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The American Indian and Aborigin
Muskwa And Inuit
Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA
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THIS ARTICLES DEDICATED TO THE CAVADA INDIAN AND ABORIGIN TRIBES
Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA
American Indian and Aborigin
Indians, & Canadian Aboriginals
Communaute Autochtone Muskwa is a Historical 1st Nations / Self Governing Aboriginal Community with a ritch History dating back to the times of Port Royal in the Early 1600’s
Our Family are All Aboriginals & Muskwa’s Members”
What people & the public need to be aware of & understand clearly is that when
new members join Muskwa, they are not just recieving a “membership pass” or a “status card” which defines them as aboriginal or “Metis,” or a card which entitles them to the benifits of which an aboriginal community can give them threw one form or another.
In actuality besides the fact they recieve a card they are – aknowledged as part of our family unit, which carries the greatest of value & rewards, along with responsabuility and obligations, – because they are part of our family unit and that is something we take seriously, and we cherrish this.
“is Our people!”
Being a member of ones family and of ones community has its pros and cons benifits and stresses, and when one joins our community – “our family” they are treated as such & are expected to conduct themselves as such, with dignity, honour, respect, and to act in kindness with honesty & good faith.
Regardless of location in Canada – all aboriginals are considered as “Family” members to us, – in fact we welcome all who are of aboriginal origen and their families.
A Proud Dancer.
We do not refuse any aboriginals from joining us, or from taking part as active members or non activ
Like all familys, some times there are disagreements, and then there is allot of love, support & help from family members, that is also part of what the word family means.
In todays society, as time passes, and as history of people evolve & continue to change, sometimes family values are lost, and sometimes bonds are broken & sometimes there are bad times & like with all other familys there are the good times as well.
At Muskwa we try to bring out the best of each & every member we have, we try to support our ever growing community, we try & educate our young to be the best that they can be, not only in support of their familys directly but also in support of their in-direct family members.
Reason being – we feel as if we do not help one & another, or we do not support the familys structures with their needs in daily living , we are not being a positive form of support for our familys or our future.
Our children & elderly, our poor & our handicap, they all depend on us! If we can give to them at minimum the time of day just to help address what ever seems to be a problem in their lives, then we are contributing to a more positive & healthy & productive society for genorations to come.
“We are Aboriginals”
“For Example” – As in all familys there is good & bad in all children but truthfully there is no such meaning as “a truely bad child from the start”, because children are born innocent & pure & what they learn is what comes from set examples demonstrated to them in society – which shapes & forms their actions & behaviors as children & continues to remain until they are adults.
“Example” – If a child is exposed to corruption from an early stage in his life – then chances are as he grows & developes he will have learned more & he will also have learned how to become corrupt.
“Example” – If a child is exposed to smoking or abuse of drugs or alcohol or if he is raised in an enviroment where there is criminal activity – then he may grow up repeating the same patterns – because thats all he has ever seen in his lifetime.
“Example” – If a child for example is raised in a financially poor enviroment where he has very little to eat, or poor living conditions, then chances are he may not have the inner will to walk the strait path to financial security & prospairity. – He may steal food to feed himself or his siblings.
“Example” – If a child watches & witnesses his father beat his mother while he is growing up, or if he watches & witnesses his parents cheat on one & another then those examples too may assist in developing his opinion on what normal life may be, as he may grow to feel as though what he has lived threw is the way life should be & that is how he personally shoul be & he may repeat the set patterns of examples.
As intelligent respectable family members, we all know & understand that the examples which have just been given are by no means acceptable or tolorable in society, & with that in mind we do not nor should we judge those who have come from unfavorable situations, But what we should be doing is assisting in “Rectifying” what causes the problems.
Even if it means feeding the poor, of babysitting a neighbours child while she works to support her children – if we can. Or if at all possible donate to food drives, or churches when clothing drives are held.
The illimination of factors which contribute to poverty or poor living conditions creats a positive spinn off which in turn changes each & everyones future, which in turn allows for a healthy productive society later on.
We must strive to set the proper examples at all costs, & we must strive to contribute to upholding our laws which is what allows for our society to maintain its structure, & we must work hard at helping each other when needed.
One of the goals of our community is to maintain the family unit, keep our traditions & heritages strong & healthy, to take care of all our members direct or in-direct, & to keep our familys strong & healthy, despite who our members are, where they come from, or despite the social standings they hold in life – this job belongs to all of us & we take our responsabuilitys seriously.
We know the future will be dark if we all dont work hard at doing our part!
Amazing Grace, aboriginal music.
THE TYPE OF CANADIAN INDIAN AND ABORIGIN TRIBES
- While Americans associate the Sioux with their own Western Plains, some branches of this family also moved historically within Canada’s borders. The Assiniboin and Dakota serve as two primary examples. Each migrated between the present borders separating the U.S. and Canada, deriving much of their sustenance and livelihood from the nomadic bison herds they followed. The dominant language of each nation is traditionally Lakota. History of Canada Online states that an original population of 10,000 was reduced to 3,000 due to smallpox outbreaks in the 18th century.
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- The Iroquois Confederation, which included Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida , Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes, was one of Canada’s most distinct native groups, enjoying partnerships in trade and mutual defense. The confederacy sought to incorporate conquered peoples into their collective. At its height, the confederation’s lands stretched from the Genesee River near Lake Ontario all the way to the environs of Lake Champlain.
- The Algonquin family group is one of the largest and most territorially expansive throughout all of North America. Their vast geographical coverage has spanned from the Atlantic Ocean in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Some of the dominant tribes historically present in Canada include the Atsina, Chippawa and Cree. The large amount of territory covered by these peoples is, to some extent, a reflection of their significant mobility. While some of the Algonquin nations maintained hostile relations with the Iroquois Confederacy, at times they also fought each other, as did the Atsina and Cree.
- There are many other tribes that were found throughout the Canadian landscape historically, and many are still present. Some examples include elements of the Shoshoni family, the Wendat Confederacy and the Skittegetan family. Additionally, there are peoples indigenous to the cold, northern expanse of Canada. Some of these tribes in the Northwest Territories include the Chipewyan, Dogrib, Gwich’in, Han, Hare, Kaska and Slavey, while the far northwest Yukon is also home to the Tagish, Tanana, Tlingit, Tutchone. The northern province of Nunavut, to the east, is governed entirely by the Inuit.
Inuit is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples of the Arctic who descended from the Thule. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference defines its constituency to include Canada’s Inuit and Inuvialuit, Greenland’s Kalaallit people, Alaska’s Inupiaq and Yupik people, and Russia’s Yupik. However, the Yupik are not Inuit in the sense of being descended from the Thule and prefer to be called Yupik or Eskimo.
The National Voice of Inuit Women
Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women,
advocates for equality and social improvements, and encourages their participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada.
Pauktuutit leads and supports
Inuit women in Canada in policy development and community projects in all areas of interest to them for the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of the women, their families and communities.
Qimniq, Klengenberg’ wife, was
an Inupiat from
Point Hope Alaska. Prior to the family’s permanent move to
the Kitikmeot region in 1916,
Planning for the Kitikmeot Regional Chamber of Commerce
Expertise Provided: Organizational Planning, Policies and Procedures
Client: Kitikmeot Regional Chamber of Commerce
Northern Vision: The Kitikmeot region has a strong history of entrepreneurship and successful business development. The current economic climate and the expanding potential of mineral, oil, and gas development, highlighted the need for a regional forum to promote the growth of both local and regional businesses.
