The Future of Nunavik

Near the end of November, the negotiators, Minnie Grey and Harry Tulugak met with eleven John Abbott college students and their counsellors. After the meeting, we asked them to share their thoughts on this question:

Do you think the future of Nunavik is positive or negative?
If yes, how? If no, why not?

Here are some of their answers, which for the most part were positive:

positive: Because it is in MY hands
positive: The views of our people is the need to stay together
negative: Because there are a lot of kids smoking drugs and drinking and they don't go to school much
positive: Because Inuit are very capable of surviving
positive: Nunavik is gaining their independance
We'd also like to know what you think. Do you see the future of Nunavik as being positive like many of the college students? If so, why? If you see it as negative, why not?

  • January 15, 2007
  • Webmaster


My future of Nunavik is negative. It is negative because corruption is everywhere. There is no good management anywhere in Nunavik. There is corruption at every level and in every form. And Surely it will be at the Nunavik Government level, if no set policies are made. If there are such policies, they are not being enforced. Unqualified hirings, money laundrings, and visible, but non-proven preferences, favours, and the shadow of exploitaion of power and governance for self-service etc. So far some are noticed and reported. Justice will never prevail in Nunavik if these such incidents are never rectified. So far, they are never rectified.

  • April 8, 2007
  • Johnny Kasudluak

When I was attending school in Ottawa and other places back in the late 1960's and 1970's, I tended to become negative about my homeland. I was not accepted as part of the city life. I encountered discrimination in that environment.

Then I'd return home for the summer holidays and was treated by my own people as an invalid. It's my belief it had to do with my loss of language, my eating habits that I obtained from the city-life and my attitude as a young person.

I can relate to the youth of today in that respect. I can also see that youth can be dazzled by the sheer force of southern life-styles and technology. That, in comparison, Nunavik has no economy, no chance of catching up to those powerful developments. The armed forces' weaponry is impressive, the bridge building is awesome, the mass production of anything is something else, the superstars are to be adorned. It's my belief that it's that kind of thing of being dazzled that makes youth feel inferior. Some, I think, are so impressed that they deem themselves to be insignificant in comparison. There lies the danger, because one can bring one's self-esteem to become so low that one can decide to lose his life. It's because he thinks he has nothing to contribute and thinks that nobody respects him or regards him to be of any importance to society at large.

If there is some way I can reassure them that they should be proud of who they are, I'd be happy.

Do they know that there were less than 50,000 Inuit worldwide at one point in the 1930's? And look at our qayaq, the Inuit's invention, that the outsider imitated and is now used all over the world. Look at the complexity of the language, that no one else can learn fast. Our physical characteristic is such that we don't get cold as easily as the outsider. Our knowledge of the wildlife is to be admired: a fish has different stages in its life, affecting the taste as its diet changes in those stages. There is even one stage during late summer that some Inuit will notice a dramatic change in the Arctic Char that repels them from eating it.

It's important that youth remain in the region because that's where they truly belong. That is not to say that they should remain at home all the time. Our ancestors moved about a lot, to many places. They'd camp in one area for so long and then move on to another camp at another time. They never stayed in one place, very unlike the outsider that can spend a lifetime in one place during his whole life. Did you know that there are people in the outside world that never move from their city? Even some have been known to spend only several city blocks during the course of their lives. Whereas, our people know many places of the region. It's in our blood to have this urge to go out there and do something, see something, hunt something, enjoy nature at its rawest.

Thinking negatively is only a way to make worse what you presently are. We must grope for ways to make things better than they now are. People that claim to be professors or that have made studies for a long period of time about our life here cannot possibly know the future. Nobody really knows what is to happen next. It can turn for the negative is we all think in the negative. Consequently, if we think in the positive, we can sometimes achieve things that will improve our life, even if for a moment.

  • August 16, 2007
  • Adamie

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