn a new trade as an interpreter. Although the $700 funding that I had for an interpreter was certainly not enough for me to contribute in any appreciable manner to economic relations in Igloolik or to the subsistence of this small family, after my first few meetings with this young woman I realized that my role as anthropologist/researcher in Igloolik existed in some respects as peripheral to the economic realm. The ways in which Iglulingmiut administrators set me up with this interpreter was not unfamiliar to me. When I first spent three months in Pond Inlet in the summer 1991,1 was twenty-three years old and worked with an interpreter close to my own age. She was a popular girl in town who had just come back from a five-week drug and alcohol treatment centre in Toronto. When we met to talk about my project, she told me that people in Pond Inlet had decided that hanging out with me and talking with elders about life in the past would be a good way to keep her busy and re-establish her ties with the elders in town. This proved to be good fortune to me and for my research for I was new in town and she introduced me to her friends, and took me along with her on walks, visiting elders and family members, and going to community events. I learned about the roles and obligations that were part of young women's lives in this Inuit community. At the same time the community was caring for a young member by keeping her busy and setting her up with a part-time job. In Igloolik, as in Pond Inlet six years previously, my relationship with my 142 interpreter took on a similarly pleasant and casual tone as we became companions. My interpreter was an insightful woman and interested in my topic. We held many informal discussions concerning the meaning of traditions for young Iglulingmiut. For the most part, we chose to interview elders with whom she was most comfortable, and often these sessions began with them speaking to her (in Inuktitut) about her family and the raising of her infant and toddler sons. Yet when I brought out my consent forms and my list of questions, the tone of these interchanges often changed as casual conversations shifted to brief and constrained question/answer periods. The shuffling of forms and written lists, the sounds of the tape recorder running, and the stilted process of translating the words of elders into English brought into these meetings the role that social science has played in the colonial history of the region (described in the previous chapters) as well as my identity as an anthropologist acting in this tradition. Tape recorders and consent forms worked to transform conversations and cultural knowledge into a commodity. In this process, interviews thus often became fundamentally about me passing on the allotted sum of money (that I had received as part of my government grants allotted specifically for honoraria) to the elders in the community in exchange for signed (University of British Columbia ethical) consent forms. As an anthropologist, I was a conduit to another form of funding for elders outside that provided by the Inullariit Society. A few times I remember putting the $30 cash on the table after a very brief interview and many of us in the room smiling, as they signed their consent sheet, at what I perceived to be a shared understanding of the essentially economic nature of this exchange. These encounters did not frustrate me, for the objective of this fieldwork research 143 lay not in the collection of data from the elders regarding the ways of the past, but instead lay in the ways in which Inuit were engaged in a process of culture-making in the contemporary settlement. The different ways in which I was incorporated into the community dynamics - how I was used to get this young interpreter out of the house and to funnel government research funding to her and to her elders - were integral to my research. M y interest was not so much in tradition per se as it was in processes of cultural translation. The interesting elements for me often came after the interview when the interpreter and I discussed the project more informally. Often on the walk home she told me in more detail what the elders had been saying to her privately in Inuktitut about her children and family and about her job working with me. Our exchanges once the tape recorder was put away were often more informative and valuable than the taped interviews. An incident that I touched on briefly in my introduction to this dissertation explains this clearly. The interpreter and I were at an elder's house one afternoon speaking to a woman who was involved in various Inullariit projects. Our discussion was cumbersome; our words were being translated somewhat disjointedly and therefore we were having trouble following each other. Our conversation had begun to wane. None of us was bothered by this;;we all smiled and sat for awhile in silence eating bannock. This woman's husband brought a shank of igunaq (aged walrus meat) into the room. There was a charter plane leaving for Pond Inlet that evening and he began wrapping the strong smelling meat in layers of newspapers and plastic bags to send to his relatives in Pond Inlet. Many of the elders in Pond Inlet had grown up in camps and travelled around the 144 Igloolik region until their move into settlements in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Pond Inlet was far from the walrus herds and elders who now lived there missed the taste of aged walrus. Our conversation shifted to the complexities of aging meat properly and its similarity in certain respects to blue-cheese eaten by Qallunaat. I left the tape recorder where it was, in the bottom of my bag with the power off as we talked about the depth and type of sod needed, the amount of time it took to age meat and the different types of igunaq. The grandmother we were interviewing got up to help her husband find string to tie the wrapped parcels. The interpreter and I took this as our cue to leave and as we left I left the $30 on the table. As we were tying our shoes, the old man looked at the money and said quite emphatically "you should get some government money and come back up here to interview us about aging meat. We need to preserve that tradition." I nodded to him, said "I wil l see what I can do," and we all laughed. To this man, formal interviews were an industry and I was an intercessor. M y anthropological fieldwork in Igloolik illustrated to me firsthand the ways in which Iglulingmiut have incorporated their relationships with social science researchers into their subsistence activities. Like Boas and Rasmussen before me, my primary role as a ethnographer in Igloolik was to provide economic resources in exchange for information. But in the changing social climate of research in the arctic, the politicization and mercantilization of traditional knowledge has created unprecedented boundaries for arctic anthropological research. What emerged most prominently from my research were the many ways in which Iglulingmiut have appropriated western technology and forged relationships with 145 outsiders in a manner that exemplifies traditional ways of acting in new scenarios. In the winter of 1997,1 was at a teen-dance one night in Igloolik with a group of women when a fight broke out between two younger girls who had been drinking. Igloolik is an "alcohol controlled" community. People must obtain, licenses from the Alcohol and Drug Committee to purchase alcohol (at four-times the price of liquor in the south). There are strict rules against attending community events intoxicated. The fight between the girls was mostly pushing and shoving but the music immediately stopped. The lights were turned on and the hall immediately cleared. People avoided looking at the women as they fought. The dance (which is the highlight of the week for many young people) had just started, but immediately we all put on our parkas, boots, hats, and mittens and walked home in silence to one of the women's living rooms where we began to play Scrabble. The fight was barely mentioned between us that night, but the next day the radio heralded the news and subsequent discussion of the incident. As evident in the Inullariit Oral History Collection, and anthropological and published oral histories from the region (Rasing 1994; Awa in Wachowich 1999:134-135), arguments between people were considered dangerous and disruptive of the social order. In the past, people would have gathered together to hold a public forum and to discuss the fight between the two women. In 1997, the same type of forum took place, but the community radio was the medium. Like the radio, I, as a practising anthropologist in Igloolik, actively became part of the technology being appropriated and incorporated into Iglulingmiut subsistence strategies. I was perceived first and foremost as a potential source of income for the Iglulingmiut economy. As time went on, however, I was also implicated in the fostering 146 of social relations. M y research was a catalyst to get a young woman out visiting her elders. M y exchange with the hunter about procuring funding for a oral histories project on aged walrus meat illustrates how, in the end, I was also envisioned as a medium to aid in the forging of profitable relations with external funding agencies that the Inullariit Society had not yet tapped. Conclusion: In this chapter, I have attempted to illustrate a process through which Iglulingmiut, through their collaboration with government institutions and researchers, have created an industry from the outside interest in Inuit traditions. Igloolik has evolved as a contact zone where Iglulingmiut and outsiders have increasingly come together to record, define, salvage, preserve, and discuss Inuit traditions. First through the 1970s Inummariit Society, and then through the 1990s Inullariit Society, Iglulingmiut have diligently forged a reputation for themselves within Nunavut, within Canada, and internationally as a "traditional place". The elements of Inuit life that the Inullariit Elders Society are funded to preserve through their various projects - sled dogs, igloos, oral traditions, hunting/land skills, and maintaining relationships with ethnographers - were all part of the subsistence economy of the past. Complex and convoluted ideational processes that have emerged in the past thirty years in Igloolik have imparted these practices and material items with new and politically charged meanings as they have been transformed into powerful symbols of the Inuit past. Dogs, once used for transport and (in times of desperation) food, now bring 147 hundreds of dollars to a poverty-stricken widow in Igloolik, who sells her dogs in order that they be sent to Ottawa, euthanised, stuffed, and then shipped back to the Arctic to be displayed in a tourist centre in Pond Inlet. Similarly, aged walrus meat (igunaq) takes on a different value and satisfies different appetites when it attracts research money from the south. Inuit traditions, like dogs and igunaq, have been transformed in different and often paradoxical ways to become part of a new Iglulingmiut subsistence economy that is reflective of the contemporary global world and dependent on cash. Within this process, everyday subsistence activities and the natural transmission of cultural knowledge have become translated as "workshops"and "projects" and groups of Iglulingmiut become "Institutions", "Societies" and "Boards." By incorporating bureaucratic discourse and western epistemologies of tradition to foster relationships with outside funding agencies, with scientists, with journalists, with film-makers, with curators, and with anthropologists, Iglulingmiut have adapted their subsistence economy to the new social environment of settlement life. While doing so, Iglulingmiut have worked to empower themselves both at the community level and in their relationships with the outside world. 148 Chapter 4: Subsistence Filming: Videography and Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation Like Inullariit community projects that document and preserve traditional knowledge - described in the previous chapter - video is another form of cultural production used by Iglulingmiut to ensure subsistence hunting in a modern context. In this chapter, I describe their use of video based on observations, interviews and informal discussions that I had with Igloolik Isuma Film producers during my 1997 fieldwork in Igloolik, as well as my review and analysis of a substantial portion of their video-work.90 Drawing on scenes from two episodes of their thirteen-part Nunavut television series, I argue that film images and the film-making methods are another way in which Iglulingmiut have adapted to the contemporary colonial encounter and the socio-economic environment of the north by engaging in a process of culture-making. Scholars writing on the appropriation and use of video-technology by indigenous peoples (Worth and Adair 1972; Turner 1991a, 1991b, 1992; Ginsberg 1994, 1995) and arctic peoples, (Fienup-Riordan 1995; Evans 1999 ) note that videography has become a tool for contemporary mediations of cultural identities. Video-making is being used by local peoples around the world as part of broader efforts to transform local conditions in communities and strengthen their international positions. This chapter will build on this scholarship by illustrating how film-making serves as a form of social action in Igloolik, specifically through its ability to reinforce relationships among Inuit, to prescribe Inuit Isuma (translates roughly into wisdom, or thinking for oneself). 149 relations with animals, and to reproduce relationships between Iglulingmiut and southerners. Videos that document "real life" and recreate scenes from the past act as rich auto-ethnographies of Iglulingmiut history while at the same time documenting important social processes taking place in the cultural present. Through its social as well as economic functions (as a source of income in the community), video-work serves as a viable subsistence strategy used to ensure the cultural survival of the Iglulingmiut. Arctic peoples are well-known subjects of ethnographic film. "The Eskimo theme is a 'classic'," writes Ann Fienup-Riordan: "Miles of film depicting Eskimo life are in cold storage in film archives all over the world"(Fienup-Riordan 1995:XI). From the earliest travelogues produced at the turn of the century during Arctic expeditions (Fienup-Riordan 1995:35-47) to Nanook of the North, the first feature length classic in the ethnographic film tradition (Flaherty 1922; Ruby 1980:67-73; Barsam 1988; Rony 1996:99-126; Grace 1996 ), to Balikci's recreation of life in a Netsilingmiut camp (British Broadcasting Corporation and the National Film Board of Canada 1971; Balikci 1989; Fienup-Riordan 1995:151-153), the Inuit have been repeatedly portrayed as heroically eking out their existence pitted against a harsh Arctic environment. Alongside the appeal of these romantic representations and the sheer abundance of this southern "generation of images" (Fienup-Riordanl995:XI), Inuit have recently gained recognition for the use they themselves have made of this medium to communicate and translate cultural knowledge for current social and political ends. Ethnographic film-making is part of a broader process of Inuit adaptation to a world system that has been inundated with western imagery of Arctic peoples. The evolution of Igloolik Isuma Productions, 150 the only Inuit-owned professional independent film production company in Canada, illustrates this process. Igloolik Isuma Productions was founded in 1988 by independent video-artist Zacharias Kunuk, along with fellow Iglulingmiut Paul Apak Angilirq, Pauloosie Qulitalik and transplanted southerner Norman Cohn. 9 1 In 1990 Isuma was incorporated. In 1991 the Tariagsuk Video Centre (the Women's Video Workshop also named Arnait Ikkajurtigiit, which means "women helping each other"), was established as a non-profit sister organization to Isuma, oriented to teaching women the basics of video-production through small video-projects and workshops.92 In 1995 Isuma constructed a building in the centre of town on the site of the old Igloolik Cultural Centre stone igloo to house Isuma and Tariagsuk offices and studios. From this site, Isuma filmmakers have produced televisions shows, documentaries, commercials, video film clips, video archives of traditional skills and animation work. The sheer volume and success of these endeavours has earned them acclaim outside the settlement. Productions of Isuma and 9 1 Cohn, a well-known video artist originally from New York, met Kunuk in 1985 during a two-week IBC video-techniques workshop he conducted in Iqaluit. In 1988 he moved to Igloolik and began making videos in collaboration with Kunuk and organizing the outside promotion of their works. 9 2 Tariagsuk's mandate is to document women's knowledge and at the same time create part time employment.and training for women as video animators, interviewers, interviewees, cultural experts, camera operators, technicians, secretaries and translators. Their work includes: Qulliq (1992) an 11 minute re-enactment of the ritual of lighting women's seal oil lamps; "Ataguttaaluk Starvation" (1992), a story of an incident of starvation in the Igloolik region; Women/Health/Body (1992) which documented interviews with women midwives, healers, elders and shamans; and, Itivimiut (1993) and video documentation of a land route between Igloolik and Pond Inlet. 