We must document the Inuit culture

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

As descendants of Uumarnittuq and Aakulukjuusi, who were the first Inuit, we have to take pride in our Inuit culture.

Because of their survival, we were able to be born and survive in our Arctic environment today. We have to strive towards the legacy of our ancestors, so that the life skills they taught us may survive among the younger generations. We have to teach them the principles and values of good living.

Here we are, living in our ancestors’ environment, in which we were taught the value of healthy living and how to raise children with good value systems and principles. They did not create these by themselves, nor did they live the way they wanted, instead they were given a set of rules and ways they had to follow.

These systems were not written, but instilled in their hearts and minds. They were taught to follow their hearts, so that their lives would be manageable and so their consciences would be clear throughout their lives.

When Inuit are raised with values and principles to live by and they are in a certain situation they are aware of their ancestors’ ways. Survival skills are passed on to their descendants so that the culture and traditions may continue.

Older people possess better knowledge of unwritten laws than younger people, and today there are elders who still live under the principle ways that were passed down to them from their parents.

The traditional rules that are unwritten should be written down so that they are not lost, because we are losing some of them. We’ve started living without regard for the old ways, although some of us still try and continue them.

The more we lose our culture and traditions, the more we rely on written documents. We have to write these rules down; there are so many, it will take time.

But we have to document them for the younger generations, because they live in a world where everything is documented. The more our world progresses, the need for documentation to save the old ways becomes stronger.

Lucien Ukkalianuk
Iqaluit

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