Camping - Life On The Land  

Camping is a custom in this day and age that merely surfaced during the development of the Inuit community of Belcher Islands, now known as Sanikiluaq.

  “We hardly went camping back then; we were only a few numbers gathered together. When more gathered and started building houses to start forming a community is when we started going. Camping enables us to use our traditional ways and gather food and anything we could use. We started this for our children so they would start to realize and know what things are done while hunting, camping, and what things they can craft.”

   “Although we don’t use much of our traditional ways when we are out on the land, we are out there because we enjoy it very much. We make use of our traditional ways in the manner that the animals we hunt are used conservatively for food and anything that we can utilize. We are not just out on the land; we are out on the land working hard. It is very important because the children and youth that follow us when we go camping would start to recognize and understand. They are our futures that are branching out on their own. We as elders won’t always be here and for this reason, our youth today will provide and care for us when we are old and unable to care for ourselves. These children learn from their parents what things need to be done and it encourages them to think, “this is what my parent’s had done, this is what I’m going to do.” Camping didn’t have much of a meaning because that was how we lived our lives. We lived anywhere on the land and thrived from its natural resources and moved else where when food and recourses became scarce”

   “Today, we are significantly influenced by the Qallunaaq and use their means of transportation for traveling. The government depraved us of our traditional transportation. We were no longer allowed to have our dog sled teams. In return, with a price when money was not easily available, had to purchase Qallunaaq vehicles for our transportation to go hunting and camping. Although we have been unfortunate, it is important to show the government our way of life. The animals provide us with the food we need for absolutely no cost. We intentionally go hunting to provide ourselves with the free food. Qallunaantaq food is only available if you have the money for it.”

   “This is now a tradition that did not exist and only recently is it starting to build its tradition. We are all gathered together in a community today and at times, it feels that going camping is all that we have.”

   Camping offers us an opportunity to escape from the community and leave any restraints that we may have had behind. Camping is suitable for many aspects in life. It has the ability to raise our strength of reason, determination, and sense of self. Camping gives us an opportunity to focus our energy on something else for a change. “It clears your thoughts and mind.” (Camp 03)

   Camping may be difficult at first if you have never gone because camping requires a lot of work. There are lots to do. But once you get in to the movement of things, it’s not difficult at all. You need to make special considerations when going camping. You must insure that you have all necessities to go, even clothes need to be appropriate for our climates here in the north. It is also important to test your tent leggings to make sure that they fit and bring all your essentials, don’t rush. Prepare everything that you will need for as many as three weeks.

   Conditions of the sea ice are also important that require close instruction. During the springtime, it does not look at all threatening; “it looks the same all round.” But the ice starts to melt and thin from the currents. “It’s an excellent time to go camping and use it as a teaching tool.” Teach our youth the difference between the melting ice of the sea and lake. “I have strong hope that we teach our youth to use the traditional techniques combined with the present day techniques on how to follow safe trails.” (Mina Inuktaluk) It’s impossible to know the conditions of the ice if you haven’t been taught.

   Although our youth today hardly go hunting or camping, more should try to follow and see how much excitement is involved. “It makes you want to live, there is no other way of saying it.” (Camp02) If we were educated about the significance of camping, we would want to use it more often. As unfortunate as it is, some never had an opportunity to go.  But “it’s always wonderful to go some place new. It gives us a chance to eat.” (Camp02)

   Camping also allows for multi-generations an opportunity to pass down oral traditions and share life experiences. “We should not just let our traditions fade away because we should know what it was like for our ancestors. It is a way of life that we should be familiar with. Enough has been lost, lets try using our traditions more often. Our culture shapes who we are.” (Camp02) Youth today don’t know enough about their cultural history and it is encouraged that more take an interest to learn. “Follow the pattern of our children’s growth and teach them the significance about camping as they are growing.” (Camp 03)

    In the modern world, we have adapted to a new life style that is very different from our traditional ancestors. Camping today is not the same as before. We, in the community of Sanikiluaq have things that we have never had before. It is not even comparable how many things have changed. As much as it has significantly altered our traditional ways, it has made our lives a great deal easier. “It used to be alright using dog sled teams to go camping. They could travel a long distance in a day. Unfortunately we could not really return our dogs today but I’m sure that if we tried willingly we could.” (Camp02) When one didn’t have any Qallunaantaq food, he/she believes that they can’t go camping at all. “People don’t eat just all traditional foods anymore.” (Camp 05)  Elders can remember a time when “people couldn’t eat all day because there was nothing to eat at all.” (Camp01) Along with many others, the weather has changed significantly as well. Our elders recall growing up and being educated about the importance of identifying the types of weather patterns. They obtained first hand training from their parents or guardians and were taught to watch the weather. “It’s just not the same today.” (Camp01)