151 Tariagsuk, for example, have been described in numerous newspaper and magazine articles (Berger 1996; Cousineau 1996; Fleming 1996a,b); they have been exhibited in a recent Ontario museum exhibition on Igloolik video art (Gopnik 2000); and their connection to folklore, politics and art have been analyzed in a recent PhD. dissertation on film-making in Igloolik (Evans 1999).93 Their collection of films is extensive, thus for the purpose of this chapter I will restrict my analysis to the work of one film-maker, director Zacharias Kunuk, and specifically to his Nunavut Series. M y focus is on how Kunuk's work both represents and subsidizes contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting. After reviewing all thirteen episodes of the Nunavut Series, I chose two episodes that illustrate the approach that indigenous video makers take - distinct from approaches taken in the south - to documenting Inuit cultural knowledge. Intended for Iglulingmiut as much as for outside audiences, Isuma's video work demonstrate how Inuit have appropriated western media technology to ensure survival of their culture, subsistence and historical consciousness. It serves as an important form of social action in Igloolik. Before considering the relationship between video and culture-making in more detail, I will review Inuit and Iglulingmiut involvement with film media. 9 3 Evans focuses his analysis on the three production groups in town: Isuma, Tariagsuk, and the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. He argues that divergent political aspirations of the three groups (and individual film-makers within each group) act as filters for the way in which Inuit life in depicted in their video narratives. Iglulingmiut video is presented in this dissertation as a multivocal process of cultural negotiation. 152 The History of Inuit Video-making: the Inukshuk Project, Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and Isuma The development of low cost, portable video-technology during the late 1970s and the 1980s was crucial to the evolution of video-making in indigenous communities worldwide. An oft-told tale is that of Zacharias Kunuk, an Iglulingmiut artist and carver in the 1980s, who produced several carvings and flew to Montreal where he sold them for cash to purchase a videocamera, a V C R and a television set. The clerk taught him how to operate the equipment and he returned to Igloolik and began producing videos of his family's activities and of events in the settlement. This story of the birth of independent video in Igloolik has a popular appeal, for Kunuk's swapping of artistic media represents the power that video-technology was beginning to have in the early 1980s as well as the Inuit ability to deploy different technologies to adapt to their changing socio-political environment. Zacharias Kunuk's appropriation of video-technology as his new artistic medium coincided with similar film-making endeavours taking place in other parts of the world. In the 1970s and 1980s, ethnographic filmmakers around the world began developing "collaborative and/or highly reflexive film projects that subverted the purely observational style that had initially characterized the field" (Ginsberg 1995:67). As early as the 1966, ethnographic film-makers Sol Worth and John Adair began exploring the ways in which differing cultural traditions and worldviews of Navajo youth could affect processes of filmmaking and the content of the films produced. Worth and Adair brought film equipment to a Navajo community and taught filmmaking methods to a 153 group of young people in an effort to examine how cultural differences emerged in the narratives styles, content, editing and sequencing of film events (Worth and Adair 1972). Another, more northerly, experiment in indigenous media was the Sky River Project made in Western Alaska in which short films were recorded in the Yup'ik language with minimal editing of the footage (Fienup-Riordan 1995:163-4). Film media developed in indigenous communities as a vehicle for social change and political recognition. As anthropologist and ethnographic film critic Faye Ginsberg writes, indigenous projects such as these subverted the traditional ways in which films of indigenous peoples were made; they challenged the "classic paradigm of ethnographic film of 'us' always filming 'them"'(l 995:67). The Inuit effort to engage video-technology dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. Chapter 3 describes the social changes taking place in the Arctic in the 1970s and the Iglulingmiut effort to assert a level of political control in the context of settlement life. In 1972, just as the last Inuit families were moving in from the land to live year round in the settlements, the First Anik-A satellite was launched; and southern radio and CBC television began broadcasting signals into seventeen northern communities. The advent of television to the Arctic brought with it an associated concern for politicians and academics over its power as "an instrument for slow assimilation" and "cultural ethnocide" (Graburn 1982:7). In 1975, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada launched a communications program to ensure a measure of Inuit control over the content and the quantity of television in the north. In 1982, Rosemary Kuptana, President of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, in a statement to the Canadian Radio-Television and 154 Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), outlined the Inuit apprehensions about this southern medium that had been an influence in the North since its first broadcast off the Anik A satellite: We might liken the onslaught of southern television and the absence of native television to the neutron bomb. This is the bomb that kills the people but leaves the buildings standing. Neutron bomb television is the kind of television that destroys the soul of a people but leaves the shell of a people walking around. This is television in which the traditions, the skills, the culture, the language count for nothing. The pressure, especially on our children, to join the invading culture and language and leave behind a language and culture that count for nothing is explosively powerful (Kuptana 1982 in Brisebois 1983:107). One line of Inuit resistance to southern programming was to block it. In Igloolik, for example, residents voted first in 1973 and then again in 1978 to ban television from the settlement. However, many Inuit young people, like Zacharias Kunuk, felt that by learning how to operate this technology themselves, they could ensure appropriate Inuktitut language and culture programming and implement television media for the advancement of their own cultural goals. In response to intense lobbying by Inuit organizations, which took place throughout the 1970s, the Canadian government funded a series of trial access programs (launched off the second satellite, Anik B) to introduce video technology to Inuit in local communities. One of these was the 1.9 million dollar Inukshuk Project, which ran between 1978 and 1981 in six centres: Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Baker Lake, Eskimo Point, Pond Inlet and Igloolik. Two years of preparation went into the Inukshuk Project. Studio and production centres were established in each community, providing employment and training in film and video production for twenty-two Inuit. Eight months (16.5 hours a week) of programs were broadcast to homes 155 across the Eastern Arctic as part of the Inukshuk project. Igloolik, which still had a ban on television in 1980-81, was the only community that did not rebroadcast the signal to individual homes; Igloolik's hamlet board chose instead to install video screens, provided by the project administration, in the hamlet office, the adult education building and the school gym. The Inukshuk system aired a mix of teleconferencing, live and pre-taped broadcast programming. Ethnographic films and documentaries were also part of the pre-taped broadcast, including the BBC/NFB produced People of the Seal (1971) and an Inuktitut-dubbed version of Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North (Valaskakis 1982:129). The success of the Inukshuk Project and further lobbying on the part of ITC led to the 1981 establishment of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC). In 1983-84 Igloolik voted to allow television into the community. The mandate of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation was to ensure a level of Inuit control over the visual images broadcast in the north. In an Inuit-produced documentary describing the history of Inuit broadcasting, Starting Fire with Gunpowder, one Inuk compares her people's appropriation of southern media technology to adaptations made by her ancestors more than an century ago when they appropriated an equally volatile and potentially harmful southern substance, and changed its uses to work to the benefit for their subsistence system: Gunpowder - my people used it to start fire, to light their seal oil lamps. Of course today we use matches. Like gunpowder, TV can be a great destroyer. But we have turned it to our advantage. Inuktitut televison is saving our language and preserving our culture. (Meekitjuk-Hansen in Poisey 1991). Zacharias Kunuk was earning an living as a full-time carver and hunter during the Inukshuk project. In 1982, the year after he swapped his carvings for a video camera in 156 Montreal, IBC opened their Igloolik production company. Kunuk began working for them, first as a producer and then as executive producer, producing current affairs news shows and a limited number of documentaries. As his career as a video-maker advanced, however, he gradually grew disillusioned with what he perceived as the persistence of southern bureaucratic and management structures at IBC. IBC was largely based in Ottawa and controlled by the federal government and despite IBC's effort to produce culturally appropriate programming in Inuktitut, Kunuk felt that southern frameworks continued to impact upon the video-work being produced at and broadcast by IBC. He began producing independent videos. His first two independent productions were completed while he was still working at IBC. In 1986, Kunuk was awarded a small Canada Council grant to produce an independent short film. From an Inuk Point of View exhibited film clips from contemporary daily life in this hunting community of Igloolik. Two years later, in 1988-89, he founded Isuma with Paul Apak, Pauloosie Qulitalik and Norman Cohn. In association with the latter (whom he met in March 1985 at a video-workshop in Iqaluit) Kunuk produced a one-hour feature film, Qaggiq (Gathering Place). Qaggiq was the first of a trilogy of films portraying life on the land in the 1940s. It told the story of a number of families coming together to build a ceremonial igloo on the winter sea ice and to arrange the marriage of their children. The film was in Inuktitut with English subtitles. Qaggiq was shown at international film festivals and awarded the Prix de la Recherche Ethnologique by the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris 1990) as well as the Best Drama Award by the National Aboriginal Communications Society 157 (Whitehorse, Yukon,.1989). Ironically these prizes celebrated Qaggiq's, success as both fact and as fiction. Qaggiq's acclaim in international film circles assured Isuma a more consistent source of funding from government and arts councils. Kunuk resigned from IBC in 1990 to work full time at Igloolik Isuma Productions. He discussed this resignation in a magazine article: We were proud to get into television. The IBC was important to us. But it was only a name; it was not the same underneath. So we went our way (Kunuk in Evans 2000:15). Kunuk and Cohn immediately began work on a second film of the Qaggiq trilogy, Nunaqpa (Going Inland, 1991), that depicted a migration inland from the sea ice to summer caribou hunting camps and a third film, Saputi (Fish Traps, 1993), that recreated an abandoned fishing method using stone weirs. Qaggiq, Nunaqpa, and Saputi firmly provided Isuma a solid place within the independent video and art world, winning them a number of international awards. By 1995, these films were being shown in more than twelve countries, and had been added to the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Musee d'art moderne in Paris, and Museum of Northern Peoples in Hokkaido, Japan. In 1994, Kunuk and Cohn won the Bell Canada Award for Outstanding Achievement in Video Art. The $10,000 Bell Canada purse, combined with a grant from Telefilm Canada, funded the production of 13 half-hour television programs entitled Nunavut (Our Land). This series continued from the earlier trilogy, recreating traditional life on the land in 1945 as it would have been for five Iglulingmiut families just before implementation of northern development policies and the creation of permanent 158 settlements in the Arctic. Each half-hour episode of the Nunavut Series re-enacts a different event or activity from life in 1945. They featured such activities as driving dog-teams, building stone houses, constructing sod houses, igloos and ice porches, carving harpoons, and various methods of hunting seals, walrus, bear and caribou, and of fishing. Episodes from Nunavut (Our Land) were selected for the Sundance and New York Film Festivals; they were showcased as one of Canada's best shows of the year at INPUT '95 in Spain; and they were featured in all-day screenings at New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Art Gallery of Ontario.94 Isuma's success in national and international film circles secured for them a more steady source of funding and joined Isuma's work to the wide body of film images teaching others about Inuit culture and history on television, in galleries, at film festivals, and theatres. However, as film critics argue, ethnographic films made by cultural insiders offer a different and often more complex view of culture than those traditionally made by outside film-makers. Their objectives, the subject matter, and their film making processes not only articulate a different historical consciousness but also represent contemporary processes of culture making. Terence Turner asserts that "indigenous cultural self-documentation tends to focus not on the retrieval of an idealized vision of pre-contact culture but on 'processes of identity construction' in the cultural present" 9 4 Other Isuma films have been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Margaret Mead Festival, Smithsonian Institution, Cambridge University's Scott Polar Institute and the Museum of Northern Peoples in Hokkaido, Japan. They have also been shown at film festivals in New York, Paris, Budapest, Lima, Copenhagen and Taiwan. Two Toronto distribution companies market the programs to television stations and video-users worldwide. 159 (1992:7). Isuma productions illustrate for outsiders contemporary Inuit representations of their cultural past. But, more significantly, the programs are geared to local audiences and aired in Igloolik and other Inuit communities. More than twenty years ago Sol Worth argued that "One should distinguish between... film as a record about culture and ... as record of culture (1976 in Ginsberg 1994:7). The mandates, themes, and cultural practices that Isuma's films represent are concerned with contemporary processes of cultural-making among the Iglulingmiut and the use of film to ensure cultural survival. I now draw upon two half-hour videos from the Isuma's nine-part Nunavut Series to help illustrate this point. I begin by describing the videos, and then follow with the analysis in the second part of this chapter. Nunavut Series Episode 5: Angiraq (Home) Angiraq (Home) illustrates a day in the life of several families camped together at a spring sodhouse camp on the edge of the sea ice near Igloolik. The film opens with an extended family waking under caribou skin bedding in their communal sodhouse. The couples sleep across the room from each other. Children cough in the background. The light is dim. People yawn. It is a warm family setting. "We stayed up too late, we overslept until daylight." says a woman rubbing her eyes. "About time I drank tea" says the man lying beside her as he lifts his head from his pillow. They talk about the wind. "Probably the north wind" says a woman, "my feet were cold last night." The man requesting tea calls to his brother-in-law in the next bed. Inuit rarely use proper names, 160 but instead address people according to their kinship relationship. "Brother-in-law! Wake up! The wind sound is weaker now." A hunter from the neighboring sodhouse enters and the men leave to go seal hunting through breathing-holes on the sea-ice. The scene changes to shots of the men driving their dogs across the ice looking for signs of breathing holes, warming themselves with tea made on an early Coleman stove, standing over seal breathing holes and practicing harpoon-throwing. Hunting scenes of men are interspersed with scenes of women and children in the sodhouse. Details regarding performance and dialogue for all productions are discussed between the actors and Kunuk before each scene but the dialogue and actions are, for the most part, improvised. Women scrape and sew skins inside the sodhouse as children play. As they work, they tell stories about amusing incidents or adventures when they lived in camps. As in everyday life, storytellers are often interrupted by children calling for their attention. The natural tone of these interactions with the children confirms that the children are not acting in these dramatic re-creations. A four-year old boy enters the sodhouse crying from a fall on the ice outside and he is comforted by the elder grandmother in the camp, Rachel Uyarasuk. Wiping the tears from his cheeks, she says "Its his caribou kamiks, he slips...." During this scene, young girls gingerly sew skins and perform tasks such as bringing in ice to be melted on the qulliq for drinking water. The elder grandmother instructs the younger women while playing with a toddler using traditional Inuit toys made of bone. She points out each bone toy to the toddler (and the camera), "Your man. Your puppy. Your caribou." A woman goes out to the ice porch to retrieve frozen