Tag Archives: Inuit Culture

Module 3: Digital storytelling among Inuit youth

One of the things that struck me from our readings in this module was the fight to include the “s” in Indigenous peoples. It seems so simple, but reading this made me realize that I have probably viewed Indigenous peoples as if they all had the same cultures and values. Since being made aware of this, it’s also made me realize that perhaps focusing on a specific group of Indigenous peoples would be better suited for the final project (as opposed to being general and missing the mark by lumping different cultural groups together as if they had the same values and culture). With that in mind, and after watching the Alluriarniq documentary, Stepping Forward, I’ve decided to focus on how Inuit youth are using digital storytelling to post about their lives, connect with others, and question/confront stereotypes.

1.  Uploading selves: Inuit digital storytelling on YouTube 

This article focuses on how Inuit youth use video-sharing sites and online spaces to post excerpts from their lives and connect with others. It looks into how Internet technology allows narrators to post expressions of Inuit self-hood that are self-produced. It puts forward the idea that by narrating their lives, Inuit youth are giving meaning to their experiences and through this, gaining a sense of control and agency over their world.

2. My Inuit Culture

This video was created by Dina Wolfrey and is about her ties to Inuit culture. She discusses the death of her grandmother, and how in losing her, she lost her grandmother, teacher, and the last way to speak her Inuit language. She says today she is still “keeping her voice heard” by doing things that are a part of Inuit culture.

3. Inuit story telling with Michael Kasugak

Michael Kusugak tells a story from his youth about travelling with his family and the stories his grandmother would tell him.

4. Youth-led participatory video as a strategy to enhance Inuit youth adaptive capacities for dealing with climate change

While not directly relating to exposing stereotypes, I was very interested to come across this article which discusses the climate and environmental changes experienced in the north of Canada that are having huge impacts on the lives of Inuit, and could have devastating consequences for the Inuit youth population. It called to mind the video we watched this past week, March Point, which also used youth voices to ensure representation and sustainable adaptation strategies. It also discussed the negative stereotypes of small, remote, northern communities and how youth-led participatory videos can share experiences of living in the northern communities and share their experience of living in the community, and the pride they have in their community.

5. Storytelling in a digital age: digital storytelling as an emerging narrative method for preserving and promoting Indigenous oral wisdom

This article describes a case study that demonstrates how an indigenous community used digital storytelling to engage community members, celebrate stories and lived experiences, and address issues such as colonization and climate change in northern communities.

Module 1 – Post 1: Film “Angry Inuk”: Paul Waterlander

Angry Inuk is a 2016 film made by Inuit film-maker Alathea Arnaquq-Baril.  The film depicts the challenges facing the Inuit seal hunters after European-settler animal rights activist groups such as PETA, Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd call for a boycott against Canadian seal fur.   Many Inuit hunters made an income back in the days before animal activists by selling seal furs to European fashion designers.

Arnaquq-Baril points out that anger is not an emotion that Inuit exhibit towards other humans.  Inuit society relies on cooperation and tolerance.  Watching the film, you can see Arnaquq-Baril’s frustration rise as she attempts to secure a meeting with these animal rights activists so that she can convey the economic suffering her culture is going through due to the fur boycott.  Her attempts to invite them to come see her in the Arctic are all rejected.  She asks, “How can these non-Inuit understand the seal hunt, if they have never come to the community to talk with us or ask questions?” Arnaquq-Baril begins to use technology to get her message out.

An Inuit mother caused a Twitter-storm when she took a photo of her infant lying next to a seal freshly killed in a hunt.  Arnaquq-Baril uses social media to get the word out that any Inuit should use Twitter or Instagram to post photos showing how the seal hunt is important to the Inuit.  She labelled these photos “Sealfies”.  The film is an excellent window to Inuit culture and beliefs.  This film is an excellent example of how today’s Indigenous population can use modern media to get their message out to the wider world.  The film is available at the National Film Board website for free (streaming only), but is also available for purchase at an educational institution rate.

Link to view the trailer: https://www.nfb.ca/film/angry_inuk/


A “Sealfie”

Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) – Traditional Knowledge in Digital Media

Sanikiluaq, NU Country Food - Berries (image from http://www.najuqsivik.com/gateway/countryfood/, licence for educational purposes)

Country Food – Berries (image from Najuqsivik DayCare Gateway Project, licence use for educational purposes)

This weblog continues from Module 1’s overview websites that included IQ in the curriculum, and Module 2 Traditional Knowledge in Cyberspace. In this Module 3 Weblog, I have curated Inuit digital media projects.

11. Najuqsivik Daycare

Najuqsivik Daycare in Sanikiluaq, NU, runs more than just a daycare, but also the community access program and community TV channel. In 2006, Najuqsivik received Canadian Heritage funding to showcase Sanikiluaq and Inuit Culture. The topic pages include: soapstone carving, country food, camping, traditional medicine, with beautiful images. There is also 27 short Quicktime movies of ranging in topic from seal skinning, doll making to housing.

12. Inuit Cultural Online Resource

Inuit Culture Online Resource, funded by Canadian Heritage, was designed to introduce Canadian school age children to Inuit culture. There is a written narrative that covers a broad range of topics including: Inuit history, modern vs traditional life. There are 11 short videos on topics including: throat singing, drumming, games and making bannock. Teachers will be interested in the teaching resources, which include colouring sheets.

13. Nipiit Magazine

Nipiit tags itself as Canada’s Inuit Youth Magazine.  There are 10 issues that are written in both Inuktitut and English. The articles are written and photos are by Inuit youth around the country; they report on community news, school projects, health and lifestyle.

14. Avataq

Avataq is a cultural website for the Nunavik region of Canada. Avataq represents Inuit living culture and can be viewed in English, French or Inuktitut. The website is organized around different themes and projects on Inuit life and culture, both in the past and present. They also have a photo achieve.

15. Katiqsugat, Inuit Early Learning Resources 

Katiqsugat provides materials for early childhood education. There are a variety of learning materials and resources for teachers.