The Inuit watch and remember -New Statesman

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The Inuit watch and remember -New Statesman

by NationTalk on December 13, 2007976 Views

The Inuit watch and remember

Despatches from Iglooliki

Noah Richler
Published 13 December 2007

A winter’s day as Igloolik knows it. The cold is crisp, the sky dark and clear. Outside, it is ­40°, a temperature at which it does not matter if the scale reads Celsius or Fahrenheit. It is December in the southern calendar, but the beginning of Tauvikjuaq in the Inuit one. This small Nunavut community in northern Canada, established in the 1950s – when the Inuit were encouraged, and sometimes coerced, into moving off the land and into permanent settlements – sits at the north-eastern side of the Melville Peninsula and across the water from Baffin Island, just inside 69° latitude. The snow-encrusted land around it, bluish and untrammelled, stretches out flatly in all directions like an upside-down plate. The horizon, its distant rim, is an incandescent, silvery white.

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