seal blubber which she pounds with a 161 hammer to soften for fuel for the seal oil lamp. The day unfolds until the climax of the video. The men return to the camp with a seal that the women butcher on the sodhouse floor for the family to eat. As they are eating, two children begin fighting over a toy and a squabble breaks out between their mothers. The children are ordered to go outside and an imperious lecture is delivered by the elder grandmother. She harshly reprimands the adults in the sodhouse for bickering over their children and disrupting the social order in the camp. The subtitles read: You are family! Even sisters-in-law!. You are not supposed to do that!. Too much! This is too much! Two sisters-in-law arguing over children! You are not to do that, you are family. Both of you, taking sides! Children who are too protected grow up differently. They are always waiting for their parents to jump in because they know they will back them up. You are not to take sides. You are family! The adults look shaken. She continues: Arguing about children breaks up the family. And friendships too. And men! Men who take their wife's side... and wives who gossip too much about their husbands... That also breaks up the family. Separating people from each other. With reasons like this, i f you keep it up your relationship will fail. The warm atmosphere of the sodhouse is gone. The gravity of the situation is apparent as some of the men and women are in tears. "Families are not to fight amongst themselves" she says. She finishes her speech and, after a short pause, someone calls out "Let's cheer up now." Just as quickly as the disruption occurred, order in the camp is once more restored. The credits run as the two women who had been fighting begin singing and laughing together. I will provide a discussion and analysis of Isuma's Angiraq (Home) and Rachel Uyarasuk's lesson momentarily. But first, I turn to the second video that addresses an 162 essential part of my discussion of indigenous film-making in Igloolik. Nunavut Series Episode 9: Aiviaq (Walrus) Aiviaq (Walrus) is the dramatic recreation of a summer walrus hunt in 1946 and showcases the ways that Iglulingmiut dealt with the surprise visit of a missionary to their camp. The opening scene of the video shows of a rusted, outboard motor of the type first used by Inuit in the 1940s. An older hunter, played by Pauloosie Qulitalik, a founder of Isuma, hovers over it, wearing a traditional white cotton summer parka and a western-style black leather hat. Qulitalik and then two of the younger men carefully attend the temperamental motor, oiling its parts as it runs. On the large boat with Qulitalik are about a dozen Inuit men, women and children and a man dressed as a missionary, wearing a cassock and a seal-skin jacket sewn in the style of western short overcoats. The missionary is played by Norman Cohn, secretary-treasurer and a founding member of Isuma Productions. A hunter on the boat shuffles over to the priest and points out landmarks on the shore. They arrive at a camp on Qaisut, island of the walrus hunters. The people on the shore greet them. After helping land the boat, people on the shore act surprised at the arrival of the priest. The awe and fear that Inuit traditionally express in their encounters with Qallunaat and with priests is evident. "Try to behave!", they tell the children, "He has a Bible." An older hunter speaks directly with the priest of his apprehension. The translated English subtitles read: 163 When you wanted to come with us in Avaja, I was sort of scared of you. Yes, we had to let you come with us because you challenged us to come. Yes, I'm scared. If you showed your cross, I would be afraid. The Inuit distance themselves socially from the priest. They tell him to pitch his canvas tent at a place far from the Inuit seal-skin tents "If the priest is further, he will sleep better" they tell him in an attempt to placate him about his isolation from them. Once the camp is settled, Qulitalik, an older hunter, walks up the hill to a look-out point to search for walrus on the ice floes across the bay and is followed by the priest. "The weather is better now" Qulitalik tells him, "I can see the breath of walrus... Yes it breathes right up, that means the wind is low." A few scenes later, the men in the camp are shown loading the boat for the hunt. They try to shut out the priest who is persistent in his efforts to accompany them. A hunter replies to his request "I think you should take care of the camp. Do your priestly duties while we're out hunting. What we are doing is not for the priest." But the priest perseveres and the Inuit allow him to accompany them provided he supply the hunting party with southern commodities: sugar, tea and biscuits. "Did he bring food?" one man asks another while loading the boat. The other affirms this and he continues: "Okay, then he should come. If he didn't, then we could have refused him." The next scene shows a boatload of men and young boys approaching two walrus basking on an ice floe in the open water. Walrus are known to be cumbersome animals on land but ferocious in the water. This is not a re-enactment but an actual Iglulingmiut walrus hunt being filmed. They decide to shoot only one of the walrus on the floe and aim first at the one farthest from the boat. An older hunter calls out: 164 . The closer one might fall, the other one is on the safer side, shoot that one. Shoot that one, we won't be hunting them by boat this fall. They shoot one and it slumps on the ice. But as they approach, the second walrus does not dive from the floe. Expecting it to dive at any moment, the hunters become anxious. The older hunters yell out commands to the younger ones. "Anywhere in the back, you have spears", he shouts. "Oh my goodness, this one won't dive down!" A shot rings out, and the walrus topples over into the water. "Missed the head" the hunter says. The hunt is over quickly. One walrus was killed instantly; the other was lost when it fell into the water and sank. The rest of the video shows the systematic process of butchering the walrus. The hunters devise an anchor and pulley system to secure the carcass to the floe. They butcher the walrus following an intricate pattern. They make a rope out of strips of fresh skin to wrap and tie sections of meat. The video closes with a scene of the hunters and the priest feasting on tea and raw walrus meat. They tease the missionary with this Inuit delicacy, cutting off pieces of raw liver to feed to him. He smiles, nods, and says. "It tastes good" while chewing. The credits roll as the men load bloodied sections of walrus back onto the boat and head back to land. Igloolik Isuma Film Corporation: Preservation through "Living Fictionalizations" Isuma's Nunavut Series and the Angiraq (Home) and Aiviaq (Walrus) episodes described above are rich in content. As the stories unfold, Inuit skills and ritual practices 165 associated with their subsistence hunting of the 1940s are recorded.95 Documented are visual images of Inuit: setting up camps, driving dog teams, manoeuvring boats on rough waters, walrus and seal hunting, throwing harpoons and spears, constructing tools, operating 1940s rifles and outboard motors and butchering meat. Also documented are the equally essential women's subsistence tasks of drying, scraping, and sewing different types of skin, butchering meat, tending to the qulliq (oil lamp) and raising children. Preserving these subsistence practices and visually documenting them on film is an expressed mandate of Zacharias Kunuk and the producers at Isuma. Kunuk is from a generation of Inuit (now between the ages of approximately forty and fifty) who were born into a life on the land and then raised in new communities under the assimilationist policies of the 1960s. Like many men and women his age, he has spent much of his adult life, trying to learn the land skills that he did not acquire as a child in federal day school. During an interview with me, he declared: We totally lost it when the Qallunaat came, we totally lost it. It is a good thing that we still have elders around, so we can trace it back. What I want to do is record visually... This would be a way not only to get some traditions back, but to know how to do things. With today's technology, there are just so many things out there. We have to know how to make things, how to do things (Fieldnotes 24/04/97). Isuma's Nunavut Series documents and preserves elements of Iglulingmiut 1 9 5 Of note is that, while ethnographic films such as Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North and Balikci's and the British Broadcasting Corporation's 1971 People of the Seal sought to salvage images of pre-contact Inuit culture, Isuma instead records the contact culture of the 1940s, by which time Iglulingmiut had incorporated western technology into their subsistence patterns, yet were still living a largely independent existence on the land. 166 cultural practices on film. However, as I argue throughout this dissertation, cultural survival and the ideology of subsistence for the Iglulingmiut involves more than simply passing on land skills such as hunting and sewing. It encompasses the workings of a complex ideological system which includes strict rules and obligations governing reciprocal social relationships among Inuit, and between animals, humans and the physical environment. Isuma's Nunavut Series presents material culture and social practices familiar to Iglulingmiut and to outsiders through southern literature, documentary films and museum exhibits about the Inuit. Documented alongside film images of Inuit women sewing and performing household duties, however, are those of an Inuit grandmother delivering an impassioned speech about maintaining social relations. Traditional walrus butchering methods take up a large portion of Aiviaq (Walrus), but so do the rituals and proscriptions that regulate proper respect to the animal. These ideological elements of Iglulingmiut subsistence that relate to the Inuit moral code are more familiar and thus perhaps more manifest to Inuit viewers. Nonetheless social processes make up an essential part of what Isuma represented as Inuit tradition and archive on film. Facilitating this documentation of manners, morals, and social relations to a certain degree is the medium of film. Isuma filmmakers argue that film, as an oral and visual medium, is more in tune with traditional forms of Inuit transmission of knowledge than such media as print, museums, or as Kunuk argues, Inuit art. While Isuma's carefully edited film images of life on the land are just as much constructions of Inuit cultural traditions as are government programs that I describe in Chapter 2, or life 167 histories and museum exhibits that I outline in the following chapters, the persuasiveness of Isuma's representations comes from the fact that film gives the impression that real-life episodes are taking place. This naturalness of scenes is due to the distinctive methods of film production and direction that Zacharias Kunuk and Isuma employ. Compared to the staged documentary films often made by mainstream, non-Inuit filmmakers, Isuma's Nunavut Series use improvisation. Film-making is incorporated into everyday subsistence activities taking place on the film set. While Kunuk and the actors do sketch a loose plan for each episode, for the most part it is the subsistence activities themselves and the social interactions and relationships that Inuit recognize as accompanying them, that determine the content and dialogue of videos.96 Norman Cohn explains this genre of filmmaking that Isuma has developed through the Nunavut Series, referring to it as producing "living historical fictions": We don't do documentaries. We don't do docu-dramas. And they aren't conventional histories. They are something else, and that something else has to do with creating fiction based on people living the dramatic experience. I mean, theoretically, you could do that with the French Revolution. But in order to do that, you would have to get a group of people together who could convince a million people authentically, not just outsiders, but the actors themselves, to live the French Revolution. Now that is pretty hard to do these days. Most historical fiction can't be lived because it takes place at a distance too great from the experience of contemporary people.... One of the effects of that, in terms of our historical fiction, is that i f you create an activity that is a real activity - hunting walrus or building a stone house or stalking seals - identifying the activity generates the whole script, because there are very limited ways in which people 9 6 Faye Ginsberg, writing about videos made by the Pitjantjatjara of Australia depicting their traditional ceremonies, states that "the camera was not a 'cause' for its performance but had been incorporated into an ongoing ritual practice"(1995:68). 168 can do these things, or else they won't do them. If you try to build a stone house using a different design, it will fall down. If you try to stalk a seal in an original way, because you are trying to be imaginative, you will never catch it. So if you decide to make a seal-stalking video, people know exactly what they are supposed to do. And the social behaviours that go with it are also defined by these activities... people are always doing things. And when women are scraping sealskins or men are hunting animals or children are playing, they are all activities that really regulate all aspect of behaviour to a very real extent... The traditional lifestyle at any given week of the year, there is something that people were supposed to be doing. We put people in those situations, and they act normal, and they will say all the right things, and do all the right things, within personality variations that make it all interesting... People will act the ways that are appropriate (Fieldnotes 03/04/97). Isuma's "living historical fictions" impart realism and a spontaneity to Isuma's productions. The response of the old grandmother to the young boy who had fallen on the ice in Angiraq is one such example, as was the humiliation of the people being yelled at or the tension of the young men in the boat during the walrus hunt in Aiviaq (walrus). The pain of the boy, the humiliation of the young couples, and the fear of hunters were real emotions. None was staged beforehand. A dramatic example of the spontaneity and "real-life" aspect of these "living historical fictions" occurred during the filming of Episode 10: Qaisut (qaisut), when a polar bear actually entered the Inuit camp unexpectedly during one of the shoots. Kunuk grabbed his video-camera as others grabbed their rifles. The climax of the video-taped episode came when the men and dogs rushed off to protect the camp. Although the clip became part of the Nunavut Series, protecting the camp was not about filmmaking. Regardless of the presence of the camera, young people on set learned how to ward off polar bears. Thus, the culture-making that Kunuk and his colleagues engage in through their recreations of life in the 1940s is not simple repair or salvage work. It is instead an important form of social action that 169 operates both at the level of film making and at the level of representation. Young people learn critical land skills through their participation in the events being filmed. Later, the edited film representations of these events act as historical documents that are distributed to broader audiences. Documenting Relationships with Animals The group of Inuit who act in the Nunavut Series, are in a sense the extended family of Pauloosie Qulitalik, a founding member of Isuma who often plays a leading role in the films. The elder woman, Rachel Uyarasuk, who in Angiraq maintained the social order in the sodhouse, is Qulitalik's mother. His wife, his children and grandchildren also participate in the shoots, as do members of his sister's family and other siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins. During the weeks throughout the year spent filming at hunting camps, Qulitalik, his mother and other older hunters and elders teach their extended family (and by extension the film audiences) the essentials of life on the land. . ' A fundamental element of Inuit subsistence hunting taught to actors at these camps is the structured and reciprocal exchanges that make up their social relationships with animals. Animals, i f treated with the proper respect, will give themselves to Inuit to be caught. Hunting during the filmmaking becomes just as much about acting out the Inuit part of this relationship as it is about producing film footage of a hunt. Inuit must follow the proper rules and rituals to foster these relationships. Cultural observances and rituals are acted out both for the docu-drama, but also to foster contemporary, real and 170 essential animal-human relations. The use of video-technology to reinforce animal-human relationships differentiates Isuma film images from southern-produced ethnographic films that seek to entrench the western, modernist nature/culture divide by enacting narratives of man against nature. Robert Flaherty, for example, describes his goals when filming the 1922 classic Nanook of the North: Why not take, we said to each other, a typical Eskimo and his family, and make a biography of their lives through the year? What biography of any man could be any more interesting? Here is a man who has less resources than any other man in the world. He lives in desolation that no other race could possibly survive. His life is a constant fight against starvation. Nothing grows; he must depend utterly on what he can kil l ; and all of this against the most terrifying of tyrants- the bitter climate of the North, the bitterest climate in the world (Flaherty in Ruby 1980:68). The drama and the popularity of the image Flaherty presented of Nanook and his family