Whale hunting course hits the water in Rankin Inlet
Course teaches fundamentals of whale hunting and gives participants chance to get on land
They didn’t catch a whale, but they did have a lot of fun.
Six people in Rankin Inlet are fresh from Ilitaqsiniq’s four-day whale hunting course, which gave them the chance to reconnect with the land and build relationships with other members of the community.
Ilitaqsiniq is a non-profit organization that offers culture-based programming for Nunavummiut.
“They really enjoyed it,” said program co-ordinator Amber Irwin.
The course ran from Aug. 28 to Aug. 31. Irwin said Ilitaqsiniq offered a similar course about two years ago.
With the high cost of whale-hunting materials, such as the cost of owning a boat, this course was intended for those who do not normally have the opportunity to go on such a trip.
The plan was to have two days on the water, but weather forced cancellation of one of the days.
“We didn’t catch any whales, but everyone enjoyed their time out on the water,” Irwin said.
On top of hunting for a whale, the program teaches on-the-land fundamentals such as boat and gun safety, how to properly pack for a hunting trip and preparing food for a trip.
Participants were also able to learn how to preserve whale meat. Because a whale was not caught on the trip, Ilitaqsiniq provided whale blubber and meat for participants to preserve.
They learned to make pickled maktaaq, which uses white vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cloves, mustard seed, pepper, allspice and pickling spice, as well as a maktaaq salad.
By teaching skills such as how to pack and preserve food, Irwin said Ilitaqsiniq was trying to provide a well-rounded course.
“They’re still leaving with some skills that it takes to go out on a hunt, whether it be boating or on the land,” she said.