Ikpik Journal: Ethnogeography in the Piling Lake area of Central Baffin Island

Natural Resources Canada – Ethnogeography is understanding a place and its environment from the perspective of the original inhabitants of that place. By drawing on information and experience embedded in their culture – we can enrich our understanding of the unique and varied relationships between human beings and their particular environment …

I’ve had the good fortune over many years to have known and travelled with Inuit who were born and spent most of their lives on the land and so were nunaliriniq meaning totally at one with the land. It was in southwest Baffin Island where I was exposed to how the elders perceived the landscape as a living thing which included the land sea and sky. This great living thing was a physical entity imbued with spirits. It had places that were frightening, dangerous, evil, powerful, inviting, beautiful and sacred. It consisted of a vast network of such places where opportunities for both success and disastrous failure were often in delicate balance. An acute sense of observation, knowledge and precaution increased one’s chances for survival and a slip in judgment could mean lingering death. The ability to accurately observe, remember, recall and verbalize information about the land and its ever changing conditions was essential for survival (project by Norman Hallendy, Director, Tukilik Foundation).

Ikpik Journal, 2001 (Part I)
Ikpik Journal, 2002 (Part II)

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