Nunavut Values: The small population and remoteness of the Kitikmeot communities have always represented a challenge to the coordination of any regional economic strategic planning. But through careful consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, Aarluk facilitated a successful series of meetings that identified the regional economic, goals, priorities, objectives and opportunities.
The Result: Aarluk’s work culminated in the creation of a Regional Chamber of Commerce, with a forward-looking mission and vision, and detailed plans for steering economic and business development in the Kitikmeot
The cook at Dr. L.D. Livingstone’s residence
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), 1929
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), 1965
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Unidentified children in a field of wildflowers
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), circa 1975
Group of unidentified Inuit and Reverend Peck (back row centre)
Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), September 5, 1903
Unidentified man, Pangnirtung (Pangnirtuuq), August 1946
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E-BOOK IN CD ROM SPECIAL FOR PREMIUM MEMBER
Have you ever wondered about the unknown people in your old family photographs? What if an entire community of people was photographed and never identified?
These are the questions asked by ‘Project Naming’. Launched in 2004, ‘Project Naming’ is an on-going initiative by Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to aid in the identification of Inuit depicted in the various photographic collections held at LAC. This includes the photographic holdings from Indian and Northern Affairs, National Film Board, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and various private collections. It’s a collaborative project between LAC, Nunavut Sivuniksavut (a specialized college program for Inuit youth based in Ottawa, Ontario), and the province of Nunavut’s Department of Culture, Languages, Elders and Youth (CLEY). The project provides Inuit youth with the opportunity to reconnect with elders from their communities and learn more about their heritage.
LAC has launched a Podcast series to accompany the efforts of ‘Project Naming’ and addresses various issues regarding photo documentation in the North over the past century..
Bella Lyall-Wilcox carrying her sister, Betty Lyall Brewster
Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay), circa 1961
Taloyoak (formerly Spence Bay),
Unidentified couple, Fullerton, 1904-1905
Niviaqsarjuk (left) and Jennie (right) wearing Western clothing, Fullerton, 1904
Portrait of Mallikee Fullerton, 1904-1905
Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq
Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq), 1926
Baker Lake (Qamanittuaq
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Eastern Arctic region
Eastern Arctic region 1947
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Studio portrait of an unidentified woman, probably from the Eastern Arctic, who came south on a New Bedford whaler, and was possibly on a “tour” when photographed
New York, New York, 1860
Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk/Tuninirusiq), circa 1974
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Atuat Nujaaqtu (left) and her sister
Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk/Tununirusiq), 1950
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay),
Unidentifed young woman holding her infant
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay), circa 1950s
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay),
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Abe Okpik at home
Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay), April 1964
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq
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Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), 1923
. From left to right: Qaumajuq, Piipi Nasaq, Jonathan, Rhoda and Arnakallak
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik/Tununiq), circa 1940-1944
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk)
Unidentified young girl
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk) September 5, 1958
Unidentified family travelling overland during summertime at Hudson Bay
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), 1912 or 1916
Unidentified individuals from different groups of families
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), summer 1952
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk
Unidentified individuals from different groups of families
Chesterfield Inlet (Igluligaarjuk), summer 1952
Inuit women of Padalamuit group, Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), NU, 1920
Beverly Lake, 1949
Shappa, an employee of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Branch, Department of the Interior
Cape Dorset (Kinngait), 1929
Cape Dorset (Kinngait
Unidentified sculptor in a print shop
Cape Dorset (Kinngait), April 1968
Unidentified group of children
Lyon Inlet, 1933
Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq
Group of unidentified children
Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), September 1959
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Resolute Bay Community History
Note on Place Names: The current official names of places are used here except in direct quotations from historical documents. Thus “Resolute” is used, even if Resolute is known as Qausuittuq or Qarmatalik locally and was formerly called Resolute Bay. Names of places that do not have official names will appear as they are found in the source documents.
Note: Currently, the histories are only available as drafts. These histories will change in response to evidence (oral and documentary) found during the work of the Commission.
||Why is it important?
||A weather station and airstrip were established by the United States and Canada at Resolute
||A Royal Canadian Airforce base was established near the weather station
||Inuit and an RCMP officer were relocated to Resolute
||Inuit were relocated to Resolute
||Resolute received its first permanent school and full-time teacher
||A co-op was established
||An Anglican church was constructed
||A temporary nursing station was established
||The settlement was relocated to provide improved water and sewage services and increase accommodation options for Qallunaat living off-base.
||Resolute achieved hamlet status
||Timothy Idlout moved to Resolute, and was the last Inuit to leave camp life for a settlement
The Hamlet of Resolute (pop. 229) is Canada’s second most northern community, and is located on the western shore of Resolute Bay on the south shore of Cornwallis Island. It was named after the ship HMS Resolute that participated in the search for English explorer Sir John Franklin. The Inuit name for the town is Qausuittuq, meaning “the place with no dawn.” Other names for the community have included Qarnartakuj, meaning “the place of the ruins,” and Resolute Bay (“First Eastern Arctic Mine,” 1973).
Archaeology provides evidence that the Cornwallis Island region was inhabited from time to time by Tunit cultures as early as 1500 BCE, and afterwards by Thule peoples as recently as 1000 CE (Kemp, et al, 1977). Historic-era Inuit did not establish camps or settlements on the island until the relocations of the 1950s.
Modern habitation of the Queen Elizabeth Islands began in 1947 when the United States and Canada built a weather station at Resolute Bay. Inuit were relocated to the area by the government in 1953 and 1955 from Pond Inlet and Inukjuak (formerly known as Port Harrison). In the 1960s and 1970s some residents left the community and returned to their previous homes, particularly the families that were originally from Inukjuak.
Scientists from all parts of Canada and around the world have used the community as a base for High Arctic studies, attracted to the area by its geographical proximity to the pole and the infrastructure provided by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) base.
Population* and dwellings
|Population in 2006
|Population in 2001
|2001 to 2006 population change (%)
|Total private dwellings
|Aboriginal identity population in 2006
|Non-aboriginal identify population in 2006
Source: Statistics Canada (2007).
Cornwallis Island is part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. It boasts of a series of low-lying plains and plateaus, which create an almost featureless terrain scattered with rock debris. The island also has several lakes and rivers. The island geography and position are valuable features for Inuit hunting practices.
Between 1953 and 1960 Inuit hunted and trapped along the coasts of Somerset Island and parts of Prince of Wales Island. Hunters also travelled inland to the interior of Somerset Island where caribou were plentiful.
After 1960 hunting areas expanded as Inuit learned more about the land.
Caribou hunting still takes place in the spring on the western part of Somerset Island and on Russell Island, often along with the polar bear hunt, and in winter on Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island. Char is fished throughout Cornwallis Island and Somerset Island in inland lakes and rivers. Smaller animals are also hunted (Milton Freeman and Associates, 1976).
For information on animals in the region, please visit the Animals (add hyperlink) section of this web site.
Snapshot of Resolute circa 1950
Four Inuit families were moved to Resolute Bay by ship in 1953 with an RCMP officer. Another six families were relocated to the community in 1955. The government saw the move as a success, but relocated Inuit protested that they had unwittingly participated in an ill-conceived experiment and demanded acknowledgement of wrong-doing by the government. In 1996, the Canadian Government awarded $10 million to the survivors of the relocation, but never offered an apology (Bell, 1996).
|Group of Inuit children, Resolute Bay, N.W.T. Source: Library and Archives Canada, R1196-14-7-E, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-178998. September 1959, Resolute Bay, NWT. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut].
