Cleaning up our act together


I wanted to comment on the December 2001 article entitled “Clean up the Ikkaqivik Bar in Kuujjuaq,” by sharing what I experienced in my “old” life and my present life in recovery.

I don’t believe that the people of Kuujjuaq have lost their cultural values; they are only buried under addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. I also believe that people’s minds and hearts can still be turned around.

I found that I had to change my own behaviours and attitudes from negative to positive by seeking the strength and courage to seek a new way of life. I am only able to do this with the support of loved ones and by letting go of the pain that was deep within myself. This was and continues to be through healing with the help of others.

I must always remember that I can only learn to control myself, and that I will never be able to control other lives, not even our children, whom we can only teach by our example and hope that they will pass it on to their children.

By learning to control myself in mind, body and soul, then I can become whole again.

Secondly, I don’t think we can bring back the past nor fix it. The only way we can deal with the past is with forgiveness and acceptance. And one of my biggest gifts was to learn that as a human being, I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them in order not to repeat them.

Only then can I pass the knowledge to others and, most importantly, to the younger generation. And gradually, “we can change the whole community together.”

The year 2002 has reached us. We as Inuit must keep up to date with the Qallunaat way of life and also keep our cultural values so as to keep up with the world community and civilization as a whole.

I have shared this with you because I am a recovering alcoholic and I learned to accept that I am one. I am grateful that I learned I am an alcoholic because it made me see, feel and understand that here is a better, healthier way of living my life.

And for me, I choose to look at what the wine at Holy Communion represents, not at the wine itself. I have also learned that not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic.

Judging and blaming others never works. It only worsens problems and situation. This is also what is called “cleaning up our act together.”

Aputik Angnatuk,

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