Six part Inuktitut mini-series produced by the Inuit Broadcasting
Corporation, written and directed by Martin Kreelak.
Kiviuq is a legendary figure across the North. His stories are told in
many ways in many dialects. The stories of Kiviuq hold Inuit tradition
together. From Alaska to Greenland elders tell stories about Kiviu and
his journey home from exile.
In this series we make a switch. Just like Inuit tell the stories of
Kiviu’s journey home, now Kiviu tells the stories of Inuit elders
and their journey to Nunavut.
These are personal stories of dislocation and discovery
told through legend, art and the land.
EPISODE ONE: AMAROK
One of the last Inuit elders in Baker Lake, Amarok Samson Quinaanaaq is
more than 80 years old. Amarok grew up on the land and his ears are not
adapted to the noise pollution of Baker Lake. Every spring he needs to
get away from the noise and dust of town so he takes his family to a small
camp further up the lake. Being at the camp energizes him and makes him
happy. There he finds time to ell Kiviuq stories to his grandchildren.
EPISODE TWO: KICHEKAT
Kichekat is Amarok’s real home even though he hasn’t seen
it for 40 years. This is where his memory lives along with the relatives
who died there. He loves this place so much that he made a song about
it. But his wife, Tululik remembers the hunger and cold from the hard
times when they used to live here. Even so, they are very glad to be here
with their son Basil and some of their grandchildren. Maybe now this generation
will carry on precious memories of Kitchekat after they are gone.
EPISODE THREE: KIVIU
Victoria Mamgosulakuk is an elder, artist, and storyteller from Baker
Lake. The stories we hear of Kiviu are only a little part of all that
there is to hear. The real original story of Kiviu’s journey goes
on and on. Some great storytellers have long gone, their knowledge and
that art of storytelling is buried with them. But the stories still live
and we can visualize Kiviu stories in new ways. Now there are wall hangings
and drawings to help tell the stories. Today Inuit artists tell their
stories in many forms through their imaginations, carvings and drawings.
EPISODE FOUR: SISTER PELAGIE
Established in the early 1800s, the little town of Chesterfield Inlet
is one of the oldest communities in the north. It is the birthplace of
Pelagie, the first Inuit Grey Nun in history. Pelagie served with the
Grey Nuns for 20 years before she finally left. As an Inuit nun she found
the rules a little too hard to follow. Many things happened behind closed
doors at the residential school in Chesterfield Inlet. Sister Isabelle,
who is about the same age, is a Grey Nun who served with Pelagie. Sister
Isabelle still lives in Chesterfield Inlet where she looks after handicapped
EPISODE FIVE: TWO SISTERS
Janet Kigusuik and Victoria Mamgosulakuk are two sisters who grew up on
the Back River. They moved to Baker Lake in the early part of the 1940s
and they’ve lived there ever since. But their art is still inspired
by the land where they were born and where they grew up together. In those
days Inuit went through a lot of hardships, enduring cold and sometimes
hunger. But they also had happy times and warm feelings. Inuit expressed
their feelings through their songs. Today these two sisters express their
feelings through their drawings. To collectors their work is unique Inuit
Art. But to the sisters it is the perspective of their life experiences
and dramas from their childhood.
EPISODE SIX: SAQVAKJUAK
Maurice Kukkiak is one of the elders from Chesterfield Inuit. He’s
a well-known hunter who lives in the modern world with trucks and Hondas.
He remembers the early part of his childhood, his uncle who was a great
Shaman and the hunger they endured together. Kukkiak’s memories
are kept alive through the songs of his father, Qilaq, the Great Song
Aaluk is the sister of Kukkiak. She has seen the changes
too. She remembers the hardships. Aaluk herself finds it a lot easier
to live in a settlement where your neighbor can give you a helping hand.
Kukkiak says being a full-time hunter is a hard life. Sometimes
hunters don’t come home to their loved ones, but Kukkiak suffered
even greater hardship and almost died when he worked in a mine near town
so now he’s gone back to being a full-time hunter and his life is
on the land. Saqvakjuak is the place where he and his parents endured
hardships. This is where he is able to feel his ancestors and be with
them in spirit. Kukkiak often comes here to hunt and refresh himself.
Six part Inuktitut mini-series produced by the Inuit
Broadcasting Corporation in co-production with Words and Pictures Video,
written and directed by Martin Kreelak