We got here almost two months ago now. I personally can’t say it has been always easy to be in such an isolated town. While being here for work, it makes it even worse when you can’t do your job because of the difficult weather. Sitting around waiting for the days to go by and the weather to improve is a bigger challenge than I expected. Anyhow, we have been making the best of this experience and we tried to learn and understand the culture and challenges of the Inuits that have been living here for centuries.
People here are very friendly and speak English very well. Everyone will return your smile or greetings in the street. The kids, there is a lot of them, are also very curious and they often come to see us to ask us our names and where we are from.
We learned that Hockey is a big deal here. They play outside or at the arena. Often the kids play very late at night on the frozen pond because it’s sunny all night here now. They actually had a big weekend tournament while we were here against two other town; Kugaaruk and Gjoa Haven. It was a very big event, with a lot of people. And guess what? our team won! And they had a parade with the fire truck to show the cup to everyone. Really fun event!
Inuit people by tradition are nomadic. Half a century ago the government forced them to establish themselves in those town. Since they have been forced into the southern culture and their life have changed drastically. Many people seem to be unemployed as there is not enough jobs for everyone. Although, they do still live from the land. They hunt and fish and the women make clothing with the skins and furs. They make beautiful pieces; mittens, Kamiks (boots), parkas and Amauts, a special piece of clothing to carry their baby on their back and protect them of the cold weather.
They also use Facebook as a sharing platform. They have a group for selling and exchanging stuffs. It is very interesting to watch that local economy system going. People give away there left overs to elders or kids, they sale homemade pizza and sweets and often they even offer you delivery services. They also use that group to sell their craft and clothing or used iPod and often snowmobile parts. It is a big, live 24/7 ongoing market.