   People were never concerned about others while they were gone camping, there was nothing to worry about when you know the life style of the Inuit. “It was not at all worrying because we all know what skilled survivors we can be. But it’s not always easy.” (Camp02) We go camping out on the lands because we know the capability of surviving. “The land prompts you to appreciate its history every time you see a familiar campsite.” (Camp 04) “I strongly hope that our campsites are unaltered and no buildings constructed.” (Annie Appaqaq)

   We should encourage the youth today the importance of spending time outdoors. Teach them the traditional lifestyle;

“it is no wonder they have no place at heart and nothing to turn to.  If they didn’t finish school, they did not have a future. It’s happened before and we still see it today.” (Mina Inuktaluk)

Although our youth have gone to school, they do not understand which life style to follow; they live in a mixture of two cultures. “They are among their people, but share non-of their values. Secondly, they don’t understand what to do in the modern world today.” Stressing the importance of teaching and learning, Mina comments that people all round the world should learn and try to understand our traditional and natural ways of life. “We are a part of the people of this earth with the exception that we live in cold climates and survived on what foods our ancestors ate.” She also adds, “we should also encourage our young men and women to recognize the traditional roles of both sexes.” (Mina Inuktaluk)

   Camping is a wonderful method for teaching our youth today the traditional knowledge of survival. It is very important for teaching our youth the hunting skills required for becoming a successful hunter.

“It would mean a great deal to have our youth learn what life was like for our ancestors and learn them well. It’s very important, pay very good attention to our elders because it is through their oral history that we, the Inuit community of Sanikiluaq are going to be able to say that it is true as we have been told.” (Camp01)

“I would like to stress the importance of keeping this tradition alive. I would hate to see it change.” (Lotty Arragutainaq) “We, as elders should pass on any knowledge and traditions that we may remember.” (Camp01)

“If we want to keep our traditions to this day, money is what’s running our lives. We have been trained for money. Money is what we should teach our children today, the importance of handling money carefully. This should be a major stepping stone for our future.” (Camp 05)


yi5bEx8im8N kw5yxobw8NMs3ymJ kN6vtos3Xoxo3tlb s9lusJ4 nirlxAo3gu5.

“yi5bEx3XMs5/q4vlx3hb bw5hmi kNoC`MD5hb vts6vX9oxo3mb kNo8i w9l+b3Xoxo3mb yi5bEx3Xo6fA5. WsyE?Ms3bK5 kNoC`MD5hb xg3hA }smJChx3i4 x7ml hNgw8Ni ei3hb mfiz W5Jtc5hb v4v`Mi5, sFZ3gi5 csp?9oxd9lQ3 WNhx3bs+hi5 }smJChx3ii5 x7ml nN/s+hi5 Ws4fti5, ejys3ii5, c/os3ii5 cspm?9oxd9lQ5.

xs9`Mym5hb xg3XMs3gi5 bm4fiz xgxl5/A8NwZlx3hb mcw5hb ryxi mcw+hAJA5 yi5bEx3ym5hb xoxQ5hA. xg3XMs3bK5 xg3hA mfx }smJw5 xyX5/NQ5 W5noxE5hQ9l ie5noxE5hQ9l xs9Mym+hAKA5 xs9`Mym1axgw8N/Zb WZhx3mE5hb. mfxl v4v`M5 mo5tQ+hK5 sFZ3gwl mo+h5 mcw8iu5 csp?9oxJ1ax+C~l7mb xoxAtQ5hQ9l x7ml wo4+fEs3Xoxo3ht9l mo5nwN?8ix/q8Nb WA8Nq2Xoxix3uZ5b mcw5tQ`M3uZ5tA mo5tQ+hK5. mfx sFZ3gw5 v4v`MAZlx3l won3ht5 x`NN4fui5, x+bb4fui5 wmw~l3XMs3mb wmw~lZhxc5b`M6fz whmtZhx3}g}/3hQ5 mcw5tQ+hK5. bw5hmiQx grc5}g]/3Xms5/q5}gZlx6 WsyE/s?Ms3m5 Nigw8N kNc3XMs3mb }smZhx3Fnui5 kN+b3Xht5.

bZbZ c9l`N5 Wsyq8i5 xsMAtq8il xgoClx3hb ryxi sw+F3E/sym9ME4vb bZbZ v?m4fk5 xsMAtQ?Ms3bK5 e7}u5 kabsym7mb xsMAtq8i5 xsMAt+b3hbryxi xrc7ut9lQ5 }rNs/c1q]g5hi xJ3nN3}gZlx bm4fx W+bChxExu5. sw+FEyymZlx3tlQ5 s?5ti5 csp?9oxd5hQ5bs mcw8iu5 WsyEZ5tA9l bm8N xoxQ5hA bm4fxl }smJF`i5 xrc1q}g+hA7mb isFxEZhx5/NQ5 ie5nys+hDZ5b mfxl c9l`N5 iedtq5 }rNs/jryxi W/s+hA7mb.