The reasons for the government-sponsored High Arctic relocations of the 1950s have been examined by academics, authors, journalists, bureaucrats, independent scholars and, most notably, by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP). There are sharp divisions concerning the reasons for the relocations. Reasons suggested by authors include:
- A desire by the Government of Canada to populate the High Arctic to support Canadian sovereignty claims;
- an intention on the part of the Government of Canada to centralize Inuit in communities where they could provide labour for government services (Kemp, et al, 1977);
- a desire to improve the lives of Quebec Inuit whose livelihoods were thought to be under threat due to decreased game stocks; and,
- an interest in reducing what was seen to be growing dependence on government assistance.
Some families chose to establish camps rather than live in the settlement. Between 1955 and 1960, three or four families occupied camps in the area (Kemp, et al, 1977). Timothy Idlout, his wife Nangat and their 12 children remained at a camp after all the other families left the area in 1967. Idlout lived on the land until 1991 when poor health forced him to move to Resolute. He was the last Inuit to leave camp life for the settlement (Welch, 1993).
In 1947 Canada and the United States established a Joint Arctic Weather Station on the southern coast of Cornwallis Island. An airfield was built as part of the weather station project. Two years later an RCAF base was established near the weather station.
|Alex Stevenson, on right, watching a group of unidentified Inuit bring in a dead walrus alongside their whale boat. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. 1983-120 NPC, Item no. 420. August 1955, [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]
The Inuit who arrived in Resolute from Inukjuak had been accustomed to receiving services in the core of Inukjuak. They were unable to receive these services in Resolute because most services were at the RCAF base, which was about five kilometres away. This distance was purposely created to reduce or prevent interactions between the base Qallunaat and Inuit (Tester and Kulchyski, 1994).
Resolute between 1953 and 1980
There was no modern Inuit settlement at Resolute until September 1953 when four Inuit families consisting of 23 people, 27 dogs, and RCMP constable Ross Gibson were delivered to the area as part of a government relocation program. Three families came from Inukjuak, while the other family was from Pond Inlet. In 1955, 34 more people were relocated from Inukjuak and Pond Inlet to Resolute under the same government program.
The first year in Resolute was difficult due to “a lack of supplies and inadequate equipment” (Government of Canada, 1994, page 494). In addition to problems posed by substandard housing, a boat without a propeller, insufficient numbers of caribou skins for clothing and inadequate food and ammunition supplies, temperatures were much lower than temperatures in Inukjuak, game and terrain conditions were very different, and there were three months of darkness. Added on top of these hardships were the loss of friendships and kinships with the move and the cultural and language differences between the Pond Inlet and Inukjuak groups.
|Department of Transport helicopters at Inuit village. Library and Archives Canada, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-179003. September 1959. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]
Many Inuit worked for various government agencies in Resolute, but they were not paid directly. Their wages were held in an account by the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources which gave ‘credits’ to the wage-earners in place of cash. The credits appear to have been poorly managed, and Inuit allege that they often worked without pay (Marcus, 1992). A store managed by the Department determined which goods could be purchased by Inuit and at what price. This system only ended in 1960 when a co-operative was established in Resolute.
Early in the 1960s, the federal government officially ended relocations because of scarce game resources in the area. In this period, Inuit were finding casual employment at the RCAF base and weather station, but subsistence still depended on harvesting with supplements coming from carving and trapping (Weissling, 1991). Some Inukjuak Inuit began to petition to return to Northern Quebec (Kemp, et al, 1977).
In 1965, 12 Inuit were permanently employed at the base complex. By 1966, the community counted only one full-time hunter, although most employed men also hunted for food (Damas, 2002). In the opinion of the RCMP officer, progress had proven to Inuit “the benefits and security which employment provided compared to the hardships encountered in their old way of life” (Weissling, 1991, page 206).
The RCMP reported increasing problems in the community that were attributed to excessive alchohol consumption (Weissling, 1991). In 1968, Idlout, a Pond Inlet Inuk famous for his role in A Long Day’s Night, died in a snowmobile accident on his way home after leaving the base canteen where he had reportedly been drinking.
By the 1970s, researchers and geologists seeking natural resources had been travelling to the High Arctic for decades. However, the worldwide energy crisis of the 1970s sped up the search for oil and gas in the Cornwallis Island area. Resolute airport became the largest and busiest airport in the Arctic Circle (“Baffin Neighbourhood,” 1973). Scheduled weekly flights to Resolute from Edmonton, Montréal and Winnipeg began in 1973 (“Transair Okayed, ” 1974). The increased population of transients strained the local infrastructure, and in 1973 discussions began about relocating the Inuit settlement.
A new town site was meant to serve two functions: provide improved water and sewage services and more accommodation options for Qallunaat living off-base in Resolute. In 1974, materials for new buildings were shipped to Resolute and government services were moved to the new town site. Inuit homes were relocated the following year.
The location of the new village was poor from the perspective of Inuit. From this spot, they were unable to observe migrating marine mammals from town, and travel to the ice floe became difficult because equipment had to be hauled across land to boats (Kemp, et al, 1977).
The other major development in the 1970s was the significant decline of the caribou herd on Bathurst Island (Kemp, et al, 1977). Inuit blamed increased Qallunaat activity in the area. In the 1970s, natural resource development and seismic testing in the area were protested fiercely by the Inuit. This resolve eventually led to to the Inuit gaining mineral rights in Land Claim negotiations (McPherson, 2003).
Infrastructure and services
Prior to the relocation of the Inuit village in 1975, the village had poor services, including limited running water and hydro. The new town site boasted improved services. Fuel and water were delivered once a week and garbage was picked up weekly by truck in the summer, and snowmobile and sled in the winter. Buildings at the base complex and in South Camp were serviced by pipes from Char Lake and fuel from the tank farm (Kemp, et al, 1977).
RCMP officer Ross Gibson offered simple schooling to the Inuit children in the first dark winters at Resolute. Leah Idlout took over the role of teacher when she and her father, Idlout of Pond Inlet, moved to the settlement in 1955 (Tester & Kulchyski, 1994). Leah taught school in a small house until she left the community in 1958. Resolute received its first permanent school and a full time teacher also in 1958. A second teacher arrived in 1965 and by 1967 a second classroom was added to the school (Government of Canada, 1994).
In the settlement’s early years the local RCMP officer was tasked with ensuring the Resolute Inuit were in good health. The closeness of the settlement to the RCAF base allowed for easy extraction of patients with serious illnesses to Frobisher Bay or other healthcare centres – weather permitting (Bissett, 1968).
|Inuit boy receiving a rabies inoculation [Joe Amagoalik is the boy receiving the inoculation at the Resolute Bay Nursing Station]. Resolute Bay, N.W.T., [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]. Library and Archives Canada. Health Canada, e002394468
The C.D. Howe provided annual x-rays and vaccinations as well as annual bouts of influenza and unwanted passage to southern sanitoriums for Inuit suffering tuberculosis. The measles was also brought to the Inuit at Resolute in 1957 when the C.D. Howe was forced to stop at Resolute after a number of its Inuit passengers contracted the disease. The infected passengers were off-loaded on the shore near the Inuit village, and while physically separated from the Resolute Inuit, the disease quickly jumped the gap, infecting the Resolute Inuit (Tester and Kulchyski, 1994).