pitted against nature is partly responsible for the commercial success of Nanook of the North. While Isuma's hunting scenes show a similar Inuit material culture to that presented by Flaherty, the social relationships provide a stark contrast. The walrus hunting scene in Aiviaq (Walrus) demonstrates this point. In the video, the hunters approach two walrus on an ice floe and, decide to shoot the walrus farthest from the edge of the floe, the one less likely to fall into the water. Inuit have a very methodical approach to hunting. Certain types of walrus were more desired than others. Walrus of a certain age or sex provided different types of meat, tools, and sewing materials. Hunters would approach hunting with shopping lists in their minds that detailed what kind of skins the women needed for the season and what type of meat they required. Older walrus were recognizable by their lighter skins and certain walrus were 171 known to be more ferocious than others. The Isuma hunters in Aiviaq (Walrus) decide that they only need the one animal. But when they shoot the first walrus, the second one does not leave the floe. As the boat approaches the floe, the tension mounts. When the walrus still would not leave, they shoot that one as well. According to the Inuit ideology of subsistence, i f animals are treated with the proper respect they will readily give themselves up to the hunter. The second walrus wanted to be taken. This hunt was depicted as a recreation of a hunt in the 1940s. However, first and foremost, it was not entirely a staged scene. In contrast to the much-analysed walrus hunt in Nanook of the North, for example, - one that heroically depicts Nanook rushing out with the other men in kayaks to stalk the walrus and engage in a drawn-out tug-of-war with the animal as they pull it to the shore - the hunting and shooting of the walrus in Isuma' Aiviaq (Walrus) is comparatively short and undramatic.97 There is no competition or battle between the Inuit and the walrus. For the Inuit, to play with the animal in that manner was a sign of disrespect. Animals have to be respected and taken quickly. Emphasized instead in films by Isuma are the skills, rules, and rituals that hunters must learn that extend beyond the act of killing the animal, such as observing proper rules of social behaviour as well as the the rituals and prohibitions shaping the butchering and sharing of meat. This emphasis is evident in the editing of Aiviaq (Walrus); the hunt lasts only two minutes of the twenty-eight minute episode, while the butchering and feasting 9 7 Flaherty reported later that while filming this scene the men were afraid that they would be pulled into the sea by the walrus. They called to Flaherty to shoot the walrus with his rifle, but Flaherty pretended not to hear them (Rony 1996:114). 172 scene is more than three times as long (six and a half minutes). Proper respect shown to animals is absolutely essential to Inuit survival. Inuit oral histories abound with stories of hunts gone wrong due to disrespectful acts or attitudes of hunters. An Iglulingmiut elder carefully explains the ramifications of breaking these prohibitions in the Inullariit Oral History Collections: hunters were discouraged to do or act or say anything that might have some tone that they were better and smarter then the animals that they hunted. There was a hunter that was not afraid of walrus, he boasted that while everyone was afraid of walrus he was not afraid of them, he went on to add that when the walrus are on top of the ice and when they are walking that they looked like lemming. That summer when he went out walrus hunting alone in a qajaaq... As the rest of the hunters headed back to their camp there was a cry of alarm on the sea somewhere. The women went down to the shore, apparently one of the hunters that had boasted was taken by a walrus, the walrus had surfaced by his qajaaq and grabbed him and dove with him. After a period of time the walrus surfaced with the man hanging on to it's single tusk with both of his hands. Whenever the walrus tried to stab him with his tusk the man would move sideways while hanging on to the tusk. The walrus dove again without hitting the man, all along the man had been hanging on to the walrus by the tusk. After they had been submerged for a while blood started to float up to the surface. The walrus had pierced the hunter by the neck area and the body just floated up to the surface. When the walrus surfaced he just left the scene without bothering anybody else. The rest of the hunters had to drag the body of the hunter to the land (Suzanne Niviattian Aqattiaq 1990 IE-149). Stories such as these that legislate deference to animals abound in the Inuit oral tradition. The walrus hunt in Aiviaq (Walrus) exhibits these observances in action and on film. The hunters are silent and respectful throughout the hunt. There are no cheers or other signs of pride by the men in the boat when they make the kil l . Recreating these respectful practices is just as important to Isuma as documenting how to hunt with harpoons and with rifles. The film-makers record a subtle lesson (directed primarily to Inuit viewers) about the proper ways to comport oneself in relationships with animals. 173 Documenting Relationships with Outsiders As I argue throughout the Introduction and first two historical chapters of this dissertation, since their first contact with Europeans Iglulingmiut relationship to their physical environment has included maintaining social relationships with outsiders who travelled north. In the post-WWII period, with the increased arrival of southerners to Inuit lands, managing this new series of social relationships became an important part of Iglulingmiut subsistence. Included in the Nunavut Series are these traditional ways of dealing with outsiders. As I outlined in Chapter 1, Iglulingmiut incorporated Qallunaat into an existing ideological framework. In these early encounters, Qallunaat were treated with a degree of fear and awe (ilira) that parallelled the treatment of other dangerous and unpredictable animals in the Inuit social environment (like walrus). In an interview with me, Zacharias Kunuk explained how Inuit in the 1940s perceived these newcomers: They were scared of Qallunaat. It is because they heard so much about the World Wars, how these people kill each other. And when they came here, they thought that these people might just do that. They have rifles. The second world war, all the Qallunaat military were here at bases. They would talk about the war, also all the traders...Those people came up here. Inuit started to understand them. They had to respect them, help them out, care for them a lot. What they say, they would agree to, even though they disagreed. That was going on because the Qallunaat was a different form of human being. It is not like their colour or hair. Their structures were bigger at that time. They were different (Fieldnotes 24/04/97). Episode 9: Aiviaq (walrus) recreates and chronicles this fear but it also documents Inuit agency during these colonial encounters. Inuit welcome the priest into their camp, yet they tell him to pitch his tent away from them. When the priest wants to accompany them on the walrus hunt, they are hesitant. They tell him to stay with the women in camp 174 (an ultimate debasement for a man in this hunting culture). The priest, played by Norman Cohn, acts out this discomfort, but he also acts out the tenacity of many southerners who found themselves in such contact situations. He persists in his efforts to be included with the men in the hunting trip. For the Inuit, to refuse someone the right to do what they want to do would disrupt the social harmony and thus be threatening. They allow him to accompany them, provided he fulfill his part in this relationship. Missionaries were an important economic resource in the past. The priest is brought along on the hunt, provided he supply biscuits, tea and sugar. In the past, southerners held a degree of economic authority in their social relations with Inuit. They provided important access to economic resources from the south. Qallunaat who were out on the land, however, were thoroughly dependent on Inuit for their survival. According to Iglulingmiut of all ages, i f the settlements of today are the locales of Qallunaat values, the land is where the Inuit values have always held court. Emile Immaroituk explained this to me in an interview: It used to be, back a long time ago, when we took out Qallunaat visitors from the south on the land, they were just like little babies. We would have to handle them like babies. Babies can't survive by themselves because they are not used to the weather, to the language. It was like that with Qallunaat (Fieldnotes 22/11/97). The dependency of the priest is exhibited in this video. He flounders as he tries to adapt to Inuit land skills. The video closes with a scene of the hunters feeding him pieces of raw walrus meat, as if he were a child. 9 8 This scene attests to the tensions and 9 8 Relevant to this scene is that the eating of raw meat has been a prominent symbol of savagery in historical discourses of colonialism. Anthony Pagden writes that the "consumption of raw things... was, like nudity, a sign of technological inadequacy, of the barbarian's inability to modify significantly his environment" (Pagden 1982:87). 175 contradictions in Iglulingmiut colonial history, but it also illustrates the ways in which contemporary Iglulingmiut are representing their colonial histories in contemporary processes of culture-making. This authority that Inuit hold over the land, recorded on film in these dramatic recreations, resonates strongly with contemporary sovereignty issues that have been tantamount to Inuit subsistence struggles since the 1970s. By authenticating through film the fact that Inuit have always held authority over their lands, they assure their political voice in environmental dialogues and the survival of their land-based economy. I will return to this theme later in the chapter. Documenting Social Relationships Between Inuit: The hunting scenes in Isuma's Nunavut Series exhibit and promote the historical importance of fostering profitable and reciprocal relationships with animals as well as with cultural outsiders discussed above. Paramount as well to Inuit subsistence hunting is the way in which hunters and their families comport themselves in the day to day relations in the camp. Documenting the social dynamics of the camp and the Inuit social structure in the 1940s was an integral goal of Isuma in filming the Nunavut series. Zacharias Kunuk explains how the Nunavut Series documents more than hunting practices: We are interested in how they dressed, what they did, how they handle their dog According to Inuit oral historians, these beliefs were brought by Arctic missionaries to their encounters with Inuit. Efforts by early missionaries to adopt Inuit conceptual frameworks are also exhibited in this video. The missionary consumes the walrus meat fed to him and proclaims that he enjoys it. 176 team, how they argued, how they laughed, how they went through hard times. Like, when the evil forces go at you, how you fight back. Anything. How did people eat? ...Who gives orders. That sort of thing. We want to record how life was, like what happens if a man or a woman did something bad? What would happen to him or her?. When we were growing up, they weren't told to us, these stories, so we didn't know what to expect (Fieldnotes 24/04/97). Angiraq (Home) presents the social rules and interpersonal dynamics of the traditional Inuit extended family group." The leadership and authority of the elders and the critical role they played in maintaining the social order is highlighted in Isuma productions. Elders on the film set serve as "cultural advisors" (their term). Elders correct young people when they use Inuktitut slang and teach them traditional patterns of social interaction. They teach and document on film Iglulingmiut cultural practices whose importance has diminished with the shift to settlement life. For example, essential respect and avoidance relationships or prohibitions that forbade young women from looking directly into the eyes of older un-related males are recorded.100 The fundamental need to cooperate in the past is emphasized in Angiraq where scenes depict men hunting together and women cooperating when sewing, storytelling and raising their children. The 9 9 This forms a contrast with documentaries such as Nanook of the North and People of the Seal who both model their depictions of Inuit family life on the western nuclear family. 1 0 0 Damas writes about carefully prescribed avoidance and respect relationships that were still prominent in his 1963 study of Iglulingmiut kinship: "There is a deepened respect relationship between brother and sister after about the age of puberty, which is also in effect between opposite-sexed cousins, though to an attenuated extent. Brother and sister, when adults, seldom address one another and generally will not appear alone in a house together. Avoidance and respect reach their greatest development between ai or opposite-sexed in-laws. Formerly, those in that category were illirjuariik or those relatives who could not mention the name of each other; these had to be addressed through a third person (Damas 1963:47-48) 177 magnitude of keeping good social relations is emphasized at the climax of the video when Rachel Uyarasuk castigates two women for arguing over their children. Rachel Uyarasuk's speech asserts the absolute necessity of good family relations. But when her tirade is over, a man calls out "Let's cheer up now." The incident, once addressed openly, has been dealt with and the social order restored. Adherence to the Inuktitut naming system provides an added framework for social relations on the film set. People use their Inuktitut names. In Inuit culture, names are passed down through the generations. As Apphia Awa explained: We were born with the name of someone who died, someone who was close to our family, someone we cared for, and that is the name we would use (Awa in Wachowich 1999:130). Individuals are given the atiqs (names) of recently deceased relatives or community members and are said to share characteristics, indeed, share souls, with the person whose name they have been given. Knud Rasmussen, recorded this passage during his 1921-1922 stay among the Iglulingmiut: Everyone on receiving a name receives with it the strength and skill of the deceased namesake, but since all persons bearing the same name have the same source of life, spiritual and physical qualities are also inherited from those who in the far distant past once bore the same name' (Rasmussen 1929:58-59). While on set at the hunting camps, actors in Igloolik Isuma's Nunavut Series are addressed using their Inuktitut name and are treated according to the characteristics and kinship relations of the person who previously held that name. Children who are known in Igloolik as Bonnie, Wilma, Charlie and Lizzie use their Inuktitut names; in the filming of the Nunavut Series they actually become people from the past, people like Tapatiaq, 178 Pikujak, Atagutaaluk. From early childhood, Inuit children are told of the distinct characteristics of their atiqs.101 They are often addressed according to the kinship relations of their atiq. An old man, for example, may call a young boy named after his dead wife "my wife". My friend Lucy in Pond Inlet, for example, gave her young son the Inuktitut name of her mother and addresses him with the Inuktitut word for "mother". Her son addresses Lucy with the Inuktitut word for "my daughter". Apphia Agalakti Awa (see Chapter 5) was Lucy's oldest sister. She referred to this toddler as her mother as well. On the Isuma set, people act according to the characteristics and social relations of their namesakes (who were alive in 1945). To the Inuit cast-members and to some audiences, this methodology brings Iglulingmiut ancestors to the stage. Norman Cohn, explains this culturally distinct methodology: In order to make people feel comfortable when they were on set, we started saying to people "Ok, well, the name of your character is your name. You are your character. You are your Inuit name... When Qulitalik is on set, he plays Qulitalik. When he goes to the nursing station, he is Paul, his government name. When he is Qulitalik in the films, he is every Qulitalik.... Instead of taking an actor and putting him in a character, you take a character and put him in the actor. And all of that has worked, up until now, a very natural way in which people can be themselves and act all at the same time. The ways in which an improvisational style of both story development and dialogue can become really easy for people to do (Fieldnotes 03/04/97). The use of atiqs in the videos opens the Nunavut Series to another level of interpretation for the Iglulingmiut. Actors who portray atiq relationships on film document not just the name but also certain personal qualities and attributes of these ancestors. Episode 3. 