KidsMeet Inuit of Labrador: FINAL EDIT


Welcome. Welcome everyone to our national KidsMeet the Inuit of Labrador live student webcast whether it’s 1:30 in the afternoon for you folks in Newfoundland and Labrador or 9 a.m. for you students
in British Columbia. We’re so excited that there’s this one time of day where students all across Canada from coast to coast to coast can all be together and learn together. My name is Cathy Beach. I’m one of the national coordinators of
the kids Guide to Canada project And the other one is Leigh Cassell. And she is the other host this morning And, before we begin, I’m going to hand things over to Leigh so that she can give you a few instructions about the webcast before we
meet Angus. Thanks Cathy. Classes who are watching the webcast are encouraged to join in on the conversation by using the Hangout Live Chat located just on the right hand side of your computer screen. We would really encourage students to post questions and comments in an ongoing way in the live
chat. And again, that’s on the right-hand side of your screen. We would also love classes to tell us where they’re commenting from. We know classes are joining us today from across the country, and when you do share your name though,
we ask that when students are sharing that we only share first names only. Ok? We also ask that all comments made during the webcast are positive and that appropriate and respectful language is used at all times. This chat will be closely monitored by a teacher with the Kids’ Guide project should anyone need assistance at any time, just send us a message. And at the end of the chat, we’re going to wrap things up with a Q and A, and Angus is going to try to answer as many questions posted as possible. So, I believe that’s all we need to get started. I will also be tweeting during the chat, and watching Twitter. If you tag us at A Kids’ Guide, um, we can respond there. So Cathy, I’ll now turn things over to you. All right! It’s my HUGE pleasure and honour to introduce Angus, Angus Andersen, who’s going to be our special guest and also teacher today. We met Angus through Twitter. He tweets out an Inuit Word of the Day . And we’re always looking for things like that to share with students across canada. And that just demonstrates the positive power of the internet to connect people from Canada all across the country and to learn and share together. Angus does so much more than that. He is a wonderful story-teller. He does soap-stone carving. And not only does he do it, but he teaches it as well. And he hosts his own award-winning radio show that’s 100% Indigenous music, and I’m not going to try and
pronounce it. I’ll let Angus you do that because my Inuit is zero. But it won’t be after today. And he translates for the local university when they need someone to translate something. And he’s very helpful to other inuit people who move to his current home, which is, he is in St. John’s Newfoundland this morning. I am not there. Leigh and I are both in Ontario, in two totally different places in Ontario, but we’re not where Angus is. He also has been very active in protesting the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric project on the Churchill River, just south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador. And Angus loves to share
his culture and his language, which is what he’s going to do with us today. And I want to – I know that some classes have to leave early so I do want to say
to the teachers that Angus is available to talk with your class on an
individual level for a small fee and you can get that connection either through
the Digital Human Library, which he’s listed as an expert, or, when we send out the link to the recording of this webcast I’ll include all of his contact
information in that email. And that should come in a day or two. I have to get the recording edited first. So with all of that, it’s our pleasure Angus to hand this over to you. I know you have a surprise organized for the kids, and we just can’t wait to learn with you. So thank you, and Angus, you’re on. Good Morning, Good Afternoon wherever you are, BC to Newfoundland. I am Angus Andersen from Nain Labrador, I am now living in St. John’s Newfoundland. For those that don’t know, St. John’s is on the island; my homeland is on the mainland of Labrador. Even though we have one province, we have two different regions, Newfoundland and Labrador. I am Inuit as you can see in the picture. I do Inuit drum dancing. I do, ah, Inuit music. And I also play this