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Inuit in Cumberland Sound

Inuit in Cumberland Sound

(p.110) 4 Inuit in Cumberland Sound
Do You See Ice?
Karen Routledge
University of Chicago Press

Up till now, this book has focused on people far from their homes. This chapter aims to provide a glimpse, albeit incomplete and translated, of what it meant to be at home in a specific time and place in the Arctic: Cumberland Sound from around 1900-1922. This was a place where Inuit were commercial whaling, smoking tobacco, consulting shamans, eating hard tack, participating in global commercial economies, and continuing to hunt seal and caribou as they had always done. Qallunaat (non-Inuit, non-Indigenous people) had a presence in Cumberland Sound in this period, but at least as importantly, there are countless Inuit stories where they do not play a role at all. This chapter is mostly based on interviews and records of Elders in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Through commercial whaling and beyond, Inuit pushed back against unwanted Qallunaat incursions, for the most part subtly and cautiously, and upheld their own ideas of home in Cumberland Sound. While acknowledging drastic transformations, Elders showed how the land remained home for them, and how they have kept their homeland recognizable. Like Chapter One, this chapter runs through six Inuit seasons.

Keywords:   Pangnirtung, Inuit, whaling, Christianity, fur trade, Cumberland Sound, caribou, homeland, Etooangat, hunger, beluga

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