Ashoka Presentation: “Filming for our Future” Socio-historical, Cross-generational, and multi-media approaches to Inuit youth mental health and wellbeing
Presented in Arlington Virginia at the office of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public on October 26 2012
Inuit Survival Skills that will Save your Life in the Arctic
by Curtis Konek
My name is Curtis Konek. I am an Inuk from Arviat, Nunavut and I am also in the Canadian Rangers.
This video clip is for people who are going to experience the Arctic for the first time. This is a good way to show how Inuit survived and continue to survive in the Arctic for so many years. I want to share Inuit knowledge and survival skills, and show people that traditional Inuit clothing is very reliable and important to Inuit.
Special thanks to the Nunavut Research Institute, Nunavut Arctic College, and Jamie Bell!
Camera one operator: April Dutheil
Camera two operator: Amy Owingayak
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.
"The Trials of Nunavut: Lament for an Arctic nation"
From the Globe and Mail, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/nunavut/