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Various Contributors. Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut
2008, John R. Bennett and Susan Rowley (eds.). McGill-Queen's University Press.
Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note:
Uqalurait presents a comprehensive account of Inuit life on land and sea ice in the area now called Nunavut, before extensive contact with southerners. Drawing on a broad range of oral history sources - from nineteenth-century exploration accounts to contemporary community-based projects - the book uses quotes from over three hundred Inuit elders to provide an 'inside' view of family life, social relations, hunting, the land, shamanism, health, and material culture. For the first time, the reader encounters Inuit culture and traditional knowledge through the voices of people who lived the life being described. Based on a larger research project developed under the guidance of six Inuit from across Nunavut, Uqalurait consists of thousands of quotations organised thematically into cohesive chapters. The book describes the seasonal rounds of four different groups, capturing the fact that while Inuit across Nunavut had much in common, there was also much to distinguish them from each other, living as they did in many small groups of people, each with its own territory and identity. Given the recent creation of Nunavut and the current focus of attention on the Arctic due to climate change, Uqalurait is a timely source of insight from a people whose values of sharing and respect for the environment have helped them to live contentedly for centuries at the northern limit of the inhabitable world.

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