Nurses travelling to High Arctic communities passed through the base at Resolute and often took time to examine the Resolute Inuit. The close proximity to the air base, while providing a convenient means of extraction in the event of serious illness, also provided for much more interaction between Inuit and transient Qallunaat. This resulted in frequent illness and influenza outbreaks (Bissett, 1968). In the 1960s, maintenance of the base complex was contracted out to Tower Company, which installed a permanent nurse in the base. However, the company complained to the Northern Health Service (NHS) about the large amounts of time the nurse dedicated to Inuit patients. In response to the complaint the NHS shipped a temporary nursing station to Resolute in 1968. Tower Company’s nurse staffed the trailer part time until a full time nurse was recruited (Bissett, 1968).
The first year in Resolute was spent in duck tents and later, when the snow conditions were right, igloos. The snow conditions were different in Resolute that what the Inukjuak Inuit were accustomed to and consequently made the construction of the Igloos much more difficult.(Tester and Kulchyski , 1994) When spring arrived, the Resolute Inuit gathered scrap and surplus wood from the RCAF base and the dump and began building homes. By 1957 there were 11 makeshift houses constructed along the beach. The base provided enough electricity to the village for each house to run a single light.
|Inuit roofing a building. Library and Archives Canada, National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-178999. September 1959. [Resolute Bay (Qausuittuq), Nunavut]
(Weissling 1991) Inuit heated their homes by burning scrap wood in discarded oil drums.
Three houses were shipped to Resolute in 1956 but they arrived to late in the season to be erected. The following year the three buildings intentioned to be homes were constructed and used as a community store, a warehouse and a school. Four newer houses were erected in 1964 with material purchased from the co-op.( Weissling 1991) When the settlement was relocated to its present location in 1975 a number of new pre-fabricated houses, serviced by the utilidor system, were erected for Inuit occupation.
Churches and Religion
Anglicanism was thoroughly established in the Inuit in both Inukjuak and Pond Inlet for decades before the relocation (Kemp, et al, 1977). During the early years of the settlement, religious service was provided in a small shed constructed out of discarded base material. The space also served as a workshop and school house. An Anglican church was erected in the community in 1965, and a lay preacher from Pond Inlet conducted the services (Bissett, 1968).
|Inuit woman Martha plays the concertina for a group of dancing boys. National Film Board of Canada. Still Photography Division, PA-179001, March 1956, Resolute Bay, NWT.
“Baffin Neighbourhood News, Resolute Booming” (1973, 12 October). Inukshuk, page 12.
Bell, J. (1996, March 15). Exiles Denied Apology. Nunatsiaq News. Retrieved 16 September, 2008, from www.nuunatsiaq.com.
Bissett, D. (1968). Resolute, an area economic survey. Ottawa: Industrial Division, Dept. of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
David Damas (2002). Arctic Migrants/Arctic Villagers: the Transformation of Inuit Settlement in the Central Arctic. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
“First Eastern Arctic Mine a Near Reality” (1973, 12 October). Inuksuk, 7( 32), pages 12, 19.
Government of Canada (1994). The High Arctic relocation summary of supporting information. Vol. 2. Ottawa: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1994.
Kemp, W.B.; Wenzel, G.W.; Jensen, N.; Val, E. (1977). The communities of Resolute and Kuvinaluk: a social and economic baseline study. Polar Gas socio-economic program. Montreal: McGill University, Office of Industrial Research.
Marcus, A.R. (1992). Out in the cold: the legacy of Canada’s Inuit relocation experiment in the High Arctic. Copenhagen: IWGIA.
McPherson, R. (2003). New Owners of Their Own Land: Minerals and Inuit Land Claims. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
Milton Freeman and Associates. Inuit land use and occupancy project, Volume three: Land use atlas. Ottawa: Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.
Statistics Canada (2007). Resolute, Nunavut . 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. www.statscan.ca.
Tester, F.J. and Kulchyski, P.K. (1994). Tammarniit (mistakes) Inuit relocation in the Eastern Arctic. Vancouver: UBC Press.
“Transair Okayed to Fly into Resolute.” (1974, 12 June). Inukshuk, page 3.
Weissling, L.E. (1991). Inuit redistribution and development processes of change in the eastern Canadian Arctic 1922-1968. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Alberta.
Welch, H.E. (1993). Timothy Idlout (1916-1992). Arctic, 46(1).
Unknown location circa 1950s
Unidentified man and two children
Unknown location, no date
Unidentified children playing
Unknown location circa 1950s
Unidentified woman carrying her baby in an amauti
Unknown location summer 1952
Ruth Enoch and Sarah Ross
Unknown location, 1929
Qimniq had of course been sewing clothing for the family following the Inupiat traditions of design and construction. She taught this sewing tradition to her eldest daughter Etna, and when the family moved into Copper Inuit territory the two continued producing Inupiat style clothing.
Qimniq Klengenberg and her two daughters,
on left Lena, on right Etna, 1924.
(National Archives of Canada/PA 172875)
Qimniq Klengenberg, wife of
Charlie Klengenberg, 1924.
(National Archives of Canada/PA 172882)
Shortly after their move Etna had a Inupiat style parka sewn for a woman named Manigogina in the tree river area. Women in the area began to use the pattern, and this parka style became the height of style among Copper Inuit. As the parka required more skins than traditional Copper Inuit patterns, and as the “Mother Hubbard” cotton cover for the inner parka required store-bought cloth, ownership of such a parka was a mark of affluence. The Inupiat style clothing patterns came to completely replace the traditional Copper Inuit styles, and are today considered traditional dress.
Copper Inuit Clothing, Front View
Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View
Copper Inuit Overcoat
(National Archives of Canada/C86071
Canadian Inuit live primarily in
(a region in the northern part of the province of Quebec defined by the James Bay Agreement)
Read more info
Nature and Culture in the Highlands.
Nunavik (Quebec or New) forms the northern third of the province of Quebec in Canada, and covers an area of about 507,000 sq km of tundra and boreal forest. The approximately 11,000 residents of Nunavik, 90% are Inuit living along the coast in 14 northern villages and the Cree village of Whapmagoostui.
Nunavik means “the place to live” in Inuktitut in Quebec and the Inuit of Nunavik are called Nunavik.
Nunavik is separated from the territory of Nunavut by Hudson Bay, west, and Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay to the north. The 55th parallel separates the region of James Bay, south. Together, these two regions form the administrative region of Northern Quebec. Southeast of Nunavik, are the administrative region of the North Shore and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Ungava Peninsula forms the northern two thirds of Nunavik.
The administrative center of Nunavik is\
the village of Kuujjuaq,
the river Koksoak,
Other important villages are
(where the film Nanook of the North was shot in 1922),
There is no road link between Nunavik and southern Quebec,
although the Transtaiga ends near the 55th parallel
(on the banks of Caniapiscau,
a few hundred kilometers from Kuujjuaq), on the one hand, and the road to James Bay is about 250 km away from the twin
villages of Whapmagoostui
and Kuujjuarapik (on the east coast of Hudson Bay), on the other. There is a scheduled air service and a maritime link seasonal (summer and fall).
There are three sites in Nunavik meteoric craters, or craters Saguenay, and La Couture Moinerie.
