Saqiyuq : Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women

by ; ; ;
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 1999-11-01
Publisher(s): McGill Queens Univ Pr
List Price: $75.00

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Saqiyuq is the name the Inuit give to a strong wind that suddenly shifts direction; Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women is a vivid portrait of the changing nature of life in the Arctic during the twentieth century. Through their life stories a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter take us on a remarkable journey in which the cycles of life -- childhood, adolescence, marriage, birthing and child rearing - are presented against the contrasting experiences of three successive generations. Their memories and reflections give us poignant insight into the history of the people of the new territory of Nunavut. Apphia Awa, who was born in 1931, experienced the traditional life on the land while Rhoda Katsak, Apphia's daughter, was part of the transitional generation who were sent to government schools. In contrast to both, Sandra Katsak, Rhoda's daughter, has grown up in the settlement of Pond Inlet among the conveniences and tensions of contemporary northern communities - video games and coffee shops but also drugs and alcohol. During the last years of Apphia's life Rhoda and Sandra began working to reconnect to their traditional culture and learn the art of making traditional skin clothing. Through the storytelling in Saqiyuq, Apphia, Rhoda, and Sandra explore the transformations that have taken place in the lives of the Inuit and chart the struggle of the Inuit to reclaim their traditional practices and integrate them into their lives. Nancy Wachowich became friends with Rhoda Katsak and her family during the early 1990s and was able to record their stories before Apphia's death in 1996. Saqiyuq: Stories from the Lives of Three Inuit Women will appeal to everyone interested in the Inuit, the North, family bonds, and a good story.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Life History Project 3(12)
Growing up on the Land: I Start to Recollect Bits and Pieces
Marriage and Family: We Were Full of Children
Shifting Winds: The First Time We Ever Lived with Qallunaat around Us
The Old Culture: Stories Since a Long, Long Time Ago
An Elder in the Settlement: There Is No Ending to the Stories of My Life
Growing Up on the Land: My Beautiful Lakes!
From Inuit to Qallunaat Culture: I Remember My First Day of School
Marriage and Family: All This Stuff in My Hands, Carrying Lucas on My Back
Reflections on a Childhood: They Spent All Those Years Trying to Change Me into a Qallunaaq
Growing up in the Settlement: I Am the Oldest
Teenage Years: When the Coffee Shop Closed
Settlement Culture: At First None of the Teenagers Would Square-Dance
Reflections on the Future: Acting Inuit or Acting Like Qallunaat
Postscript 257(2)
Note about Spelling 259(2)
List of People Mentined in the Stories 261(2)
Significant Dates in Eastern High Arctic and Awa Family History 263(4)
An Overview of Iglulingmiut and Mittimatalingmiut Culture and History 267(6)
List of Stories 273(4)
Suggested Readings 277(4)
Glossary 281(2)
Notes 283(8)
Bibliography 291(6)
Index 297

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