Artwork by Pudlo Pudlat.

The Importance of Being Inuk

Article
Suicide

You are Inuk. Period.

Despite modern influences and conveniences, the core values, language, knowledge, and beliefs inherent within the Inuit culture remain a steady part of life in Nunavut and for all Inuit. 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 Inuk. You are Inuk, and you will always be  Inuk. But what does that mean these days: to be Inuk?

What Does Being Inuk Mean to You?

In Nunavut today, being Inuk 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 Inuk 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 Inuk and not being Inuk. You can identify with as many, or as few, elements of traditional or modern Inuit culture as you are comfortable with, and still be 100% Inuk.

If you’re feeling confused about your cultural identity, we’re here to help.

Additional Source: Inuit Cultural Online Resource

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