The Convention of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975 paved the way for the construction of the La Grande hydroelectric complex and laid the foundation for self-government for Nunavik region: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG). All residents of 14 northern villages, Native and non-indigenous, have the right to vote.
The KRG is subsidized by the Government of Quebec (50%) and the Government of Canada (25%).
Makivik Corporation, which is headquartered in Kuujjuaq, representing the Inuit of Quebec in their relations with the governments of Quebec and Canada and manages the compensation paid by the Government of Quebec under the James Bay Agreement and Northern Quebec (about $ 140 million between 1975 and 1999). The Company argues for greater autonomy in Nunavik and has recently reached an agreement in principle on the recognition of Aboriginal rights of Nunavik Inuit on the islands off the coast, which are part of Nunavut.
The Cree village of Whapmagoostui, near the northern village Kuujjuarapik, is part of the Cree Regional Authority and the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and not involved in the KRG. Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, the North Shore, owns land for hunting and trapping in the south of Nunavik and is represented in the KRG.
Although there are several islands off the coast of Nunavik, like all the islands of the Bay and Hudson Strait are under the jurisdiction of Nunavut.
Akulivik, (population : 483 hab.)
- Aupaluk, (pop. 159)
- Inukjuak, (pop. 1335 )
- Ivujivik, (pop. 328)
- Kangiqsualujjuaq, (pop. 738)
- Kangiqsujuaq, (pop. 552)
- Kangirsuk, (pop. 470)
- Kuujjuaq, (pop. 2074)
- Kuujjuarapik, (pop. 583)
- Puvirnituq, (pop. 1390)
- Quaqtaq, (pop. 314)
- Salluit, (pop. 1185)
- Tasiujaq, (pop. 247)
- Umiujaq, (pop. 373)
- Whapmagoostui, (pop. 778)
(a region in Labrador whose borders are yet to be fixed.)
The Inuvialuit live primarily in the Mackenzie River delta, on Banks Island and part of Victoria Island in the Northwest Territories. There have been Inuit settlements in Yukon, especially at Herschel Island, but there are none at present. Alaskan Inupiaq live on the North Slope of Alaska, while the Yupik live in western Alaska and a part of Chukotka Autonomous Area in Russia. The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is a national organization in Canada which represents over 40,000 Canadian Inuit.
Inuit Woman 1907
The Inuit are traditionally hunters who fish and hunt whale, walrus, and seal by kayak or by boat or by waiting at airholes the seals make in the ice. They use igloos as hunting or emergency shelters. They make use of animal skins in their clothing (e.g. anorak). Dog sleds, known as qamutiit, are used for travel pulled by Inuit Sled Dogs in a fan hitch, though snowmobiles have largely replaced this mode of travel.
In Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit people, “Inuit” means “the people”. The English word “Eskimo” comes from the French “Esquimaux” but the origins of this French word are unclear. Many Inuit consider the word Eskimo offensive, but is still in general usage to refer to all Eskimo peoples, though it has fallen into disuse throughout Canada, where Canadians use the term Inuit. The men are traditionally hunters of seals, whales, walrus, and caribou, using harpoons, canoes (or kayaks), dogs, and sleds. Fishing is also important. The women take care of the children, clean the house and cook.
The Inuit living in North America were formerly classified together with other Native Americans, but they are now considered to be an entirely separate ethnic group who arrived in North America a few millennia after the latter did, probably around 500 as the Thule, replacing the Dorset culture. Accordingly, in Canada the Inuit are not considered First Nations. However, they, the Indians, and the Métis are collectively recognized by the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 as Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Other synonyms include “First Peoples” and “Native Peoples”. Inuit are members of the Mongoloid race, which also includes various Siberian tribes such as the Yakut, as well as the Chinese and Japanese.
The European arrival caused a great deal of damage to the Inuit way of life, causing mass death and other suffering. Circa 1970, Inuit leaders came forward and pushed for respect for the Inuit and their territories. One of the resulting land-claims agreements created the Canadian territory of Nunavut, the largest land-claims agreement in Canadian history. In recent years, circumpolar cultural and political groups have come together to promote the Inuit people and to fight against ecological problems, such as the greenhouse effect and resulting global warming, which heavily affects the Inuit population due to the melting and thinning of the arctic ice and declining arctic mammal populations. Nunavut premier Paul Okalik took the lead in this regard in a First Ministers’ meeting discussing the Kyoto Accord.
One of the most famous Inuit artists is Pitseolak Ashoona. Susan Aglukark is a popular Canadian singer. In 2002 the feature film Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner directed by Zacharias Kunuk (with all dialogue in the Inuktitut language and written, filmed, produced, directed, and acted almost entirely by Inuit of Igloolik) was released world wide to great critical and popular acclaim. Jordin Tootoo became the first Inuk to play in the National Hockey League in the 2003-04 season, playing for the Nashville Predators. Well-known Inuit politicians include Premier Paul Okalik of Nunavut and Nancy Karetak-Lindell, MP for the riding of Nunavut. Also, Mitiarjuk Attasie Nappaaluk is helping to preserve the Inuit language, Inuktitut. She wrote the first Inuit novel. (to do list: culture past and present, spirituality, customs, etc)
Inuit woman wearing an amauti and carrying a child on her back (graphic material): N.W.T. (Nunavut), ca. 1926 – 1943.
Copper Inuit Clothing, Front View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51234)Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51235)
Copper Inuit Clothing, Back View (Diamond Jenness/CMC/51235)
This Inuit woman, photographed by the Scottish botanist-explorer Isobel Wylie Hutchison in the 1920s, is dressed in her colourful traditional national costume. The most characteristic part of this outfit is perhaps the “kamiker”, or heel-less sealskin top-boots, which reach up to the knee in the case of men, but well above that in the case of women, as illustrated here. The outer surface of the women’s boots is dyed white, scarlet, or blue, and decorated with abstract geometrical patterns of brightly-coloured leather strips. There is a removable inner lining which keeps the feet and legs warm. Hutchison found that such footwear was essential, not only for negotiating the slippery rocks and shingle, but for protection against insect bites.
||Nowadlook, an Inuit women, dressed in fur parka, Alaska, 1907
||Dobbs, B. B. (Beverly Bennett)
||Caption on image: Copyright 1907. B.B. Dobbs. Handwritten on image: Nowadlook. PH Coll 788.3 (See also PH Coll 323.88)
||Beverly Bennett Dobbs was born in 1868 near Marshall, Missouri. In 1888 Dobbs moved to Bellingham, Washington and operated a photography studio there for 12 years. In 1900 Dobbs moved to Nome, Alaska and continued to work as a photographer capturing images of Nome, the Seward Peninsula, and Inuit people. In 1909, Dobbs started the Dobbs Alaska Moving Picture Co. and began making films about the Gold Rush. By 1914, Dobbs had moved back to Seattle and was creating more films through the Dobbs Totem Film Company which he ran until his death in 1937.
||Eskimos–Women–Alaska; Eskimos–Clothing & dress–Alaska; Fur garments
||Alaska, Western Canada and United States Collection
||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division
||Beverly B. Dobbs Alaska photograph album. PH Coll 788
Beverly B. Dobbs Photographs. PH Coll 323
||7 x 9 1/2 in.
|Digital Reproduction Information
||Scanned from a photographic print using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600XL at 100 dpi in JPEG format at compression rate 3 and resized to 768×600 ppi. 2008.
