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Inuit Journey ☆ Inuit Journey PDF / Epub ✩ Author Edith Iglauer – In Canada's eastern Arctic there is a place called Ungava Bay It is a huge inlet latitude sixty degrees projecting southward from the Hudson Strait between Hudson Bay and the Labrador Three hundred Es In Canada's eastern Arctic there is a place called Ungava Bay It is a huge inlet latitude sixty degrees projecting southward from the Hudson Strait between Hudson Bay and the Labrador Three hundred Eskimos live along its four hundred and fifty mile shoreline and until just a few years ago they lived very much as their ancestors had lived for several thousands of years before them They hunted caribou and fished for seal and when they ran out of food they picked up their tents packed them on their dog sleds and moved to new hunting grounds either upriver or on the coast Not many Canadians knew of their existence and those who did felt little concern for them; it was assumed that if they could even survive in that far off and forbidding area they must be getting along all right Over the years the white man did bring to Ungava the Hudson's Bay Company the gun the motorboat the missionary a lot of disease and in the brief summers when the ice melts in the bay and on the rivers that flow into it a bit of wage employment The Eskimos were tolerant of the white man andeven amused by him but they continued to speak their own language to eat raw meat and fish and to ignore Anglo Saxon ideas of morality and sanitation Eskimo is an Indian name meaning eater of raw flesh The Eskimos' own name for themselves is Innu The People and it has not been for very long that they have known that any other people existed on this earthYet times were changing for the Eskimos on Ungava Bay as for all Canada's twelve thousand Eskimos Some of the white man's products began to have a strong appeal for them notably tea tobacco guns and textiles and in order to buy these they devoted and time to the trapping of animals whose furs the white man wanted to buy in exchange Of these animals the white fox was for a while the most valuable at one time the Hudson's Bay Company would pay over forty dollars a skin so the Eskimos trapped a large number of white foxes Then in the depression the price of a white fox dropped to two and a half dollars and from that day to this it has never recovered enough to keep pace with the rising price of the white man's goods While this change was going on the caribou the Eskimos' chief source of food and clothing mysteriously began to vanish perhaps because too many caribou were being shot and too few of their newborn calves were surviving With the threatened extinction of that staple there came the possibility that the Eskimo himself might soon become extinct.

2 thoughts on “Inuit Journey

  1. Sarah Sarah says:

    I read this under the original title New People the Eskimo's Journey into our Time I don't often read things written in the 60s It was a very interesting perspective

  2. Kristine Morris Kristine Morris says:

    At 99 years old Edith Iglauer is probably one of the last people alive that witnessed the beginnings of the Inuit co operative apparatus in Inuit Nunangat Canada's Arctic This book is her personal account of meeting Inuit in Ialiut Frobisher Bay Kangisualujjuag George River and Kuujjuag Fort Chimo Edith was invited by Don Snowden then chief of the Industrial Division of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources to join him at the inaugural meeting of the first Inuit co operative in 1958 Today it is easy to cast those who had anything to do with western programming in the North in a negative light considering the inter generational social issues faced by Inuit that were unintended conseuences of the policies at the time So many of the individuals who worked with the Inuit were very good people who genuinely wanted to help This shines through in Edith Iglauer's portrait of Don Snowden Snowden who died pre maturely at the age of 56 understood that the co operatives had potential but only if the Inuit understood that they were to make the decisions He took great pains to ascertain whether Inuit were saying what they thought the white men wanted or whether they were expressing their own views He understood that the ultimate success of program depended on it being owned and determined by Inuit Even back then he knew that the adoption of the western diet for the Inuit was a huge problem hence his tireless efforts to get seal and whale canned and available in the community stores Reading this book made me realize how fully the co operative system relied on the seal fur trade When it was radically curtailed due to public outcry today considered ill informed by many it disseminated the co operatives and Inuit's ability to be self sufficient While not the only reason the co operatives have struggled it was a significant oneThe book was updated with a new last chapter after Nunavut was created in 1999 and the author revisited the communities 30 years after her first visit It seemed bittersweet many people she had met were either dead or very very old and the ways of the north had changed so irrevocably

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