music on my weekly radio show. I’m glad to be helping with this project reaching out to students from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Nunatsiavut, on the map as you can see, is the northern portion of Labrador. And we decided to call it “Nunatsiavut” after settling land claims with the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland. There are 5 communities, Nain, Natuashish, Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville, Rigolet are the Inuit communities. And the one you see next below Nain is Natuashish is a community that is, ah, Innu people, which is probably a different group than Inuit. There’s two colours, blue and green. Blue is where the land claims area is for the Inuit. And the green is what we call the Torngat National Park. It used to be an area of where we originally lived. My grandparents and their parents moved south from that area. So we decided to recognize that as a National Park. So nobody can go mining there, or looking for oil, or gold. Not saying that there isn’t any there. But if they want to try, they are not allowed to try. It is a National Park. Labrador Inuit , we have approximately 3,000 people I believe, approximate, ranging from south at Rigolet up to Nain. There is a location that is south west of Rigolet, a town called Happy Valley-Goose Bay where a lot of Inuit also reside, along with Innu, and a lot of non-Inuit people that work in Labrador. Well, the Inuit have been in Labrador for approximately 8,000 years. So that’s long before Europeans and any other people came to that region of Canada. We hunted and we fished. We lived off the land. The Labrador Inuit were coastal people. In the summertime we could go along the shores along the coast. We hunt seal, hunt seal, get some arctic char, duck, whale, walruses. And in the picture you see some polar bears. The Polar Bear was our main animal that we used to get for clothing, and the rabbit was for food and clothing, the wolf was for clothing. In the middle is what you call a Willow Ptarmigan or partridge that changes colour in the winter or summer, along with the season. In the winter time it goes white like the rabbit for camouflage, and in the summer they change colour to brown and grey, also to camouflage on the land. So we do still hunt and fish off the land but more and more now we are dealing with government regulations. And one of the main staples that was taken off our diet is not in the picture is Caribou. And the caribou was our main staple for food, for clothing, for shelter, and for making tools. We also had them for a lot of knowledge because we followed the caribou inland to their breeding grounds. And they would travel miles and miles and miles and all go to one area just to have their babies. And that would be on the Barrens on the border of Quebec and Labrador. I want to touch a little on the language. If you got our, if you can see it on the screen, these are our sounds, our alphabet in Inuttitut. And this is what we call the Roman orthography or German orthography that we were taught and introduced to in 1800 by the Moravian Church. Up until 1770’s, 1800, we did not live in communities. It was the Germans, the missionaries, that gave us this writing system so we can learn how to read and write. It’s very simple, up in the top corner, the short vowels are “a, i, u”. And then there’s the long vowels: “a, e, o”. So there is a little song that goes with this. And the teachers, if you look for it, it’s on Youtube, and it’s called the Inuktitut Alphabet Song. A typical song. But, a typical ABC song, but it’s only in our language. And I’ll try to sing that song for you real quick? And we go down the list, down each column from the A, to the I, to the 0. So the song goes as ah, pa, ta, ka, ha, ma, na, sa, la, ja, va, ra, Ka, nga, tla. Oh. When I go down the list in the song, it only goes down so far, because this is a condensed version of our alphabet. So here goes our little song. Ah-pa-ta-ka ga-ma-na sa-la ya-va-ra Ee-pee-tee-kee gee-mee-nee see-lee yee-vee-ree Oo-poo-too-koo goo-moo-noo soo-loo yoo-voo-roo Kaujumalik Kunga. That’s great! Very easy to learn and anybody can learn it. I use that when I am teaching my classes one on one. So, hopefully students from coast to coast to coast will catch on to it. Can you just do that again? What I was seeing was that you were going down the list. Like, the song goes down each sound? Yes. It goes down the list from the “A” to the “I” to the “U”. So can you do that again so we can watch and see what