Wsygc5ns/q5}gClx bm8N WsyEgw8N+hAoC5tA yi5bEx3ymi vtmJx~lC5b kNos5hb vts6vymJx~loC5b Wsy5n/E5/q5bClxK5, WsyE?Ms5/q5bClxK5 xg3lAryxis+hAoC5b yi5bEx+hDKA5.

yi5bEx3ymi whmu5 Ws1q]gzlx3X5 whm, b]mi kNo8`ili Wsy4vw+Cl5nD8Ng nw7mvwA8Nhil wk7u5, w~ky3j5 xb5yxm5 bm8N w~ky3ul rF5yQF4vwJ4. whml]vAl8i kNo8`ihi yi5bEx3ymi xysp4vwax5yx+hA7m5 w~kAmQx9MN3g4. s9luso3g4 yi5bEx3ymi4 gro4 namt5yi, kNo7u}Cl5ngw8Nbwot5yi whmu5 x7ml WNhxC3u5. NlN3}gZ/3g cspmJc1qgxDi NlN3gx~l7m5 yi5bEx3ymi. yi5bExcbsJiryxi mo2XiDi sFZ3g4 yi5bEA8Nc5b`Mo3g cspm5/q8Nu5 bm4fiz x6fbsQxo8i, cspm1qi3uk5 w7m3]v yi5bEx6v/1qgw8NQxc`M3g. NlN5/q5}gZlx cspmw8NChx3hA ryxi xg3bs]nogxCu NlN3ynstQJ. ckw1qgxCu wk WA8Nio]muA5 WZhx+hA7m5 yi5bEx3ymogxCu Ws4ftc5yxlt5 bwmw2XQxcMzJ5 xJen5bsoisgxDtl bmguz xgDm?MzJw5. i9omJus+C~lC5b b]mi x8k+Cc5yxXEx~o5 x7ml x8NsmChxD}t5 N5nyx2XlQ5 g+W9l `N7myxClx3m1]Zb eJdtq9l w2WQ/s5yx?Ex`o5 sDlQ/s5/A8Nwlt.

yfw5 won3bsQxo7mExlw5 sW31]Zu5 NqxN3gx~l/5/q5g w5+J+Cl7u5 ]n8il]vh+C~l7m5 +f8k5 tbs5hi Wsi3XsC/1axg yi5bEx3tyymli wonwAtQlAl. x3hD8Nis2 wMQ+hz x6f+t5 Ws5yxiq8i5 wMQ/sq8NEx~o5 yKiFi5b WsyFiz wMQlA x7ml s9luso3g x5pQ5/A8Nwms Wix3i vtmt9lQ5 yi5bEx3tyAts?5gF`i5 x7ml mcw5tyAbs+hF`i5 s9lu9l xg3bs+hAo3g5 vt9lQ5 WsJx~lZ/3g4. sFZ3gw5 mcwMs3ym5/q5}gZlx5 yi5bEx3gi mo2Xlt5 xoxN3gaxi5 cspc5bC/1axgw5 w~kAmQx9MN+hA7m5 sc5ns/q5g4 xoxN3iax+Clz mcw1axhi. WMq yi5bEx8iu5 xgMs3ym5/q5g5 cspm5/q7mb w`Mis5/q5}gZlx3, kNs2 xyx~kCW5gcgxDi xoxN3gx~l7uJ iE8Ng1ax+C~l5hil.

yi5bEx8i w~kct}Qi5 vty5yxax+hA7uJ4 si4]vgx3ii9l xfi WsyFi8i5 kwbt5yyxA8Nu5hil, Wsygcs?Ms3gi5 scs5}pym5yxN3g4 mcw4vwogxDi. bm8N w~k5 Wsyz xystbsgw8NExc5/q7m5 bwmw5}g?Ms3gi5 cspmQxc7mb bm8N w~kys3m5 xysp/sgw8NExc5/q7m5 yi5bExc5bis2 xoxN3iax+Clz xg6bsq8NExosClx. w~k5 Wsyq8i5 cspm5/A8Nwmb bm4fx kwtbwQx4vi5nMs3Xb xrgQ/s+h5 yi5bEx8is2 grzi cspmix3mb WsyE/s?Ms3gi5 xfi. ra+?E`M3bK5 cspm1qlx?lMzo3mb gryosutbsd9lQ5 mcw8is2 u5]nk5, bf4viDmC/1axSA5 yi5bExAmJi5, v5hzwo/s4vi5nMs3Xb xrgu8N+hAK. xqo?9oxiq5 mo9lQ5 yi5bEx3tbs?gx3Xb +bKzo]m WsQ/sZ/3g.

