Northern News Services
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
RANKIN INLET - Have you ever asked yourself, who are we really? I did.
I began asking myself that back in 1998, when I found myself in a dark place and couldn't move forward personally or professionally.
I was stuck in the places of my mind where decisions had to be made that would inevitably involve responsibility and I wasn't ready to take that on.
In an effort to avoid making that commitment, I began tracing back to where this hesitation and fear had come from and it led me to the realization that I don't really know who I am.
I don't have an identity to call my own.
Aside from the years of being told I am Inuk and that we have been here for hundreds of thousands of years and are survivors - at the core, I didn't have the words to ground me to an absolute knowing.
So, I began to read. I started with Hugh Brody's The Other Side of Eden and came upon a passage that was the beginning of my selfdiscovery.
Inuit are the ultimate lovers of life, evidenced by thousands of years of living and thriving on this land.
At the core of this life and living is this balanced Inuk, knowing without a doubt what it takes to live and to really want to live.
At the core of this want for life is the determination that has kept us here.
I call this article journey back to sanity because we are at the verge of becoming insane, of becoming caught up with it all, of losing ourselves in Nunavut and forgetting what Nunavut is all about. Nunavut is about the people. Without the people, there is no land. Without the occupation of this land, there would be no fight. Without the fight, there is no exercising of power. Without people, there is no power. So, you see, you the people, are the power.
Don't forget who you are and where you come from.
Inuit are a people with a powerful sense of belonging.
We belong to this land and all the history we have made with it. We are people with awesome determination.
We survived thousands of years on a barren land and came out of it with Nunavut. We are lovers of life because life is worth fighting for. We've come out of that fight with a pride won and earned.
We need to return to that internal balance, to the absolute knowing of who we are.
We need to stand from that place and look out as we forge this new land of ours into exactly that - ours!
As we stand up and take this gift of our land, and once again merge it with our spirit, we will stand knowing we fought for this.
We have fought for and won this incredible opportunity to an identity as Inuit of Nunavut.
We stand knowing that we loved life well enough to survive thousands of years.
That is who we are. We are the land. We are the people who adapted and than conquered. We stood through all the struggles and trials, and are still standing.
All for life, the love of this land and the people.
All for Nunavut!
- Kivalliq native Susan Aglukark is an international Inuit recording star