Collection of carvings tell tales of Arctic justice

This carving from the late 1960s shows a traditional adoption, validated in 1969 by Justice J.H. Sissons of the Northwest Territories. It’s among the carvings from the Sissons-Morrow collection of Inuit carvings from the N.W.T., currently on display at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. That collection began in 1956 when Kaotak, a man found not guilty of killing his father, presented Sissons with a carving depicting the trial. After that, Sissons would commission local carvers to depict cases in stone, ivory, caribou antler, soapstone and metal. Later, Justice William J. Morrow continued the collection. (Photo by Jane George)

By Jane George

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Whit Fraser on

    It became known as the S&M collection. I have a picture in my book True North Rising in the chapter Colonial Justice, a hunter Tootalik, aiming his rifle at three polar bears. Judge Morrow’s memento to himself, and a reminder to everybody else of the good old days, where sovereignty and colonialism trumped justice and Indigenous rights.

  2. Posted by William Flowers on

    There is a book by Dorothy Harley Eber, that I have recommended to many people, which recounts the stories involved in many cases adjudicated by Justice Jack Sissons. It is called Images of Justice and is a really good read.

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