Despite modern influences and conveniences, the core values, language, knowledge and beliefs inherit within the Inuit culture remain a steady part of life in Nunavut and for all Inuit people. As suggested by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, thousands of years of tradition still shape the nature of the Inuit community.
Adapting to the modernization of Inuit lifestyle does not mean becoming any less Inuit. You are Inuit, and you will always be Inuit. But what does that mean these days: to be Inuit?
What Does Being Inuit Mean to You?
In Nunavut today, being Inuit means that you can freely identify with aspects of both traditional and modern culture.
It means that you can purchase groceries from the co-op or Northern Store and still participate in the hunt. It means that children can attend formal school while respecting the education observed by their ancestors. It means that if you own a television, you can still master the art of drumming, juggling or katajjaq.
Accepting changes within Inuit culture doesn’t mean you are turning your back on tradition. It means that you are willing to learn, alongside others, what it means to be Inuit in today’s world, while respecting your Inuit roots. It simply means that you are doing your best to bridge the gap between the old, and the new.
Where Do You Belong?
Finding your place within modern Inuit society can be challenging. It is important for you to remember that the choice is not between being Inuit and not being Inuit. You can identify with as many, or as few elements of traditional or modern Inuit culture and still be 100% Inuit.
If you’re feeling confused about being Inuit, we’re here to help.
Additional Source: Inuit Cultural Online Resource