© 2017 bpculture

Nunavik: The culture north of the 55th parallel

August 10, 2017

I had the chance to visit a corner of Quebec that few have explored: Nunavik. This magnificent region is home to more than 10,000 Inuit, with whom I worked for a year as a nurse. I am not the best person to talk about Inuit culture, that would have to be an Inuit, but perhaps I can share with you what Inuits in general have taught me.



One of the first things I learned is that when you go to meet a new culture, leave aside the stereotypes. Many people only believe in Inuit and Aboriginal cultures only by what they hear. Working with indigenous peoples implies a difficult colonial past and this still tints the their lives and their relations they have with the Qallunnat's (The white's).



We can not talk about the Inuit people without speaking about their territory, the tundra, which at first glance looks sterile and rough. It is rather a raw beauty, where life abounds if one knows where to look and where the sky is swept by immense aurora borealis. Nature is as powerful as it is beautiful, the blizzards can cut us off from the world for several days; we can understand the great respect that the Inuit have for their territory.



The Inuit culture is rich and superb: whether it be the language, the practice of hunting and fishing for large mammals and small ones, their customs, beliefs, world views, etc.



If one day you have the opportunity to go for a ride north of the 56th parallel, there is no hesitation to take!

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