you’re doing? Sing the song? Yah! OK. Ah, OK, I don’t need to look at the screen for it. We do! Ok you go from the “A” to the “I” to the “U”. And it goes straight down the list instead of next line to the next line. So it goes straight down the A, straight down the I, and straight down the U. So. Ah-pa-ta-ka ga-ma-na sa-la ya-va-ra Ee-pee-tee-kee gee-mee-nee see-lee yee-vee-ree Oo-poo-too-koo goo-moo-noo soo-loo yoo-voo-roo Kaujumalik Kunga. What’s the last line? The last line is “I know my song now” I know my alphabet now. Basically, I know now. That’s awesome. So can you teach us to say some words? Sure! Um, I’ll concentrate with the very simple 5 W’s. That’s what we often teach. So Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. So I’ll say the words in English, and then I’ll say them in Inuttut. So WHO is “kina”. WHO is “kina.” WHAT is “Kana.” Who, what… WHEN is “nani.” Oops. I made a mistake. Who, what, when, where, why. WHO is “kina.” WHAT is “suna.” WHEN is “hana.” WHERE is “nani.” and HOW is “Kanuk.” So let’s start with WHERE, because that one sounded like one that I could do. What-Where? Nani. Nani. When you spell it, it’s N, A, N, I. But the “i” in our language sounds like an “e’. So, Nani. Nani. Yup! Perfect! So maybe the kids in the, in your classes, you could all try saying that. Well, if you want to take notes, I can tell you how to spell them and I’ll go through each one? OK. And, the teachers, do you want me to type it on the side so you can see it? Are they able to see that? Um, no, they won’t be able to see that. But we’ll include it in our notes when we send the email as well. But for now, could you spell it out? OK. Well I’ll start with WHO is “kina”. K, I, N, A. Kina? Kina Kina? Yep. That’s WHO. Same k as in kin, like next of kin. “kina” Ya. WHAT is “suna”. Can you spell that? S, U, N, A Suna Yah Suna Suna WHEN is ah “Kanga”. Now this one is tricky because in Inuttut we have capital K and lower case K. This words starts off with capital K, which sounds like an ‘h’ as in hockey. So it’s “ha-ngah” Can you spell it out again? Capital K, A, N, G, A. Kanga Ha-ngah Ya. It’s like the word “hung” in English, you just put an ‘a’ on it. Kanga Now, that picture is of me in Ottawa when I was drum dancing at the National Inuit
gathering. Every summer Inuits from across Canada gather in Ottawa to perform from their different regions. WHERE is NANI. N, A, N, I. “Nun-nee” And it sounds like ‘nun’, church nun, with an ‘e’ on it. Nani Who, what, when, where…. WHY is “summat.” S, U, M, M, A, T. soo-mat.” Is why. And of course we’ve got to include HOW. Who, what, when, where, why, HOW! How is, again with a capital K, “Kanuk”. Capital K, A, N, U, K. Kanuk And there we have: Who, what, when, where, why, and HOW! I’m busy doing something else, I’m busy talking in the chat in here. We’ve got, um, a couple of questions that have to do with language, so maybe we could ask that right now. Does your Inuttut dialect use suffixes and prefixes? How does your language work? Well, it’s sort of, sort of like French. When I speak a word in my language, I say, I say “illuga” is translated, translates to “My house.” But when you translate it, it goes, the proper translation is “house is mine.” So. It’s sort of like French for all that are studying French or Spanish. Can you teach us to say Hello and Goodbye and a few things like that? Hello is pretty simple. It’s 2 letters A, I, and you say “eye”. You can say that to a friend greeting, when you’re greeting a friend one-on-one, or passing by somebody. It’s a simple “ai”. “ai”. Right. A. I. “ai”. And then when you’re leaving a room, leaving a classroom, saying good night or goodbye, Goodbye is “atsunai”. Oh that one sounds difficult. Can you try that one again? The spelling goes A, T, S, U ,N, A, I. “at-soo-nigh” “AT-SOO-NIGH”? Atsunai means goodbye. Atsunai. Ya. Well we don’t want to say that quite yet. No, no, not quite yet. I wonder if there are some animals that you might tell us the names of. And we’re starting to get some questions but we’ll keep the questions until the Q and A after. But I wonder, are there a couple of animals that you can tell us how to say? If you can post that pictures again that we used, I can tell you the Inuk names of them. There it is! So ah, I’ll start with the polar bear. I’m sure a lot of you may have heard or know, heard of the word for polar bear in my language. It’s NANUK. Oh! N, A, N, N, A, N, U, K. Nanook. Na-nook! So Nanuk of the north is the polar bear of the north. Exactly. Ah! Uh-huh. Ok? And