Beverly B. Dobbs Alaska photograph album.
The Inuit Art Collections
The Primitive Inuit Art Collections
Inuit Art at UNBC
The Ray Anderson Inuit Art Collection
Artists: Imoona Karpik & Sowdluq Nakasook
Raymond Cecil Anderson was a dedicated Career Diplomat for the Canadian Foreign Service. Having been posted in Brazil, the Philippines, Los Angeles, Seattle, and as the High Commissioner to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson acquired and displayed Inuit and First Nations art for display in their “homes” away from home. The Anderson’s felt that the aesthetic quality of these two unique art forms communicated eloquently across the cultural boundaries they continually faced in their travels. In the summer of 1999, Mr. Anderson donated his extensive collection to the University of Northern British Columbia. Mr. Anderson passed away October 27, 2003.
Artist: Eegyvudluk Pootoogook
The Ray Anderson Inuit Art Collection includes 25 major Inuit sculptures and 75 smaller soap stone sculptures, the latter of which are primarily displayed on the second and third floors of the Geoffrey R. Weller Library. Also donated are 40 stonecut Inuit prints, produced by internationally recognized Inuit women artists such as Pitseolak, Ikajukta and Kudjuakjuk; as well as, work by eminent First Nations artists such as Bill Reid. In this one gift, Raymond Anderson – diplomat and art enthusiast – has left the University of Northern British Columbia a tremendous legacy of art which will serve both the research and aesthetic needs of the academic community in perpetuity.
Imagery in Inuit Art
Inuit were making sculptural works long before James Houston presided over the birth of the contemporary art industry. Working within the limits of available materials (mainly ivory and bone) and tools (mostly handmade), they crafted ornaments and toys, utilizing images from their everyday lives. To a certain extent, the subject of Inuit sculpture continues to be constrained by available materials and tools. The shape, size, and hardness of stone, for instance, dictate what can be done with it, although Inuit carvers succeed — surprisingly often — in rising to the challenge of producing original work.
Expression is also limited by the medium. Janet Berlo, for instance, has contrasted “the wealth of data about northern life, self representation, gender relations, and other concerns of aboriginal life” found in drawings with the “decorative, uncomplicated, and simple” information to be gleaned from prints (Berlo 1993:5).
Even with the limitations of available supplies and media, Inuit would more often than not use art to tell stories. As they often remind us, theirs is an oral culture. The making of art has taken the place of a written language in recording legends, events, and a way of life that is unknown to the younger generation. As Nunavik artist Paulosie Kasadluak said: “What we show in our carving is the life we have lived in the past right up to today” (“Nothing Marvellous,” in Port Harrison/Inoucdjouac [catalogue]. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1977:21). It has, however, long been the case that hunting and domestic scenes from a past way of life find expression in artwork, while more contemporary imagery is used less frequently.
There are artists —and their numbers may be growing — whose work is more personally expressive. Although Manasie Akpaliapik has talked about a desire to record legends, which, he said, “are important to us [Inuit] because we use them as guide posts to the old days” (IAQ 1990:11), he has also confided that artmaking is “healing” for him (Ayre 1993:38). He has also ventured into social commentary: one of his well-known works, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, depicts a despairing face with a bottle of alcohol emerging from its head, intended to convey the artist’s conviction that alcohol is contributing to the death of Inuit culture.
Social commentary has not, however, been a frequent feature of Inuit art. In part, this is because of what Terry Ryan, longtime northern arts advisor, has referred to as a public fixation on so-called traditional art, by which is meant the Inuit way of life as it was when the world “discovered” it in the mid-20th century. It is not unusual to see repetitive work, even from highly talented artists. It is difficult to explain the virtues of innovation and experimentation to people who can sell large, highly polished and handsomely carved stone bears for several thousand dollars each.
While the market pressure for imagery from a past way of life is undoubtedly a powerful influence, artists also play a role in the continuing production of what might be called “memory art.” Referring to their fear of losing their culture, if not their identity, Nunatsiavut artist Gilbert Hay said several years ago: “Look at us today. For the last 150 or 200 years our culture has been sabotaged by you guys, your values. I’m wearing your clothing. Any culture tries to hold onto what it’s losing. We were and still are trying to document our own history” (IAQ 1990:11).
Mutually reinforcing factors support the repetition of “traditional” imagery — the hunter with the bow and arrow and the woman flensing the skins — but, over the years, a few artists have successfully incorporated such modern imagery as airplanes (Pudlo Pudlat), drunkenness (Manasie Akpaliapik et al.), and residential school angst (David Ruben Piqtoukun). Renegades do, however, leave themselves open to dismissal. To quote from the 1997 Transitions exhibit organized by the federal government, even though Inuit art is not “simply arctic animals and scenes from the past,” (July Papatsie) it is sometimes dismissed as “unauthentic” when it incorporates “noticeable signs of modernity” (Barry Ace). July Papatsie, co-curator of the travelling exhibition, spoke for a growing number of artists when he said that Inuit want to be “modern and experimental” (Transitions: Contemporary Canadian Indian and Inuit Art [catalogue]. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1997:4–8).
Some may be stretching the boundaries of what is expected, but Inuit have to work harder than most to have their innovations accepted (Seagrave 1998:4–15). There is a resistance to their drawing on western imagery, and the market has been slow to accept “modern” work. In recent years, however, there have been several well-promoted exhibitions of work by Inuit artists who are breaking free of constraining conventions. Annie Pootoogook’s depictions of contemporary Inuit life include Biblical references, ATMs, Ritz crackers, and Saddam Hussein — not the sort of stuff we have come to expect from Inuit.
While some, with the support of progressive marketing agents, are attracting mainstream attention for their work, the continuing focus on economic development has resulted in “carving factories” like the Jessie Oonark Arts and Crafts Centre, which opened in Baker Lake in 1992 to produce standardized carvings to be marketed as “gifts.” The project was aborted later in the face of a groundswell of opposition from artists, dealers, and others, but such attempts continue, the latest being the Nunavut government’s arrangement with organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics to have artists produce up to 40,000 inuksuit. They were not to be mass-produced, but nonetheless two sizes were recommended.
This “production mentality,” as Terry Ryan called it, is counterproductive to the creation of expressive art (IAQ 2004:32). In a very early article in Inuit Art Quarterly, art historian Hal Opperman wrote about the Inuit interface with the modern world, which, ideally, results in transformed creativity and expression (Opperman 1986:1–4). Unfortunately, that same interface involves exposure to mass production strategies, which, if implemented, will demoralize the artists and destabilize the market. Given the unrelenting challenges to survive that artists face every day, it is difficult to resist get-rich-quick opportunities. There are, however, always those who want to make art — how they want, with what they want — and we have the elephant to prove it!
