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Past Events

Special Events

Nunavut 10th Anniversary Celebration

Storytelling and the Land, Part 1

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Gisèle Jacob: Well, welcome back to more comfortable, a more comfortable setting. As you may have seen from the program, we're about to explore storytelling, mapping and naming the land. And later this afternoon you'll also be treated to film, music, photography and, very importantly, food. Today we'll have the pleasure to benefit from everything from the Nunavut culture. We'll have many opportunities during the day to exchange through dialogue, to learn from each other and to enrich our understanding of Nunavut and its people. I told you about simultaneous translation … to you again if you wish to go get the receivers for the translation, but it is available to you. I am now very happy to re-introduce to you our dancer, Elder Peter Irniq; again I apologize for the pronunciation. He will share a traditional story with us. Peter is a former Commissioner of Nunavut and has seen first hand the drastic changes Inuit have gone through in the last 50 years. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia and is highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge about Inuit culture and society. Recently he has made presentations on these issues at Harvard University and Brown University. Please join me in welcoming Elder Peter Irniq.


Peter Irniq: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, again. Thank you. How to say thank you in four official languages, Inuktitut. I am always very honoured to be an Inuk, what I mean is when I'm invited to talk about Inuit and the culture. When I was going to go to residential school as a child, I was taught traditionally by my parents, my father, my mother and my brother-in-law. My father was a hunter, traditional hunter. My father was a shaman, and my brother-in-law was a shaman. My mother was a professional seamstress and a wonderful carver, and my sister was also a carver, a very excellent carver. I, myself, have attempted carving, not a lot. Those Inuits who are present here tonight, thank you for coming, and for the woman who… the elder who lit the kudlik, I thank you so much Singuuri. Mrs. Singuuri I thank you. My father was a story teller. He was a hunter, an extremely good hunter. He was also a shaman that I never knew about. My brother-in-law I knew about being a shaman.