Animals are not Stupid
August 10, 2011
This Morning here at the lodge in Rankin Inlet, where we are staying we were watching some videos of Inuit and the Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine. One of the videos we watched reminded me of a documentary video that we watched.
There has been a lot of scientific work in the North, scientists coming to the North to tell Inuit that the Polar Bears are becoming extinct, that caribou are way too many now. On the documentary that we watched in Arviat one of the Inuit hunter said “why are the scientists telling me that the polar bears are becoming extinct? I don’t see them when I am hunting”. That to me was a very good point.
In spring time we interviewed an elder of Arviat, Phillip Kigusiutnaq about climate change, one of the strongest things he said to us was “animals are not stupid, it’s the human that are stupid”. If scientists were to leave the animals to themselves like they leave the humans alone, I don’t think they’d become extinct. Scientists can study whatever they like, but coming to the North to say that our own animal that we always have lived with is becoming extinct is a little too much.
We leave the animals alone, although we hunt for food. We don’t go testing thier tongue to see if it’s sick or if it’s going to die. We hunt it because we need to eat it, and like we always say, we use every part of the animal we kill.
Reason that I have the title as animals are not stupid is because Inuit believe that if we kill an animal for fun even if it’s one caribou, the caribou herd will not go through the same path it went because we played with the caribou. Scientists are just ruining some part of our culture because they are leaving scents that come from a strange place for the animals and they don’t want to take the path they took, because the know what’s coming. There are now these jokes that come up and I don’t think they’re funny, kids saying “are you dumber than a tuktu (caribou)?”. Where did that come from?
I’m not against scientists and there work, but I think they’re going a little too far. We know our animals, we have respect for our animals, if we didn’t, they’d be moving to a safer place for them.
Animals are certainly not stupid, they have survived the cold, the warmth, the predators and now they’re dealing with scientists being told how to live and being transported thinking they don’t know how to survive this environment. Leave the animals to themselves and they’ll find a way to survive the world.
Interview with Floyd “Bud” Neville - former Social Worker
Today, May 11 2011, Floyd Neville came to the Library and Archives Canada to meet the Nanisiniq Arviat History Project group. I, Amy Owingayak, did an interview with Bud to find out more information about what was going on in the Eastern Arctic during his time working as a Social Worker. So, the other researchers worked on the camera’s while I was doing the interview and also had Professor Tester to write down notes about what could be asked again after I interview Bud Neville. Furthermore, after the interview, the group (Amy, Curtis, Jordan, Martha, Patrick -Arviat researchers- April, Frank and Paule -from UBC) along with Bud had lunch together at the Library and Archives Canada. In the afternoon we were looking at some old photos around Eskimo Point now known as Arviat and it was good to see our elder Martha to recognize some people. Briefly, the whole day was pretty much about interviewing. Each of us had an interview with Beth, who works at the LAC (project naming) for their podcasting. Also, some of us had an interview with the CBC and it was great, our information was hopefully good because we have been busy looking through documents, photos and interviewing elders that were in the Arctic in the early 1950’s-60’s.
So, the interview with Bud went great. There was a lot of good information about relocations, Inuit health and what his job was as a Social Worker. For instance, the youth researchers have been looking into relocations and getting more information from someone who was around during that time was really important. Us researchers have learned that Inuit were relocated because of starvation. The Social Worker helped Inuit to live by relocating them to a different area where there might be some country food available. Also, if there was no country food to hunt, the social worker would help get some food from the Hudson’s Bay Company. More over, Inuit health was bad during the time because Inuit had lived in small shack housings with quiet a few people. The conditions of the shack houses were terrible; there was not enough room for washrooms, heating (furnace), etc so it was all in one small shack house that got everyone sick. During that time, there was measles, T.B, and other illnesses so Inuit were sent to southern hospitals where they were taken care of. Bud Neville who was the Social Worker was responsible for all of the relocations and taking care of the people who are in need so during that time, I bet it was difficult. It was great to get all the information about one of our topics in regards to the project that we are working on