Marybelle Mitchell, editor-in-chief of Inuit Art Quarterly
Inuit art is a defining feature of CUAG’s collecting and exhibition programmes. In 1992, Dr. Marion Jackson, a scholar of Inuit art, facilitated the generous gift to CUAG of the Priscilla Tyler and Maree Brooks Collection of Inuit Art. The collectors, both Americans, travelled extensively throughout Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland in the 1970s and 1980s, meeting artists and buying their work. Their passion for Inuit narrative resulted in the 1995 co-publication by the gallery and Carleton University Press of Lela Kiana Oman’s The Epic of Qayaq: The Longest Story Ever Told By My People. Their art collection ultimately comprised approximately 1275 works in all media, with a strong concentration of prints by artists from Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake), Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Ulukhaktok (Holman), Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), and Puvirnituq. Exhibitions drawn from the Tyler/Brooks collection are frequently on display in the gallery
The Tyler/Brooks donation has attracted other significant gifts of Inuit art to the collection. Major donations include the R.D. Bell Collection of Inuit Art of 57 sculptures, with several large and impressive works, particularly by Cape Dorset artists, and the Josephine Mitchell and Lowell Schoenfeld Collection of Inuit Art, comprised of 55 sculptures. Most recently, John Andrew and Carolle Anne Armour donated 91 sculptures and 170 works on paper, including 32 drawings by the acclaimed Cape Dorset artist Parr and 15 drawings by Luke Anguhadluq, a senior Baker Lake artist. A medical doctor, Armour was especially interested in the activities of the shaman or angikoq – the doctor and healer of Inuit society – and as such, a number of the sculptural works in the collection address shamanic themes.
Priscilla Tyler and Maree Brooks intended their collection to foster greater understanding of and appreciation for Inuit art, a goal achieved through exhibitions, research, and publications. Indeed, CUAG’s Inuit collection is a rich resource for such activity, in particular by students. Many of the exhibitions have been curated by undergraduate and graduate art history students, who gain invaluable curatorial experience working with the collection in a professional setting.
The gallery has published several exhibition catalogues featuring their research, including Qiviuq: A Legend in Inuit Art (1996) by Jennifer Gibson, Making Art Work in Cape Dorset (1997) by Shannon Bagg, and The Arctic Lithograph (1998) by Jennifer Cartwright. In late 2009 we launched our first collections catalogue, Sanattiaqsimajut: Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection, a full-colour, richly-illustrated, 232-page hardcover book documenting the highlight’s of CUAG’s important Inuit art collection and featuring the work of 34 guest writers. This book was awarded first prize in catalogue design by the American Association of Museums publication design competition (2009) and “special recognition” in the category of art publication of the year by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (2010).
Inuit Art from the collection of Dr Samuel Wagonfeld and his wife Sally Allen
This is a virtual tour of the exhibition that I put together from photos I took.
The tour is broken out into 3 different pages. Each page will provide a link to the next page in the tour
Page 3 of the virtual tour
These pages contain a few of the pictures that I took when I visited this exhibition on September 12th, 2004.
I also was lucky enough to meet and talk with Dr. Wagonfeld and his wife Sally before I attended his lecture. They are both wonderful people and
Dr. Wagonfeld and I have a similar story on how we both started collecting, we both started collecting from chance visits to a gallery and then started learning about the culture and became addicted.
I enjoyed meeting them and talking to them and having Dr. Wagonfeld show me some of his favorite pieces and also hear some interesting stories from his wife Sally.
They have been collecting for about 15 years now and have a
fantastic collection. I have a great appreciation for Inuit art even though they are not a culture that produces masks and statues like most African cultures.
The art that is produced by Inuit people is mainly art that was produced after the people were introduced to outside cultures and
influences. The Inuit were a largely nomadic people and the items they produced originally were mostly utilitarian objects.
There was a fantastic catalog put out with this exhibition,
and if you are interested in a copy you can call the museum directly at (970) 962-2410 (It’s $20 USD)
Press releases about the exhibition…
Loveland Museum Gives Dramatic View of Arctic Art and Culture
“Powerful.” “Eye-opening.” “Such a surprise.” “Extensive”. “Well-presented.” “Insightful”.
These are among visitor responses to the current exhibition of Inuit sculpture, prints, drawings and textile wall hangings now at the Loveland
Museum/Gallery, 5th & Lincoln in Loveland. Survival: Inuit Art offers a comprehensive introduction to the major life themes of the Inuit people,
northern Canadian Eskimos whose traditional way of life and culture are disappearing. The show encompasses works depicting family life, hunting
and fishing, Arctic wildlife, shamanism, legends and myths and historical accounts of life in the inhospitable climate of the Arctic North. It is a visually
dynamic exhibit, designed to enhance the artistic impact of each piece and, at the same time, to place each work of art in a broader and well-
Spanning over a half-century of art-making in Arctic, the works on exhibit are from the private collection of Samuel Wagonfeld, M.D. of Denver. As
Canadian gallery-owner Patricia Feheley points out in the exhibit’s extensive color catalog, the collection illuminates a culture that has undergone
radical change. It also includes insight into the modern Inuit artists who move “beyond traditional cultural boundaries to stand as universal
expressions of mature artistic form.”
Almost as fascinating as the art and history of the Inuit are the questions the show raises about the passion of collecting art. “An art collection is as
individual as a thumbprint,” says Feheley. And, when a collection is shared with others through exhibition and publication, others can learn to
appreciate the art as well. As one viewer said, “To experience the depth of feeling for Inuit culture and art which is palpable in this exhibit was
moving in a way I had not anticipated.”
Why would a small local museum design a comprehensive exhibit of works undoubtedly unknown to most of its visitors? “One of the goals of our
exhibits mission is to introduce the community and region to unique art experiences. Another is to feature local collections. In this case, we were
able to do both,” says Janice Currier, the Loveland Museum/Gallery’s Curator of Exhibits. Currier lived in the Arctic for fifteen years and is well
acquainted with Inuit culture and its long struggle for survival. “We were pleased to discover Dr. Wagonfeld’s interest and commitment to Inuit art
and culture, and appreciate his willingness to share his collection with the community.”
Dr. Wagonfeld will present a gallery tour and illustrated lecture on Inuit art in the Foote Gallery at the Loveland Museum on Sunday, September 12,
at 1:00 p.m.
The exhibition continues through October 3 2004. The Loveland Museum/Gallery is located in downtown Loveland at Fifth and Lincoln. Hours are:
Tuesday-Friday, 10-5; Thursday evenings until 9; Saturday 10-4; Sunday 12-4.
Loveland Museum/Gallery hosts an exhibit examining Western influence on Inuit art.
By Laura McWilliams / Rocky Mountain News
In his introduction to the show Survival: Inuit Art, Denver psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Wagonfeld describes his first experience with Inuit art as a “chance
visit to a gallery ‘north of the border.’” He adds, “The freshness of the strange and bold images, their imagination and wonderful appeal were
different from traditional Western art and captivated me.” His Inuit art collection, one Wagonfeld began after this chance encounter is on view in a
beautiful exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery.
The Inuit are a people who have lived for thousands of years in a circumpolar region stretching from Siberia around the globe to Greenland.
Survival examines the art and culture of the Central Canadian Inuit.
The Canadian Inuit were until very recently a nomadic people living in small hunting bands. Contact with European explorers as early as the 16th
century affected Inuit culture and traditions as explorers, traders and missionaries brought with them useful materials such as metal and wood but
also introduced foreign diseases, money and trade into the traditionally subsistence economy.
Still, many Inuit continued to follow traditional ways until the 1950s, when changes in caribou migration routes and an ebb in the fur trade led to a
time of mass starvation and death among the people. The Canadian government stepped in to offer humanitarian assistance, resettling Inuit
groups in permanent villages throughout Canada. The government built churches, schools and houses, and administered social welfare programs.
It also introduced trades such as printmaking to many communities as a means of economic independence.
This period in the 1950s is the beginning of what Wagonfeld refers to as “a golden age” of contemporary Inuit art.