1 0 1 Kublu and Oosten (1999) analyse contemporary Iglulingmiut naming practices and beliefs and describe in more detail the ways in which Iglulingmiut perceive themselves as living out their namesake's life. 179 QAMAQ (Stone House), for example, has a scene where a grandmother sticks her head into the sealskin tent and admonishes a pre-teen boy for staying inside. "Pikujak, go help the others. Try and be helpful." The atiq of the the actor named Pikujak was an Iglulingmiut woman who died in 1971. A woman in Igloolik, who had named her daughter after Pikujak, explained to me once that several children were named after this woman. The previous Pikujak was renown throughout the Northern Foxe Basin region as a kind, generous and helpful woman. By entering this line into the script, Iglulingmiut film-makers and actors teach that young person to live according to his namesake. At the same time they document Pikujak's qualities in a film archive and pay homage to their ancestor. Igloolik Isuma and the Local Economy: Film as Economic Subsistence Isuma's video making preserves elements of the complex social relations that are integral to Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting. While appropriating media technology and creating films that are marketable to both Iglulingmiut and outside audiences, Kunuk and his colleagues are also promoting the continuation of the subsistence hunting in the contemporary settlement of Igloolik. Kunuk declares that Isuma films are made first and foremost for audiences in Igloolik. But relationships with outsiders, fostered particularly through Norman Cohn's familiarity with and connections in the video-art world of the south, translate for Isuma into increased funding for their films, thus more income for actors, and an increased chance for those employed in the making of the videos to spend time on the land. Since 1987 Isuma has received financial support from the Government 180 of the Northwest Territories departments that administer Aboriginal Language Development, Oral Traditions, Cultural Enhancement, and Education and Career Development. They have also procured financial support from the Northwest Territories Arts Council. The Canada Council has awarded Isuma more than fifteen grants. Heritage Canada, the Department of Indian and Northern Development, the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada, Global TV, Vision TV, Television Northern Canada, TV Ontario and the Knowledge Network have also financed Isuma's independent video productions. Like the Inullariit land-skills camps described in the previous chapter, Isuma's film projects provide opportunities for families to spend weeks at traditional hunting camps during the shoots. Government grants cover the cost of transportation, equipment and supplies for these hunting camps. Elders in the community are also paid to manufacture traditional tools, to sew traditional skin clothing for the shoots and to act as "cultural advisors" on the film sets. Elders teach young actors traditional songs, drum-dancing, how to speak the Inuktitut dialect spoken by the elders and to follow the proper rules of comportment when living in camps. Igloolik Isuma's video work on the Nunavut Series and other projects is not the first instance of Inuit forging relationships with the film industry to support their local economy. Further south and eighty years earlier the Inuit incorporated Robert Flaherty and his filming of Nanook of the North into their subsistence economy. In his diaries reporting the 1920 filming of Nanook of the North among the Inuit of Inukjuak (formerly Port Harrison) in Northern Quebec, Flaherty describes how more than a dozen Inuit interrupted their hunting/trapping economy for the sixteen months during which the film 181 was being shot, to work full-time in this mixed subsistence hunting/filmmaking economy. Flaherty received $35,000 funding from Revillon Freres, (the French fur company in competition with the Hudson Bay Company during that period), $3,000 of which was designated as "remuneration for the natives" (Vancouver Art Gallery 1980:57). He hired twelve Inuit to be his total crew: Of these, Nanook, a character famous in this country, I chose as my chief man. Besides him, and much to his approval, I took on three younger men as helpers. This also meant their wives and families, dogs to the number of twenty-five, sledges, kayaks, and hunting impedimenta (Flaherty in Vancouver Art Gallery 1980:12). The Inuit from that region learned elements of filmmaking during that time; they participated in all stages of the film production including the filming, printing, developing and screening. They also outfitted Flaherty with proper cold-weather clothing and provided skins and sewed clothing for costumes and bedding. They took him on trips, drove dogteams, and provided meat for the film sites. On site, they disassembled the cameras to remove condensation, repaired camera equipment, proposed scenes for filming and then acted them out (Vancouver Art Gallery 1980:58-62). In his diary, Flaherty records a conversation he had with Allakariallak (the man who played Nanook). Allakariallak wanted to use Flaherty's whale boat to reach an island usually only accessible in the winter. He persuaded Flaherty to shoot the walrus scene in Nanook of the North on the island: 'The people do not go out to the island in summer,' he continued, 'for not only is it out of sight of land, but it is ringed with heavy surf - dangerous landing for kayaks. But for a long time I have had my eyes on your whaleboat', said he, 'and I am sure i f the seas are smooth, it is big enough for crossing over, and just the thing for landing' (Flaherty in Vancouver Art Gallery 1980:12). 182 Thus as early as 1920 Inukjuak Inuit were engaging with the southern film industry to assure the healthy functioning of their subsistence economy. By learning film-making techniques and providing support for Flaherty during his mission in the north, they gained access not only to Flaherty's whaleboat, but to trade goods such as rifles, ammunition, metal tools etc. The economic resource that Flaherty provided to the Inukjuak Inuit however was short-term. Like earlier sporadic intercultural exchanges with whalers, explorers, and ethnographers, with the departure of Flaherty, the Inuit resumed their land-based economy. For Flaherty, the cultural exchange was particularly lucrative in the long term. Nanook of the North, which was released in the summer of 1922, was an immediate popular success in the theatres. The film images that Flaherty produced from his work with the Inukjuamiut (Inukjuak Inuit) launched his career and status in the international film scene, bringing him fame and renown as a "realist filmmaker"(Barsam 1988:115). Part of the wide popular appeal of Nanook of the North was the way that the film images catered to romantic images of the authentic first man and to pervasive western primitivist discourses of the noble savage (Rony 1996:99-126). The imagery and the staging of the scenes by Flaherty in Nanook of the North reflected Western epistemological conceptions of the Inuit more than it did the realities of life in 1920 for the Inuit in Northern Quebec. The southern grounding of the film became most evident in the years after its release. Whereas Isuma producers like Zacharias Kunuk use film to foster the social and economic health of the community, the film-industry in Inukjuak ended with Flaherty's departure and Allakariallak (Nanook) in fact died of 183 starvation just two years after the film was released. "The real survivor" of Flaherty's film, Fienup-Riordan writes, "was not Nanook, but his images as happy, hardy, and intrepid" (Fienup-Riordan 1995:53). Nanook of the North indeed instituted a pervasive iconography of the Inuit (Fienup-Riordan: 1995 47-55; Rony 1996:99-126) and of "the North" (Grace 1996) in southern consciousness.102 While Nanook of the North failed to ensure the economic subsistence of Allakariallak and his camp-mates in the 1920s, it has however benefitted contemporary film producers. Nanook fed a western hunger for images of the Arctic. In doing so it has indirectly ensured the marketability in the south of Igloolik Isuma's cultural translation efforts. The prominence and enduring popularity of film images in Nanook of the North have provided indigenous film-makers like Isuma's Zacharias Kunuk, with established categories of visual images and Inuit cultural practices familiar to southern audiences. Popular images of igloos, of traditional hunting scenes, of wind-swept landscapes etc. from Nanook of the North and similar films now epitomize the 1 0 2 However, the staged nature of the "authentic reconstructions" fostered criticisms of Flaherty and accusations of deception from the time of its release. Balikci describes how, in an effort to "make a dramatic statement about man in confrontation with the most extreme conditions on earth" Flaherty's Nanook of the North exaggerated "attributes of the Eskimo stereotype already present in the Victorian literature" (4989:7). While Flaherty claimed to have cinematically told the stories of real people, Nanook was played by a hunter Allakariallak; Nanook's wife, Nyla, was played by a woman (possibly Alice) Nuvalinga, who was not really Allakariallak's wife, but Flaherty's girlfriend. Flaherty provided the cast with "traditional" costumes to be worn that were not necessarily native to that region. Nanook appeared in the film wearing bearskin pants when bearskin pants were only worn in more northerly arctic regions such as Greenland: Many of the hunting techniques depicted were characteristic of other regions and a seal pulled from the ice during a hunting scene was obviously already dead (Ruby 1980:67; Fienup-Riordan 1995:48-52). 184 Arctic. They have established an iconography for southern audiences and particular frames of reference that Inuit film-makers know will have a marketability outside the Arctic. 1 0 3 Filmmaking and Iglulingmiut Cultural Survival Isuma's Nunavut Series demonstrates the effort on the part of contemporary Iglulingmiut to build bridges of understanding with Southern culture. At the same time Iglulingmiut objectify certain aspects of their cultural reality that highlight cultural differences. Through this process of culture-making, they prove to both Inuit and non-Inuit audiences that the Inuit hunting practices are still alive. In 1922, Flaherty set out to portray an idealized version of a pre-contact culture. Lamenting the changes to Inuit life that were taking place during his 1920 filming, he wanted to depict Inuit culture in what he believed to be its pristine state: I am not going to make films about what the white man has made of primitive peoples...what I want to show is the former majesty and character of these people, while it is still possible - before the white man has destroyed not only their character, but the people as well (Flaherty in Ruby 1980: 72). 1 0 4 1 0 3 Popular images of Inuit wresting their survival from a harsh arctic environment that were propagated in Nanook of the North (Flaherty 1922) as well in a subsequent documentary film series People of the Seal (British Broadcasting Corporation 1971; Balikci 1989) are familiar to Inuit film-makers. These documentaries were first broadcast north as part of the Inukshuk project and have been seen countless times on CBC North and Television Northern Canada. 1 0 4 If Flaherty set out to salvage "the former majesty" of the Inuit, Balikci's People of the Seal took audiences along on this 1960s salvage mission by recording the last migration of the Netsilingmiut. The narrator records that: "Ten years ago, an anthropologist and cameraman went up to live with these people and recorded the 185 In contrast, Isuma videos feature not so much a nostalgia for an idealized past as they do an ongoing process of Inuit adaptation. The Nunavut Series focusses on the ways that Iglulingmiut adapted to seasonal changes to the physical environment as well as to the social and material changes introduced by colonial contact in the 1940s. Their filmmaking methods show that these adapations are still taking place. "Living ' fictionalizations" prove that what many would perceive to be "museum culture" of the past is still alive in the 1990s. As Norman Cohn, secretary-treasurer of Isuma, explained to me in an 1997 interview: We shoot in the real places, where people do the real things. And when we shoot, people live in those places. We don't make Styrofoam igloos, and then take a break and then bring in catering truck. So when we are in Qaisut, we are in Qaisut. And one of the things that our films demonstrate is that people still know how to get there, people still know how to be there. And when you are there, you know how to live there. You know how to sail across the open water. You know how to build shelter, how to hunt walrus, and you know how to defend your camp against a rampaging polar bear. So culturally I think that living Inuit know that they are still part of a living culture... Our films make it undeniable for the outside world (Fieldnotes 03/04/97). Cohn highlights here the ways in which independent video-making by Inuit thus serves as a form of social action. Iglulingmiut processes of identity construction prove the survival of their cultural practices in the contemporary world system. traditional way of living of a band of northern hunters. It was the last chance, for since then everything has changed here. The Netsiilik Eskimo now live in wooden houses provided by the government and cook on stoves. But just ten years ago, they were surviving as they had for hundreds of years." People of the Seal presented western ideas of cultural loss and salvage missions by recording the Netsilingmiut literally (and metaphorically) walking off the land. 186 Isuma through their film-making process and their use of improvisational "living historical fictions" use the powerful medium of film to assert the role of Iglulingmiut as hunters in the modern world. What is omitted from Cohn's preceding statement is the fact that these films, while posing as real records of land activities, are still very much carefully thought out, deliberate cultural constructions that emerge as much from Isuma's drafting table and editing room as from the activities themselves. The Nunavut Series does not create transparent windows into Inuit life but records instead Isuma's culture-making processes in the cultural present, with all of its contradictions. Just as Flaherty's primitivist images in Nanook of the North recorded on film the colonial politics of the 1920s, Isuma's video images actualize the heated late twentieth-century interface between prevalent Qallunaat images of Arctic peoples and the Iglulingmiut's own processes of representation and historical construction. Zacharias Kunuk spoke directly to the history of media images of Inuit and its intersection with contemporary realities of Inuit filmmaking and cultural survival in the spring of 1998 in a general Isuma press release. The press release announced the (temporary) shut-down of their large-scale feature film project, Atanarjuat, due to lack of funds from the Canadian Television and Cable Protection Fund (CTCPF). Protesting the forced layoff of sixty Iglulingmiut working on the Atanarjuat set, Kunuk engaged in a diatribe (to the press and subsequently oh the Internet) against the long history of government-financed films about the Inuit made by southerners and their portrayal of Inuit as victims of social breakdown: This is the point of view they pay for... White Dawn, Frostfire, Trial at Fortitude 187 Bay, Shadow of the Wolf, Kabloonak, Between Two Worlds. These are southern legends of how Inuit culture died out leaving us helpless drunks on welfare, not a fair share of the pie. If these are the only Inuit films southern audiences get to see, of course they'll believe it and treat us accordingly (Kunuk in Cousineau 1998). According to Kunuk, Igloolik Isuma's work (and he speaks in particular of Atanajuat in this quotation) proves that the mythology is false: How else could we build igloos for the film, sew clothing, make harpoons and run dogteams if our culture had died out? How could a cast and crew of sixty professional Inuit make a movie in Igloolik if we were all dropouts and drunks? Atanajuat shows a national TV audience our culture from an Inuit point of view, not as victims but with the skills and strength to survive 4000 years with our identity intact. Inuit culture is alive; that is our statement, not yours. With so many people working so hard to show it, shutting it down now would be a community disaster and a national disgrace (Kunuk in Cousineau 1998). Kunuk speaks to the potential imperative at stake in the films. In conversation with me, Kunuk discussed in more detail how the images of Inuit culture that he produces confront what he believes to be outdated stereotypes about Inuit. Angered by the nation-wide broadcasts during the second week of February, 1997, of video-footage taken by animal rights groups of Newfoundland commercial sealers using illegal hooks and skinning seals alive, he spoke of the threat such images pose to the survival of Inuit as a contemporary hunting people: It depends on how you use TV. We always used it for the good. We could use it bad too. It depends on how you use TV. We always used it for the good. We could use it to do bad too. It is very easy to use it to do bad. Like the seal video that just came out.... What I am trying to say is that what happens down there affects us all up here. Computers are down there now. It is so easy to get them. TVs, computers, i f they make a wrong image that will hurt us, surely it will get to us. Even i f it is not directly aimed at us, we suffer from it. It is political... The seal videotape is very bad, because we hunt seals up here and we eat the seals up here and millions of people are saying that to kil l a seal is cruel.. Most of the people who watch that video still don't know that we exist up here. A lot of times 188 when I am travelling, people down there still think that we live in igloos. When we cry, iceblocks go down our eyes. That image is still there, of Inuit wearing animal skins, hunting with dogteams and building igloos. The stone age idea. But it is not like that...That is why I do it. I worked with IBC for eight years, knowing that I was going nowhere. I had to do my own stuff... So I got out and did what I wanted to do, did it more real. So I film our culture. Because I missed a lot of things that we have to show. (Fieldnotes 24/04/97). Video-making, to Kunuk is a highly politicized activity. The video-images that he produces challenge a history of colonial representations of Inuit as a dying people and attest to their cultural persistence. Conclusion In the previous three quotations, video-maker Zacharias Kunuk discusses the ways in which his appropriation of visual media advances Inuit political and cultural goals and helps ensure Inuit subsistence. Kunuk's statements exemplify his adaptive efforts to advance those cultural goals through the appropriation of yet two more mediums - southern press coverage and academic writing (in his collaboration with me). Such culture-making is part of his larger effort to ensure outside support for his independent video productions. This chapter has attempted to illustrate the ways in which Iglulingmiut have recognized the political power of video-technology and have appropriated the filmmaking media for their own processes of culture-making in the community. Filmmaking is used by Iglulingmiut to reinforce Inuit relationships with animals, with each other and with outsiders. By objectifying elements of the Inuit past, Zacharias Kunuk addresses important cultural agendas related to preservation and documentation. Isuma producers 189 also address economic needs in the settlement through their financial support for Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting. Video-making contests false southern representations of Inuit as a dying culture. By proving though the powerful and pervasive medium of film that their land-based culture is still alive, Inuit film-makers, actors, film-editors, costume/tool makers and cultural advisors ensure themselves political and economic support as indigenous peoples in the global world. Video production for Iglulingmiut is less about producing images than about renewing social relations and reproducing traditional social values essential to contemporary Iglulingmiut subsistence economy. It thus acts as a powerful form of social action in Igloolik. 