how about… That’s the polar bear. Now the rabbit is ah, another short word “Ukalik”. You’re going to need to spell that one. U, K, A, L, I, K. “Oo-ka-lik” U, K, A, L, I, K? “Oo-ka-lik” “oo-ka-lik” The “u” sounds like an “o” for some reason, I don’t know why. “oo-ka-lik” Ukalik Yah. OK… In the middle is a, a, partridge. And the long, and the Inuttut word for that is pretty long. It’s AKigginiutik. It’s a very old, very original Inuk word. So we’ll pass on that for… OK. In the top corner is a pack of wolves. Ah. “Amaguk”. A, M, A, G, U, K. G, U, K? Amaguk “Ah-ma…” Sorry, can you say that again? “Amaguk”. It’s a tongue twister. “Ah-ma-rook” OK? U, U! “Ah-ma-gook”. Amaguk. Yup. Perfect. You said that perfectly. Walrus? Walrus is pretty easy. Ah, one single walrus is “aivik” A, I, V, I, K. “eye-vik”. Ya. So someone has asked: How do you say “Hello my name is Angus”? Hello my name is is “Ai, Angus siuvoonga”. “Ai, Angus siuvoonga”. So we got the “Ai”, because that’s hello, and then Angus, but then what comes after that? S, I U, V, U, N, G, A. Oh my goodness. (laughing) How do spell— These are the easy words! How do you say that, after the Ai, Angus… “soo-voong-ah” “See-you-voon-ga” Boy! We don’t have the same throat to say the sounds in the same way. One way you can get over that? You know the English word sing? Yes? Put an A on it, now say it. “Singa” “Sing-ah” Ya. Singa. OK. And then try to put a letter ‘y’ on the end. “Sing-ee”. “Sing-ee”. Yea. You said that perfectly. Oh well! I don’t know about that! I hope you kids are practicing some of these things while Angus is teaching them. There are some questions here and they’re starting to be about you, and what you do, and could you sing a song, and things like that. So I wonder if you could tell the kids a little bit about yourself. OK. Ah, as you know I am an Inuk which is singular for my people. I, N, U, K. And when there are a group of us together, we are called Inuit, which is plural. I, N, U, I, T. And our songs, you may have seen on Youtube or on some TV shows. It’s traditionally Inuit drum dancing, throat singing, or, mixed up throat singing AND drum dancing. And throat singing is, to me, to me, a way of coming up with stories, passing on stories. Like, some of them are as old as, as I said, thousands of years old, that have been passed on Inuit to Inuit, from eight thousand years ago to present. Does that answer your music question? It is. Um, I’m just wondering if we could just take a break. I wonder if you could quit and come back in again like you did before, and then that made your, um, camera work. Want me to log out and log back in? Yah, let’s try that. because I know what’s coming up and I think the kids would really want to see you. OK. I’ll, I’ll give that a try. And I’m going to try, I know you want to hear from Angus, but I’m going to try and answer a couple of questions. Right now, Angus is in St. John’s, Newfoundland. But he grew up in Nain. So we sent the map out to your teachers, so if you get a chance to look at that map, or if you look on the internet, you’ll be able to see that Nain is the farthest north community in Nunatsiavut, which is the name for the land claim, the Inuit land claim in Labrador which they have claimed as their own land. And so he grew up there. But he also spent a lot of his time when he was young in the Torngat Mountains, which are what he was showing you on the map, is the very northern-most tip of that part of Labrador, what is now Labrador. So, that is where he grew up. He’s doing a lot of these odd jobs to support himself and his family in St. John’s. I’m looking… all the languages he speaks? Well, that’s a good question. He just mentioned French and English. I’d like to know when he learned English as well! And then he speaks the Inuttut dialect, and I’m not sure, I was busy doing something, if he explained that the other Inuit dialects of Inuktitut, they were created, the syllabics, the SYMBOLS for those languages were created by the missionaries in the Arctic. But in Labrador, the missionaries who came there were not Catholic or Anglican. They were from the Moravian Church from Germany and they did not give the Inuit language to the people, they did not write it down using the syllabics. They wrote it down using the Roman alphabet that we use. So Angus, I see you’ve tried to come in and out a couple of times, and we’re not seeing you, which is really disappointing. But I wonder if you could, maybe if Leigh, if you put the picture of him up, I wonder if you could do some, I