s9lu xy5pym9ME5g WbQ+hA5/q5bti Wbc+hAoC5b xJ3Nq8in7mEx~lo3g. x5pQ5/A8Nwms bw5hmis?Ms3m5 wh3EJx~lo3gw5 u5]ni+CW5/A8Nwgw5 whx3gxl8i5 WcoCu5. e7}uo yi5bExAtQ5hQ5 ckw2XMs5/q7u+JZlx5 szy5g+jA8NuZu5 s9lwN, st3tbs6v/5}g]/5/A8Nwht5 ChxgxDt A8N3+fClx3uht5. xy5pymDt7mExlzo c9l`N8bc5yxqgxDi yi5bEx6v/5/A8Nwmb ]smJFigw8Nj5 +hA5/A8Nwmb csp?9ox/ui5 c9l`N5 ieq8i5 bdx3ltryxi Qxc+hAo3gw5. s9luso3g x5ps/A8NwuJ yM3Jx cspn3tbs?MsC5b xzJ6]vtk5, s9lu bwmw+hA5/A8NwuJ xy5pym9ME5g. sF4vsJ5 s9lu cspn5yxXlt5 Wsi3nmEx~lJw5 ckw~l3Xi7m1]Zb Wsys?5gFi3i wonstQ5yxlQ5 s9lu xgq8`Nmb bm4fx WA8NgcgxDi cspm/st5yxChx3lQ5 yMs2 xy5p?9oxiz +b8NMEx~l7m5 w2W}Q8Nyx3XlA bwmwbsExo. bw5hmis?Ms3m5 cspm/sZu5 wkw5 Wsyq5 WqZQ/s2XMs5/q7mb~l8`i5 xfi bZbZo gnsm/s5yxQxc+hAo3g5. yi5bEx+hDKA5 cspm5hb ]smAt5ni5 ]smJ3?`Mi9l. kNgcF`i5 wob3N+hA7mb Xw1q/3Nhtl cspmdpKA5 yi5bEx3Fs+h5 kNw5 ckgw8`N~l3nqMs3Xb h4fbsChx3lt~l8`i5 x7ml yi5bEx3Fslr+h5 ckgw8N w9lDxi Wb5y/s5nqMs3Xb.

sFZ3gw5 w9l}u5txl5ngw8N/A8NwlQ5 `N7mZ/3g4, sW8NCi Nj1zFc5+hD5/q7mb won3bui W/`E1qgxCu5 N`i5/D8Nwy5ht c5bym7mb bfc5bymo3bK5 won3gFisClx3ht N9oxi9~l`i5 gryQs5/Q5gw5 N9ox`i+CW5/A8Nwht5 wkw5 Wsyq8i5 gry5/Ct  c9l`N9l moZq8i5 WNhx3bsdym/q8i5 WNhxExouil gry5/Zt N`i5/A8Nwgw5 s9lu. cspmQxc7uJ5 yM3JxusActK5 wkw5 Wsy9lgzi yM3JxusAcbs7uZ5b +w4}rN3gxl7}u+hDZ5b srsu5, bm8N csp/st9lA WsJx~lZ/3g5 x7ml iEZhx3ym/q5 wkw5 csp/st9lQ5 mfxl x3Ns2 WNhxCQ?5bFiq5 xats9l wo4+fu5tlQ5 WnhxCQ?5bFiq5 won3bslt5 ckwC/5/q7uJw5.

yi5bEx3ymi wonwAt5yx+C~lC/5g5 sFZ3}gJk5 xfi x8NsmChxDts?5gFi8i5 mcwAts?5gFi8il. `NM5yxX9lt9l wk7mEs2 scsyq5, xhwMsK bm8`Nax3ymC/7mb cspm/s9MEQxc7mb yi5bEx4vwym?ogxDt4 s9luso3g scstym5yxXEs`o5 wk7mEsi3nw5 Wsys?Ms3}g5 u5]nk5. n4fbsgw8Nd5/q5bK5 +bKzo]m xg3bsd/K5 h=?bsd5/q5bK5 yi5bEx8i4. bZbZ }rNs/jryxi xsM+hDoC5b xJen5bsymoC5b +b8NbZ wonwAt5nsC/o3g4 }rNs/s5 u5]nz.