190 Chapter Five: Getting Along": Life Histories as Adaptation to Changing Social Climates in the Canadian Arctic This chapter addresses the ways in which anthropological life histories are being used by Inuit as a tool to strengthen their identity in a changing social and political climate. It focusses on the many accounts of an autobiographical story that was first recounted to me by an Inuit grandmother in the spring of 1993. By describing the politics that surrounded my collaboration with this grandmother and other people on the many different versions of this story I demonstrate how the meanings of oral histories are mediated in different ways to suit different community needs. Life history storytelling is presented, alongside Inullariit community projects and Isuma film-making, as yet another way in which contemporary Inuit are engaging with outsiders in a process of culture-making as a means to ensure their subsistence. The story that I describe in this chapter was told to me by Apphia Agalakti Awa, a 62 year old Iglulingmiut grandmother. Apphia Agalakti Awa grew up in camps around the Iglulingmiut region of the Eastern High Arctic. The events took place in August of 1946, when she was fourteen years old and had just been married to a hunter named Awa. They were living in a summer caribou hunting camp off one of the inlets of the Fury and Hecla Strait, with a man named Kunuk, his wife Qaaqiuq, and their young children. In 1946, families still practised a subsistence hunting-trapping economy travelling between trading posts and along well-travelled migratory routes. Apphia's story recounts how a boil developed on Kunuk's shoulder. The boil became infected. They were all alone on 191 the.land - there were no elders with them - and Kunuk slowly started to die. As they were low on fuel for their oil lamps, Apphia's husband Awa left to go seal hunting. Kunuk's condition worsened and Qaaqiuq became hysterical. Qaaqiuq was petrified of her suffering husband and eventually retreated to the corner of the tent. Apphia, fourteen years old and equally terrified, was left to nurse this dying man. Apphia Agalakti Awa recounted this story to me on tape in the spring of 1993, forty-eight years after Kunuk's death, when I was doing fieldwork in Pond Inlet coordinating two oral history projects with Inuit women for Canada's Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.105 I recorded Apphia's life stories, first spoken in Inuktitut, on to a series of tapes. The narratives were then translated into English, also on tapes, which I then transcribed into verbatim transcripts. I then edited selected stories from Apphia and combined them with life stories from her daughter, Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak, and her grand-daughter Sandra Pikujak Katsak for a 1994 Royal Commission Report.106 For the next six years I worked in collaboration with these three women, with other family members, and with reviewers, editors, and an Inuit linguist to restructure and fashion these family transcripts further into a book for general audiences: Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women (Wachowich 1999). 1 0 5 The first involved oral history interviews with twenty women documenting narratives of changes to Inuit women's governance and power with colonial contact (Wachowich 1997); the second resulted in this three-generation collection of life histories which was eventually made into a book (Wachowich 1999). 1 0 61 have described the dynamics of my life history collaboration with these three generations of women elsewhere (Wachowich 1999:3-11). This chapter focusses specifically on my work with Apphia Agalakti Awa. 192 This chapter begins with a description of my work with Apphia Agalakti Awa and the process by which we transformed her Inuktitut oral narratives into English written texts. Drawing on scholarship that attests to storytelling as an ongoing form of social action (Cruikshank 1998), I I track the different versions of "That Woman's Husband, He Had a Boil" in an effort to show how the discursive politics around the "official story" continued to change the story's embedded meanings long after the story was first told. This story of the boil (in its spoken, typed, and published form) is thus revealed as holding more than just referential value as a historical record. By appropriating this western medium - anthropological life histories - Apphia and her family were using storytelling as a subsistence strategy. Storytelling engendered new stories which served not only to communicate cultural knowledge, but also to foster social relationships between Inuit in the community and with cultural outsiders. Storytelling and Subsistence in the Past: For generations, storytelling has been an integral part of Inuit social life. Stories transmitted essential land skills and knowledge about family and local histories. Oral traditions entrenched fundamental rules and rituals that governed complex and complementary relationships between Inuit, animals, and their physical environment. Understanding the Inuit place in the universe was the foundation of Iglulingmiut subsistence. Stories taught young people how to act and reinforced the rules of adult comportment. They thus ensured Inuit survival. Apphia was raised in this storytelling tradition. She was born in 1931, the year 193 the first Roman Catholic Oblate missionary moved to the region, and her childhood was spent travelling and hunting. Her mother died when she was eight years old and she spent the next five years travelling on the land with her father Arvaaluk. They followed the animals back then, she used to say. They had no sugar, they drank only caribou broth for tea, and they almost never saw white people. Just a needle, thread, ulu, scraping board, cup and teapot and our qulliq, that is what we had. If we had those things, we would feel like we had lots of things (Awa in Wachowich 1999:49). When she was about thirteen, her family arranged her marriage to a man named Awa. Between 1946 and 1968 she and Awa had eleven children. In 1972, at the age of 41, the Awa family moved permanently from the land into the settlement of Pond Inlet, where she spent the next twenty-four years (until her death in 1996) working as a janitor and in different wage-labour jobs, and living in a western-style government house. From her nomadic childhood, she had to adapt to living in a crowded settlement of 1000 people with government schools, government offices, houses, as well as Qallunaat food, clothing, televisions, video-games and computers. As a child, Apphia listened to her elders' stories, told to educate her about her people's history and to teach her specific roles and obligations involved in Iglulingmiut subsistence hunting. But, as I argue throughout this dissertation, Iglulingmiut hunting now depends not only on modern technology and a cash economy, but also on the Inuit ability to engage adeptly in social relationships with each other and with a dominant western (or southern) culture. Subsistence hunting is about more than procuring food from the land; it is about assuring the Inuit place in the world system. Storytelling was 194 part of her effort to ensure Inuit survival by using storytelling as a form of social action. However, our life history work illustrated a new form of storytelling: one that Apphia employed in the later years of her life; one commissioned by cultural outsiders; and one for which she was paid an honorarium and anticipated equal shares in the royalties from her published stories.107 These contemporary social and economic relationships with outsiders are as vital to modern day survival in the Arctic as the relationships storytelling attended to in the past. Apphia's appropriation of a western historical medium - in this instance the anthropological life history method - also bears witness to the growing need that Inuit feel to translate their cultural practices for broader, national, and international audiences. Life Histories and Culture Making By coming together for this project and recording these life histories, Apphia, her daughter, her grand-daughter and I were taking part in a longstanding western social science tradition with established mandates, objectives, and academic practice. Life histories as an ethnographic genre originated in the development of early twentieth 1 0 7 In 1993, Apphia Agalakti Awa was paid an honorarium of a thousand dollars by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Both she and Rhoda used their honoraria for airfares to travel to Apphia's third-youngest daughter Joanna Awa's wedding in Iqaluit. Joanna was marrying a man from Winnipeg and Apphia had sewn caribou skin parkas for her family to wear at the ceremony as "traditional dress". Sandra used her honorarium to purchase parkas for her family from an L . L . Bean catalogue. In 1999, when the collection of life stories were published as Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women, the royalties from sales were split equally four ways. Apphia died in 1996, so royalties have been going to her husband, Awa. 195 century social sciences, beginning with Paul Radin's 1913 work "Personal Reminiscences of a Winnebago Indian" and his later full and detailed 1926 autobiography Crashing Thunder (Watson and Watson-Franke 1985:5). One of the earliest Inuit life history texts of this genre was Land of the Good Shadows: The Life Story of Anauta, an Eskimo Woman (1940). It was written by Heluiz Chandler Washburne an American from Illinois in collaboration with Anauta, an English-speaking, Baffin Island Inuk who had moved to the United States in the 1930's to live with her adult children. The book was produced from life history interviews that took place in Washburne's Illinois home during the course of a year (1940:xiv). Early anthropological analyses of life histories (and concerns over their tenuous place in the social sciences) called for increased attention to scientific standards of sampling, validity, reliability and objectivity in life history research (Dollard 1934; Allport 1942; Kluckhohn 1945). However, with the rise of interpretive approaches in anthropology came an analytic shift to life histories as representative of the meetings between cultures. Issues of objectivity and authenticity are no longer central to life history analysis; instead anthropologists explore the processes that go into these constructions of reality. Works by Watson and Watson-Franke (1985), Theisz (1981), Krupat (1985), Cruikshank (1991), Crapanzano (1984), Frank (1979) describe different ways in which life histories exist as discursive endeavours whose meanings are constructed at the intersection between cultures. Regarded as either "original bi-cultural compositions", "a mutual sighting" (Portelli 1991:31) or more acutely "the textual equivalent of the frontier (Krupat 1985:33), research speaks to the dialogical nature of 196 life history recording, to issues of performance, to narrative strategies and to the political uses of narrative and the communication that takes place across divergent histories and epistemologies (Sarris 1993; Cruikshank 1990; Portelli 1991; Narayan 1989). Life histories are often seen to represent processes of cultural translation between westerners and indigenous peoples. Current thinking, however, now takes this meeting one step further, looking beyond the voices that constitute life history narratives to the dialogues generated by the storytelling process as a whole. People continually and creatively weave together different versions of different stories to suit contemporary'social and political goals. Cruikshank refers to this as the work that stories do (1998). The analysis of these oral sources must be broadened to look at constructions of meaning that reach beyond the interview setting. In other words, life history scholarship now also examines the capacity of stories to instruct people in local communities while at the same time forging connections with broader audiences. Cultural Performances: Our life history work together I first came to know Apphia and her family in the summer of 1991. I was then in my mid-twenties and in the High Arctic for the first time, spending three months in Pond Inlet doing fieldwork for my Master's thesis in cultural anthropology. By myself and new in town, I sought out the companionship of some women my age. During my first week in the settlement, I met Apphia's daughter, her grand-daughters and neighbours. We took walks along the settlement roads, played softball, attended social events (square 197 dances, teen dances, feasts etc) at the community hall or passed time in Apphia's and her daughter Rhoda's houses, chatting, watching TV, or being silent. During my second month in Pond Inlet, I began my (formal) oral history interviews recording Inuit women's views of the justice system. Apphia and members of her family graciously offered to take part in my small study. Most of our interactions were informal in nature. After I left, we corresponded through letters until I returned the following summer to visit and to follow up on my project. In September 1992,1 obtained my Masters degree, and it was at this time that the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples called for proposals to record three-generational life histories. The idea of documenting some of the rich oral traditions that I had heard during my two summers in Pond Inlet interested me immediately. I saw this as a way in which I could continue my research in the settlement and contribute to scholarship on the Arctic, on anthropology, and on women's autobiography. I telephoned Rhoda and, with her mother and her daughter, Sandra, drew up a proposal. In the spring and fall of 1993 I returned to Pond Inlet to work with these three women and in November of that same year Sandra flew to Edmonton to work with me on the project. Apphia, Rhoda and Sandra and I held a meeting my first day in Pond Inlet in April of 1993 to discuss the logistics of the project. The next morning, Apphia arrived at the house where I was staying driving her beat-up snowmobile with her younger sister Lucy, who was working as our interpreter, hanging on the back. Apphia was wearing a new purple parka that her granddaughter had bought for her from an L L Bean catalogue, a home-made flowered skirt and caribou skin boots. She had a crumpled paper in her 198 hand with notes in Inuktitut syllables with names of her relatives, dates and incidents that she wanted to remember. Apphia Agalakti Awa had witnessed great changes during her lifetime. Yet modernization, she insisted, had brought other challenges to Inuit survival. Her motives for recording her life history were clear. Her health had been steadily failing. She had congestive heart failure and her lungs were making it hard for her to breathe. These interviews would provide her with a venue through which she could share her life stories with her sister, her daughter, her grand-daughter, and the other people in the room. The anthology of taped stories, on cassette, would also be a legacy that she would leave her children and grandchildren who were not at the sessions. But her work was more than a salvage effort. Her stories also sought to reinforce relationships among Inuit in the contemporary settlement. Apphia used to say that when schools were built in the arctic, children stopped listening to their elders and instead derived all their learning from white people and their books. She had already been working for years as an elder instructor in the schools and at the Adult Education Centre, teaching children and young adults about life on the land and about sewing caribou skins. She was known as an expert caribou-skin seamstress. Her appropriation of a western medium - anthropological life histories -was part of her broader efforts to bridge the widening generation gap and educate younger generations of Inuit in the values of the past. She looked at me intently that first afternoon, pointing to her forty-year old sister Lucy and to a group of