My Little Corner of Canada: Flashes of Brilliance



Our children have gone through tough times in the past 35 years or so. Through no fault on their part, our children have borne the burdens of cultural upheaval, rapidly changing times, and the painful recovery from colonialism. They have grown up in a period of violence and abuse. Many children have had parents who would not or could not take their parenting responsibilities seriously enough. Our kids have had tough times.

An encouraging sign is that many Inuit are once again recognizing just how important it is to be good parents. Good parents today will produce a happier and more healthy generation down the road. How far down the road that is will depend on how hard we’re willing to work at it.

Being forever told that they do not measure up to certain standards, many children began to believe they were dumb and became habitual underachievers. Unstable family environments contributed to low levels of achievement. It has been a vicious cycle for them.

Another encouraging sign is that more and more Inuit are going sober. We who grew up surrounded by drunken violence and abuse must keep working to make this a thing of the past. Our children do not deserve the same fate.

And the signs of recovery are there. They may seem feeble at times, but they are there. The sparkle in our children’s eyes is beginning to return. One reason is that many of us are trying harder to be good parents. Another reason is because we are slowly sobering up. The third reason is because many of our children have discovered that they are not stupid.

Among the returning sparkles are flashes of brilliance. The obvious examples are Susan Aglukark and Tudjaat.

Another emerging figure is Jimi Onalik. If he is as smart as he sounds, he could be looking at a very successful political career.

Pujjuut Kusugak is a 17-year-old hockey player from Rankin Inlet. He plays junior hockey in Toronto. His father, Jose, may not be exactly objective, but he says his son is pretty good. I hope I don’t jinx him but I hope to God he makes it to the NHL. Just imagine him hoisting the Stanley Cup. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes.

So, all you bright kids, come on out. It’s time to come out from your hiding.

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