I expected this show to be strong on history and to emphasize traditional artistic styles and methods. The Loveland Museum/Gallery does a good
job of presenting a condensed version of modern Inuit history (if you’re interested, be sure to look through the show’s catalog). But I was surprised
by the wide variety of styles on view in the show. The exhibit consists of drawings, carvings, wall hangings and prints. The pieces are beautiful and
range from austere and simple prints to complex symbolic drawings and sculptural objects.
In addition, the earliest works differ greatly from more recent art. The earliest pieces are largely free from connections to Western art, but the more
recent Inuit art includes many subtle and not-so-subtle references to European systems of representation.
Much of the earliest prints, drawings and carvings in Survival illustrate a way of life that ended with the resettlement. The Inuit who lived through the
starvation period of the 1950s and the move to villages often idealized the lives they left behind, depicting bountiful lands and effortless hunts.
Drawings and prints by Luke Anguhadluq (1895-1982) depict a subsistence existence. His works include pictures of swimming caribou, hunters in
kayaks and fishers with fish. Anguhadluq turned the paper as he worked, conflating time, space and perspective as he strove to describe an image.
Kiakshuk (1886-1966) is described by the show’s catalog as “a well-known storyteller in the community” who “became highly respected for his
ability to translate oral history, tales of the hunt, of animals, family life, or shamans and spirits, into graphic media.” His “Hunting Seals and Polar
Bears” nearly takes the form of a manual for Inuit hunters. The flat graphite drawing shows diagrammatic images of a hunter trapping and spearing
a polar bear and fishing a seal out of an ice hole. His stonecut print, “Hunting Whales,” from 1961, depicts five large blue whales pursued by two
kayaks and one larger boat. This is a view of an idyllic land of plenty in which animals nearly outnumber Inuit and the hunting is easy and clean.
In contrast to the older generation, many younger artists make work that depicts stories passed on through generations by a strong oral tradition.
Much of this work illustrates shamanistic myths, Inuit legends or historic stories.
Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (b. 1930) is, according to the gallery’s artist description, “one of the best known Canadian Inuit artists of her generation.”
Her simple drawings are retellings of Inuit myths and legends. “Brother Moon/Sister Sun” presents an illustration of a creation myth and incest
taboo that describes the formation of the sun and the moon. The story runs from the paper’s bottom left corner and ends at the top, describing a
legend in which a girl is kissed by a stranger in the dark. When she discovers that the stranger is her brother, the two flee in shame into the sky to
become Sister Sun and Brother Moon.
Kenojuak Ashevak (b. 1927) uses animal shapes as vessels for her explorations of line, color and positive and negative space. “Bird with
Feathers” presents a legless bird surrounded by its own flowing, red-tipped, bulbous feathers. The bird shape is filled with obsessive, regular
scribbles that give form to the animal and which also serve to shade and highlight the rounded creature. The image is beautifully balanced with the
negative space of the white paper, and the delicate lines counteract the heavily geometric bird-and-feather form.
The drawings, prints and sculptures in this exhibit are enchanting and beautiful, and the formal choices of artists such as Anguhadluq and Ashevak
are delightfully innovative. But it is the dichotomy of Inuit/European that is most intriguing. The clear Western influence evident in much of the work
(English titles and captions, occasional attempts at realism and perspective) conflicts with the Inuit culture that is the exhibit’s subject matter.
This exhibit includes a nice variety of subjects and styles, and presents artwork from a large number of artists. It teaches a bit about Inuit history
and culture while allowing viewers to enjoy a truly gorgeous art show.
A Collection Carved in Stone
In the mid-1960’s the Toronto-Dominion Bank embarked on a groundbreaking project that would ultimately create the most complete collection of Inuit art in existence to that date. The collection is a source of national pride as this indigenous art form holds a significant place in the Canadian identity.
Inuit Modern Art
The exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario will feature Esther and Samuel Sarick collection, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Inuit art. Inuit Modern traces the transformation of 20th-century Inuit art and features more than 175 works by 75 artists, including sculptures, prints and drawings
Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection
Inuit Modern is a sprawling exhibition that displays for the first time highlights from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Inuit art.
The exhibition traces the transformation of Inuit art in the 20th century and features more than 175 works by 75 artists — including sculpture, prints, and drawings.
Curated by Gerald McMaster, the AGO’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, and co-curated by Ingo Hessel, Inuit Modern draws from multiple communities and periods to embrace voices both traditional and contemporary in its consideration of the history and future of Inuit art, and closely examines how the Inuit have coped with and responded to the swift transition from a traditional lifestyle to one marked by the disturbing complexities of globalization and climate change. Featuring work by many of the most prominent Inuit artists of the 20th century, including David Ruben Piqtoukun, Kenojuak Ashevak, Karoo Ashevak, Annie Pootoogook, and Lucy Tasseor, at the heart of Inuit Modern lies a powerful message of social, political, and cultural transformation.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 272-page colour catalogue co-published by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Douglas & McIntyre Inc, which includes contributions by leading Canadian scholars in the field. The catalogue, also titled Inuit Modern, is edited by McMaster and available at shopAGO for $55.
Inuit Modern is generously supported by the J.P. Bickell Foundation and is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Inuit Art Foundation terminated March 31, 2012, after 27 years of operation.
Below is a press release explaining the reasons for its closure and some recent video footage, which provides a good picture of what the foundation was all about.
Concluding that it is no longer viable, the directors of the Inuit Art Foundation are in the process of dissolving the organization.
Rather than taking the risk of going bankrupt, the directors made the decision to dissolve the organization while funds remained to do so in an orderly way.
As Vice-President Okpik Pitseolak said: “We’ve done what we can. It is time to stop.”
The foundation has been providing professional development services to Inuit artists for over a quarter of a century . Its most visible activity is the publication of the Inuit Art Quarterly, the only magazine in the world dedicated to Inuit art.
A registered charitable organization, the foundation’s funding consisted of a mix of government grants, cost recoveries and private sector donations. In spite of the best efforts of the small Ottawa-based staff (varying, but typically four or five full-time people), revenues simply failed to keep pace with expenses. Calling it “a solemn occasion,” President Mattiusi Iyaituk said: “We cannot continue. We have seen for several years what has been happening. Our financial instability leaves us with no choice.”
Executive Director Marybelle Mitchell said: “We have had to face the fact that we have stretched our resources to the maximum. Rising expenses have meant that we can barely keep up with core programs, let alone initiate any new projects. We have been losing ground over the past few years.”
Nonetheless, the directors stress that the foundation should be viewed as a success story. There is sadness, of course, in dismantling something we have worked so hard to build up, but we have accomplished much of what we set out to do. In fact, given the scant resources available to us, what we have done is remarkable.
We are grateful to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for making it possible for Inuit artists to become directors of the only national Inuit Arts Service organization in Canada. We also extend our thanks to IAQ subscribers worldwide and to the many private donors and the handful of committed volunteers who provided invaluable resources and support over many years.
It is gratifying to see that other agencies are now picking up on some Inuit Art Foundation initiatives. As we finish up projects and wind down our affairs, we have reason to believe that our resource materials will be transferred to other organizations that will not only conserve, but find ways to use them. The terrain may change, but the wheel has been set in motion and will travel paths unforeseen. As for us, we’ve had a good run.
The end @ copyright 2012-05-29