Sewing, seal stew and stories: Inuit women in Ottawa gather to share traditions – CBC

by ahnationtalk on March 11, 202086 Views

Isaruit Inuit Women’s Sewing Centre fosters community, traditional skills

Mar 11, 2020

On the second floor of an empty school in Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood, sewing machines hum, women chatter in Inuktitut and the scent of seal meat stew wafts from a slow cooker.

These classrooms at the former Rideau High School are now home to Odawa Native Friendship Centre and the Isaruit Inuit Women’s Sewing Centre.

Isaruit, which means wings, was conceived in 2016 to give Inuit women in Ottawa a place to gather, share stories and food, and learn to sew from elders in the community.

In 2019, with help from the Canada Council for the Arts, groups of Inuit students started meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays to learn how to make a single sewing project from beginning to end. This winter it was parkas.

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