children playing outside the window, she said: I want to let them see what our lives were like back then. I want them to see what 199 it was like for us. I want them to know (Fieldnotes 10/04/1993). Apphia was seeking to establish ties with younger generations of Inuit in Pond Inlet. But she was also fostering ties with her ancestors by participating in this project. Indeed Apphia was engaging in a process of cultural translation that had been instigated eighty years previously in the Igloolik region by her namesake, a man called Agalakti. As explained in the previous chapter on ethnographic film, Inuit are given the names at birth of recently deceased relatives or community members and are said to share characteristics, and indeed souls, with the person whose name they have been given. Names provide a person with their social identity. They assign different roles to Inuit at birth, placing them in a group of families and in the community (Brody 2000:13-14). In many respects, as Inuit go through life they are said to again become their namesake and share in their strengths and skills (Kublu and Oosten 1999). Apphia's namesake, Agalakti, was a gifted translator. He learned this skill after losing the use of his legs. In 1913, unable to hunt, Agalakti served as the cultural intermediary when prospector Alfred Tremblay visited the Iglulingmiut (see Chapter 1). In the Igloolik oral history collection, Piugaattuk relates how Agalakti mediated cultural encounters between Tremblay and his camp-mates: There was a person... he was known as Agalakti. He was lame, his limb had deteriorated so he had no use for his legs. It so happened that this individual could understand the English language... I do believe he was instrumental in making the people in the camp understand much better the things that happened around him. He went directly to the white man, he would walk for a short distance and then he would crawl, this was the time he was still losing the use of his limb... The two had been together for some period of time, they were able to communicate with each other so that both started to understand each other. I do believe he was instrumental in making everyone understanding things with the white person 200 (Piugaattuk 1991.IE181). In a fashion that is parallel to the life of the old Agalakti, Apphia Agalakti Awa in 1993, at age sixty-two, when she was no longer able to hunt or travel on the land, was living out her namesake's destiny by engaging [again] in this project of cultural translation through her collaboration with me in the documentation of her people's history. With our objectives in place, Apphia, the translator and I began our storytelling sessions. From that first afternoon on, the settings for Apphia's interview sessions varied. Often we would meet at her house in the afternoons, after she had made lunch for her children and grandchildren. Sometimes we met in my living room. The audiences varied with each session, and this affected the type of information and lessons evoked in each story. Sometimes there were just three of us: Apphia, our interpreter and me. At other times her husband, children, nieces nephews, daughters and sons-in laws or visiting neighbours would be there listening to her tape her stories, asking questions, commenting on what she was saying, watching television, or talking among themselves. Taping sessions would often begin with her taking the tape-recorder from me. She said that she wanted to control the on/off and pause switches so that she didn't "ruin" her narratives by coughing. She would turn to the interpreter or others listening in the room and begin to tell stories from her life. She spoke reflectively, and often passionately. Sometimes remembering happy times from her life made her laugh so hard that she had to turn off the tape-recorder. At other times her memories made her cry. Her stories were told in Inuktitut. The tone, cadence, and emotion of her voice and her body language combined with my limited knowledge of Inuktitut gave me an idea of the meaning of many of her 201 words. But, apart from sketchy recapitulations at the breaks, I had to wait until the tapes were translated into English to learn the details of Apphia's stories. The interpreters were thus a central figure at each meeting . The person filling this role, however, often changed. Pond Inlet was a busy settlement when I was there, with people engaged in the spring and fall hunt as well as juggling family, work and school responsibilities. Finding a person with a strong command of both English and the traditional Inuktitut spoken by elders, a person who was close to Apphia and with whom she felt comfortable sharing her life stories was a difficult task. The first translator Apphia brought to the interviews was her forty year old adopted younger sister Lucy. Soon after, Lucy was offered full-time work at the Northern Store, and Apphia's nineteen year old grand-daughter Sandra took her place. Apphia's thirty-four year old daughter Rhoda, trained as a government translator, also sat in on her mother's stories, as did a twenty-nine year old cousin Bernadette, a legal interpreter. In the final weeks, a family friend and medical translator was solicited to listen to Apphia's tapes and translate them to English. While anthropological life histories such as these have been analysed for the ways in which they exist as bi-cultural compositions - that is, knowledge created in the dialogues or dialectics between anthropologist/scribes and indigenous storytellers - the life history work that I engaged in with Apphia highlighted the effects of intra-cultural (i.e. gender and age) differences in storytelling, as Apphia (a sixty-four year old) tailored the content of her stories to women translators ages forty to nineteen, to me, and to whoever else was in the room. She spoke always to a female interpreter, but sometimes 202 as a sister, sometimes as a mother, as a grandmother, as a cousin, as a neighbour. She also spoke as an Inuit storyteller to an anthropologist. The information that she relayed, and the voices that she adopted, reflected these different alliances.108 Speaking to her various audiences, Apphia stitched together local references and universal comparisons directed to whoever was in the room at the time. The make up of the audiences affected the tone and content of her oral stories. Adding to this array of voices in her stories were the translators. Five different women, each with a different command of Inuktitut and English vernacular, listened to and translated Apphia Awa's stories onto English cassettes. Lucy's English was fairly straightforward but Rhoda, trained as a government translator and working as a assistant senior administrative officer for the hamlet often had her mother using bureaucratic terminology, words such as "social programs", "policies" and "institutions". Bernadette relayed Apphia's stories using legal terms like "henceforth", "in any event", and "hearings". Her neighbour depicted Apphia using medical expressions like "impetigo", "inflammation" and "congestion"; and Sandra had her grandmother talking using the idioms of Inuit youth with words like "guys", "shitty" and "cool". 1 0 8 Cruikshank, writing about storytelling at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival in Whitehorse, describes how, while indigenous storytelling assumes a relation between the speaker and the listener, the storytellers worked on many different levels, adapting their narratives to convey meanings to a diverse and multicultural audience (1998:138-59). Similarly, Sarris's illustration of his work with Porno storyteller Mable McKay also emphasizes how McKay continually reworked her narrative to teach different lessons (Sarris 1993). 203 Sifting the Content: The Effects of Translators on Apphia's Life Stories Translators altered not only the vernacular, but the content of Apphia Awa's stories. One night, I was listening to a close friend and neighbour of Apphia's whom we had hired to listen to the Inuktitut stories on a headphone and simultaneously repeat them in English using a hand-held tape recorder. She was translating one of Apphia's stories in the living room of the house where I was staying while I was making tea in the adjoining kitchen. The story that she was speaking to the tape took place in the 1940s, when Apphia was in her teens, travelling with her husband and children to a winter igloo camp on the sea-ice. the translator arrived at a segment of the story that contained information that she clearly felt that I (as an outsider) should not know. I heard her [simultaneously] translate the "private" segment of the story that she was hearing in her headphones without realizing what she had just said. She then erased it. I knew about the event described on tape. Since the first week of the storytelling, Apphia, her daughter Rhoda and I had held several discussions about the stories of difficult times, family "incidents", moments of anger and community disputes that emerged in her narratives. Apphia told stories of happy times, but she also gave significant place to stories of hardship and interpersonal strife between members of her family and among other community members important to her life history. Conscious that an objective of this project was to assemble a written text from their life stories, a text that could be disseminated to audiences outside Pond Inlet, we had several discussions about the confidentiality of stories, about insider/outsider boundaries and about the texts that I would be compiling for southern readers. During those meetings, 204 Apphia had made it clear to Rhoda and to me that I was to be told the entire content of the stories and that we would decide together, as we went along, what would be included in the final text. But this translator did not know the nature of my collaboration with the family. I was an anthropologist, a government contractor and a Qallunaat. I was first and foremost an outsider. I listened to the squeal of the tape recorder as she re-wound and erased what she had just translated on to the English cassette tape. Then came silence as she listened to the rest of the private story on her headphones. A few minutes later she continued taping, filling in the rest of the story with a few pat sentences and then starting at the beginning of another story. I stayed in the kitchen and fiddled with the tea-bags, feeling that it was not my place to address her decision to exclude me from this insider knowledge. I listened to her as she concealed the family secret and concocted an amended story for the English tapes and decided to read this erasure as a jump-start to the pruning process in which I knew that I would eventually be engaged. Decisions about what would and would not go into Apphia's life history were thus defined by all those involved in the storytelling, translation, and editing processes. The efforts that all of these women contributed to the translation of Apphia's life stories illustrates the importance that Inuit women in 1993 were placing on translating their elders's stories into a medium that could be understood by cultural outsiders. By the time the stories were made into transcripts, they had already become part of the Inuit oral tradition. Just like storytelling of the past, listeners at the sessions likely recounted these stories later in different settings to different audiences, using them in different ways to 205 inform the Inuit subsistence system. The written English text representing Apphia Agalakti Awa's life that we worked to create in the following weeks, months and years was attuned to another form of subsistence related to cultural survival and the associated efforts of Inuit women to assert their voices in national and international dialogues. Translators and family members, especially those of the residential school generation, spoke of Apphia's published life history as challenging outsider representations of Inuit histories. Editing for Form: Inuit Orality and Western Historical Strategies I returned to Edmonton in May 1993, after the first life histories fieldwork, and began transcribing the tapes. Far away from Pond Inlet and ensconced in a southern urban centre in the summer, my job was to carry on this Iglulingmiut culture-making process as an outsider on my own, and compile a bounded and coherent text of Apphia, Rhoda's, and Sandra's life histories for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. But, the transcripts were in places confusing. The narratives were sometimes tangled. Apphia recounted her life histories as individual events and images, linked but not always chronologically ordered. Stories were first told and then later retold to me within the contexts of different stories, or in combination with new tales or with different details and emphasis. Properties of time and place in Apphia's narratives changed as quickly as her memories provoked new thoughts and recollections. In any afternoon Apphia might switch from a story about when she was four years old to a related story that occurred when she was in her twenties and then back again. 206 M y attempts to translate oral histories into written narratives that would connect with audiences outside Pond Inlet posed a number of methodological problems. At issue was the balance between the need for these testimonies to remain as much as possible in the women's own words, and the need impressed upon me by the reviewers and the editors for these life histories to be comprehensive and "reader friendly" for a general audience. Apphia's stories were often expressed on the English tapes in bits and pieces, in fragmented English or with long pauses and frequent repetitions. The question that I faced was how to represent orality.and elements of performance typographically. This question intersected with a larger set of discussions that have been taking place regarding the methodology of oral traditions research: At one time exclusively represented in prose, oral histories are now sometimes represented in verse, with narrative poetry employing different devices to indicate such properties as: timing (pauses, lengthening syllables, etc.), volume, the emotional element when speaking, tonal contours and other influences such as non-verbal language or audience reactions (Hymes 1981; Finnegan 1992:204).109 Transforming Apphia's voice into text thus posed a number of methodological challenges. Complicating this matter further was the fact that Apphia's eloquent and fluent Inuktitut stories were translated into English through the voices of five different translators, all of whom were using English as their 1 0 9 Few published Inuit oral histories however use these ethnopoetic conventions. Rasmussen, for example, transcribed Awa's and other Iglulingmiut storyteller's oral poetry and Ajaajaa songs in verse (1929). But the majority of Inuit life history collections, such as Washburne and Anauta (1940), Pitseolak and Eber (1993), Bodfish and Schneider (Bodfishl991), Blackman and Neacock (Blackman 1989) and others, use prose to represent Inuit narrative. 207 second language and each of whom had her own individualized command of both Inuktitut and English vernacular. Sometimes eloquently expressed Inuktitut phrases suffered in translation. Despite the trepidation, the issues of authenticity and textual representation that constituted my participation in this process of culture-making, I nonetheless transcribed the tapes from my April/May fieldwork and returned for a month to Pond Inlet the following September. I spent more afternoons and evenings with Apphia, reviewing my transcriptions of her stories and discussing the questions I had prepared pertaining to the fragments, details, people and place names that had been lost in the translation from Inuktitut to English or from spoken to the written word. During these more structured editorial meetings with Apphia, I would flip through piles of transcripts riddled with notes in the margins and ask Apphia, through a translator, to expand on details from her stories. Following these meetings, I returned to Edmonton and produced a new set of transcripts that I mailed to Pond Inlet along with a list of questions in November 1993. Sandra Katsak then flew to Edmonton that same month to review with me the first draft of her family's life history collection. I submitted the Royal Commission report in the fall of 1994, and we decided then to edit and to publish this report as a book. Once the manuscript had been accepted by McGill-Queens University Press (with the provision to cut one hundred pages from this tome), discussions continued with Apphia, Rhoda and Sandra using Canada Post, phone, fax, and e-mail about how I would edit these stories and what we would leave out. I returned again to Pond Inlet in the spring of 1997, six 208 months after Apphia had died, with a version of our life history collection in hand to discuss more editorial changes with Rhoda and Sandra. In our efforts to translate this oral Inuktitut life history into a written English manuscript, more and more people became involved. Apphia's life stories were mediated by family members, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples administrators and reviewers and then by McGill-Queens editors, reviewers, and editorial boards. Each of these advisors projected his or her own ideas about how Inuit culture should be represented in book form. Content was shaped and reshaped, recontextualized, pruned and sorted. In this process, Western rules of narrative form and the aesthetics of Inuit culture shaped what material were left in and what was left out. An array of voices from Pond Inlet, Igloolik, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal thus contributed to discussions of authenticity and the ways in which Inuit traditions and cultural practices were presented. The Published Story The history of the boil story from our book Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women demonstrates this editorial process. Again, it concerns events in 1946, when Apphia and her husband Awa, along with Kunuk, Qaaqiuq and their children spent several months together at a caribou hunting camp. I now turn to the "official" narrative, published and disseminated to audiences in southern Canada and the world. This story is different from the one that was told on tape. I explain the reasons for this in the latter part of this chapter. For now, the story: 209 "That Woman's Husband, He Had a B o i l " I remember my husband and I were alone with another couple and their two children. M y sister-in-law, she was a young girl and she came with us to go fishing. People took us there by boat and dropped us off. We stayed there. We stayed a long time out there in a camp. That is when I had my first menstruation, even though I had been married for some time. I was ashamed. I was shy, I was scared of my husband. He had been married before, and he already knew everything that I was ashamed of. That is when I was quite young. We were in one tent. Since we were all young people we would play around in the tent. We would play around and laugh and talk. We were so young then... Her husband was Kunuk, and she was Qaaqiuq. The children were Ittukusuk and Aula and Ulaayuk. We were camped with them for long time, the whole summer, looking for caribou. We would go out walking during the days looking for caribou. At that time people used to get big boils inside their skin. You would put a lemming skin on top to get the boil out.. If there was tobacco around we would use the tobacco pouch. They used to have hard covers on them. Even though there is a lot of pus inside, the boils wouldn't always burst by themselves. They would have to be cut to get the pus out, and there would be a lot of pus. That was how the boils were dealt with. That was our way of doing medicine. That woman's husband, he had this boil on his shoulder; Even though we tried to do those medical things to it, the pus wouldn't come out. He became sick, and he was sick for a week. We had been camped with that couple for two weeks before that happened. We had caught a lot of fish the first two weeks we were there. We filled up all the caches in the area with fish. There were so many fish, we didn't even use our spears, we would just use our knives and kil l them like that. We had so many fish, we even fed some to the dogs. We had long boots that time. They were made out of sealskin. We would use one whole seal and sew the boot right up to the thighs. For both legs we would use two sealskins. Those boots, they would keep us from getting wet when we were fishing. We were very happy that time. We were having a great time - all of the fishing we were doing didn't seem to make us tired at all! When we were finished we would play dolls. That woman and I, we would play dolls with the children. Sometimes my husband would play with us. He would pretend to go to the trading store or something. There is this one incident that I really laugh about, I laugh when I remember. It was night-time and we were in the tent. M y husband was playing with the dolls and pretending to go to the trading store. Then he pretended to come back to the camp. The other man asked him, "Did you get any oatmeal?" He was playing with English words. M y husband said, "No, it is very expensive!" We were all laughing. We laughed very hard. That woman, she was sleeping, so we were trying not to wake her up with our laughing. We were trying to be very 210 quiet. It was hard not to laugh loudly. We would say the word "oatmeal" over and over again. We would repeat what my husband had replied about the oatmeal, and we would laugh and laugh. That woman's husband, he had a boil. We were trying to take off the boil with the lemming skin but it wouldn't come out, - it wasn't rising to the surface. The man with the boil thought that i f we moved our camp to another site, i f we moved the tent, it would help his boil to get better. We cared for him and wanted him to get better, so we all got together to move that tent. I had been helping that family out at that time, helping dry the caribou skins when the children peed on them and helping dry everyone's kamiks. The husband, he helped a lot and did a lot of the work too. We figured that perhaps if we moved to a cleaner place, a better place, it would be easier for us. After we moved, during the moving, the man who wanted to move just sat there and put his hands together and watched. He looked really weak. Apparently he was on his last breath. The dogs were hanging around him and he was playing with the dogs. He was sitting there for a long time while we were moving the tent. After we had moved the tent, I asked the wife what was wrong with him. She didn't know. We finished moving the tent, and my husband went and told the man that the tent was ready for him to move into. Apparently that man was crying, saying that he couldn't do anything any more. When we went into the tent, he went straight into bed and didn't get up at all. Apparently the boil went inwards, right into his ribs and into his lungs. That is where the infection went. That is what the elders said at the time. We had no idea. He was vomiting really black stuff and he wasn't eating at all. He didn't want to eat any more. I was really young at the time, I was maybe fourteen years old. I was trying to help this sick person, and I didn't know anything about sick people. There was no elders around, just us young people. The wife was scared. She kept running away. Her husband had asked her to move into the bed and lie beside him so that he could sleep. She didn't want to move closer to him. She was scared of him and she didn't know what to do, so I went beside the husband. When he tried to sit up, his teeth would chatter. He would start talking, saying things that didn't make sense so I would make him lie down again. Even though when he wanted to sit up, I told him that each time he sat up his teeth chattered. He agreed and stayed lying down. Apparently he was losing his mind. When he talked, I would talk to him. I didn't know then that he had lost his mind. M y husband was going to go by dog team to get some seal fat. He went seal hunting because we were getting low on fuel for our lamps. By that time it was early fall and there was fresh snow on the ground. The ground had frozen, so my husband hooked up the dog teams. He was gone for a long time, he was taking a long time to come back. The man kept saying, "Isn't he back yet? Wil l he ever come back?" I would answer "Yes, he is coming back." After asking that same question over and over again, he stopped. 211 He stopped asking questions and lay with his back facing me so I couldn't see him. I thought that he might be tired of being in the same position on his side, so I lay him down on his back, but he didn't move. He was sleeping all night and I wasn't sleeping soundly so I picked up my sewing and sewed for the longest time. He never asked me anything. He barely moved. I heard my husband returning so I went out to help him out with the dogs. When my husband came into the tent, he asked me how Kunuk was. I said that he had been sleeping for long long time. Apparently he was dead, and the body had become hard. M y husband went over to Kunuk. Kunuk's eyes were wide open. M y husband said, "I think that he is dead now." He was shouting at him "Kunuk! Kunuk! Wake up! Wake up!" We couldn't wake him up. He was dead. The wife was crying. I wasn't crying. I didn't feel like crying. I was told later that I wasn't crying because I had no energy left. That is what the people told me later. After we found out he was dead, we tried to dress him but the body had stiffened up so much, he was crooked. It was really hard to put his clothes back on. I hadn't realized that he had died. That is when I got scared of him. His eyes were wide open. It looked like he was going to speak at any moment. We couldn't put on his clothing. I was trying to hold him, trying to help dress him, but I was really getting scared of him. I was crying and crying. I didn't want to touch him anymore. M y husband scolded me. He had never scolded me before at all. I think he really felt sorry for me. He said, "Look, you know that animals die. When they die, they never live again. They don't breathe again at all. You should know that. This is how it is with this person. He is not going to breath again. He is not going to be alive again. He is dead!" He told me that Kunuk was not going to say anything anymore, that he was not breathing anymore, and that he wasn't looking at me. When I finally got my senses back, we put his clothes on and wrapped him up in the only blanket that we had to take him out of the tent. We were trying to take him out of the tent, but his wife didn't want him to leave. We got scared of his wife and put him back inside the tent on his bed. It felt like the tent was really large. Even though the tent was made of skin, we scrunched it down a bit and put some rocks on it to make the tent smaller. We fell asleep that night. Early the next morning we tried to bury him. As we were putting the harnesses on our dogs, Kunuk's dogs were lying down. His dogs were lying down on the ground. They didn't even try to stand up. We put him on the qamutik and left. We took him a little ways by dog team. I was on the qamutik with him, and my husband was walking. It was still summer, maybe early fall, and there was just a little snow on the ground. His own dogs started howling as we were leaving. They were howling so loud. I asked my husband why, even though they were lying down, why the dogs were howling. He told me that they were mourning for their dead owner. Earlier that spring, before this had all happened, when we were seal-hunting on the land, the dogs had already begun howling because they were mourning him already. 212 We went to that place where there were flat rocks. We cut a box that we had picked up from the trading post when we had gone to buy supplies. We cut that box in half and placed half on his head and half on his feet. There was no other wood around. We put these flat rocks on top of him and that is how we buried him. When we got back to our tent, we started getting prepared to leave to go back home, to go to the place where our relatives would pick us up by boat. It was time for the boat to come pick us up, so we left to go travel to the place where we were supposed to meet the boat. I kept on looking behind me as we were leaving, thinking that Kunuk would come and follow us. He didn't follow us. "He is not here yet," that is what I kept on thinking, "he is not here yet." The wife was crying. She didn't want to leave, she was grieving so much. She was grieving for her husband. We went to the beach and it was dark. We pitched our tent to wait for the boat. When we put up the tent, it was too big, so we fixed it so that it was much smaller and that is how we slept. We heard the boat coming. It came the next day. It was an outboard motor. There were a lot of people in the boat, my in-laws as well. The water was calm that day and you could hear it really well. We were crying. We could hear the motor cutting off. It was low tide so they beached a long ways away. They didn't come towards us right away, so we fell asleep. You could see them when we woke up, but they wouldn't come. We didn't try to go to them so they walked to us. We were just inside the tent, and how scary that was at the time! I thought that they were going to blame us for letting that person die. It was like killing him, like the wife had killed him. The man's older brothers were there, but their father wasn't. They had dropped him off at a camp along the way. I don't know why he stopped in a middle camp. Maybe he didn't want to meet his son right away. Apparently when they stopped at that camp along the way, the father started looking around with his telescope. He had sat on a piece of rock where there was nothing around, and he was twirling his pipe around and around. He put his pipe down after he had lit it and he went to retrieve his telescope but he couldn't find it. He couldn't find his telescope at all. That is when he knew that he had lost a relative. That is when he knew that there was something wrong. The man who died was his son, and he really loved him. He loved him like you love your family. Mamatiaq, he was the one who came to pick us up. Mamatiaq was his real brother and Uuyukuluk was his stepbrother. They came to pick us up. When they came into the camp, I wouldn't leave the tent. It was really scary. I was so scared I didn't want to go outside. I had a lot of fear when I was young. Fear went with me wherever I went. When they came over and peeked inside the tent, we all started crying. Of course they didn't see him inside the tent. Even though my husband told them what had happened, they didn't understand him. He was telling them that Kunuk left us. Uuyukuluk was so shocked he was saying, 213 "What? Did somebody kil l him? Did he shoot himself?" M y husband said no, but he couldn't explain further, he was too upset. Finally they understood us when I told them that he had died from a boil. People don't die from boils, but that is what I told them. They prepared to get us ready to leave. We couldn't do anything by ourselves at that time so they took us by boat. We went to a camp where Kunuk's father, Atitaaq, was. We beached at that place. We didn't get out of the little cabin on the boat. I didn't get out, perhaps because I was so tired or scared. You could hear the dogs howling. We took Atitaaq on board and kept on travelling. We went to my in-laws' place at another camp. It was rough water when we went there. When we beached, I saw another person who was crying. It was my sister-in-law. The man who died was her other brother. She was rolling around on the ground even though it was raining. She was rolling around on the ground and crying. I was so scared of her. Apparently we were wrong to be so scared: Apparently everyone was really grateful for how we had taken care of that person who had died. Everyone was happy that we had buried him properly. We were really scared when they said that. I thought that they were trying to scare us. Later on, though, Atitaaq came to us, he came to talk to my husband and myself. He talked in a calm voice. We didn't talk back to him. We were young and he was our elder. We never answered back to him, we just listened to him. He was thanking us and crying. He was crying a little. Because it was fall, we had to start travelling back to the place where we were going to spend the winter. We had to travel before the ice moved in. We left that camp behind. We didn't move anywhere else. We left as soon as we could and went with my in-laws to the camp with the sod-houses. That fall I was pregnant, I was pregnant with my first child. I started feeling really creepy. I had never felt creepy like that. I had never felt haunted before. I used to really feel haunted. Apparently the man who had died, he wanted to be named in someone else. I wouldn't take out the pee-pots by myself or pick up ice. I wouldn't go anywhere by myself. I thought that ghosts were going to come after me. Because I was so scared at that time, I would wake up with a very heavy body. I would know everything that was going on around me, but I couldn't move. That is how it was for me at that time. I wouldn't be able to move even though I was awake. It was because I was so scared,... When my husband and father-in-law went hunting, only the women were left in the sod-house. Because I was so afraid to be alone, I would go to bed with my mother-in-law. I don't know how many of us were under the same blanket. There was my mother-in-law, her three daughters, and myself. There were five of us under one blanket - yes, five. I would put myself in between the children. Nobody at that time ever thought of helping me or protecting me. I told them how scared I was. I was really scared. When I talked to my mother-in-law about it later, she told me that she had been scared too. 214 M y mother-in-law had a baby daughter at that time. We weren't supposed to use old names, Inuktitut names, the Qallunaat told us so. We gave her a name from the Bible. We were scared to give her Kunuk's name because we were afraid she would get sick and die the way Kunuk had. Since we didn't have any small babies with us that time, we really liked that baby. We were scared she would die, so we gave her Kunuk only as a second name. It wasn't until much later -when I had Oopah -1 had Oopah and I gave her away for adoption - only when Oopah had grown, when I took her back, that is when we had named her after Kunuk. That is how it was at that time. (Awa in Wachowich 1999:42-48) Practical tasks: the Written Story as Documentation "That Woman's Husband, He had a B o i l " underwent numerous editorial changes. Nevertheless, in its published form, it performs a number of practical tasks. At its most general level, the story chronicles Apphia's personal experiences as a newly married young woman during a historical period when Inuit were still living a largely self-sufficient nomadic lifestyle on the land. She describes subsistence activities of the period: how they: hunted, fished and sewed seal-skin hip-waders. She inventories Iglulingmiut material culture in 1946: dogteams, tents, caribou skin mattresses, kamiks, dolls, oatmeal and telescopes. Apphia records her feelings of anxiety and her husband's gentleness when they were getting to know each other in the first year of their arranged marriage. She describes his sense of humour - how they laughed and laughed, making fun of English words like "oatmeal". She relays Awa's acumen in dealing with the death of Kunuk. This record is of value not only to the descendants of Apphia and her husband and to other Iglulingmiut, but also to general audi