wonder if you could show us your surprise. And to the teachers and students, we’re really sorry that this has happened, but this is one of the things that happens when you’re trying to connect with places far away. We just go with whatever we can possibly do. So this is a picture of Angus drumming, and he has his drum in the little room where he is. And Angus, I’m going to hand it over to you. All right, I’m back. And I did try to get the video thing going again, but I apologize, I am not able to fix it. So here is a short song that, ah, has been, it was, it’s new, it’s recent. It’s not an old traditional song. But it’s become a very popular song amongst the young Inuit drummers who are learning how to drum. I thought it would be appropriate for this course, this class. So I will, if you’ll all listen, I’ll give it a go. Ayee-ya ya-ya Ayee, ya-ya-ya. Ayee-ya-ya, Ayee-ya Ayee-ya, Ayee-ya-ya. Ayee-ya, ya-ya-ya. It’s a very short tune about how to get ashore on a very rough day like today, in rain, stormy weather. So those words were saying that in the Inuttut language. These, our, these songs are what we call the Ayee-ya-ya songs, are songs that are passed down even though there’s no actual words being spoken. It’s like, when we hear somebody walking by, humming a song they like: “Mm-mm-mm, Mm-mm-mm” You know, if you’re familiar with the tune, you will know the words. Ah, right. It’s like, you can do, everyone can do “Oh Canada” humming: “Mmmm, mm, mm-mm.” Same concept. Yes yes. And if you walk by someone who was humming that you would know what they were humming. Exactly. Like, it’s like the song that was passed or we made up. It’s a song that, when you teach it to someone else, you teach them what the song is about, and what the song IS, and then they just do the humming part. So there’s one question here that was put up before. Excuse me. How do you – we can’t see you – how do you actually DO your drumming? In the picture, as you see, there is a handle, and there is a little brown thing, white thing sticking out of the bottom, that’s the drum stick. You tap that back and forth on each side of the drum, not on the out exterior but on the bottom of the drum. Do you know Angus, I think because the kids would like to see it so much, I think what we could do is take a video of you doing that and we’ll attach that in the real, in the recording. But we’ll also send it out to the classes who are watching right now so that they get to see that, because that’s something that we really wanted to share with them. OK. Another option to that is, I don’t know anyone that don’t use Google or YouTube. If you YouTube “Inuit drumming”, you can see a lot of it on YouTube. That’s a good — That’s what I play on my radio show that are from the different regions of the Arctic Canada, from Labrador to Alaska. Like you can see how that different styles of different Inuit regions’ drum dancing. We’ll put that suggestion in. But I still would like a video of you doing that, because I think the kids would really like to see that. OK. So I’ve got some questions for you. They’ve been putting them in the Live Chat, and I’ve been trying to go through and, ah, OH! There’s one before we leave this. Can you sing Oh Canada in your language? It’s pretty much the same. You know what? I’ve never ever learned it in Inuktitut because they translated that Oh Canada in Inuktitut only after I had left school But I know some of it. I will try some of it for the students. Oh Canada That’s as far as I can get. So, there were some questions earlier about your schooling. You had told me you grew up on the land in the Torngat Mountains. But then, what did you for school? It wasn’t until I was maybe, 10 or 11 years old that I started actually living in Nain more frequent than when I was younger. My father and my grandparents were fisher-people, fishermen. We would leave Nain, a small town of three hundred and go to the Torngat Mountains, three hundred miles away, and live there all summer, away from civilization. And, when I came of school age, we had to settle in Nain longer, because like, we HAD to go to school. And it was in Nain then. Yah. I got as far as Grade 9 in schooling. I also done some ah, community college where I got my Office Administration certificate, which is the only certificate I ever got in anything. As for work, my wife and I, we have our own commercial and residential cleaning company. We work in the evenings and weekends. OK. That was a question that someone had asked, was what kind of work you did. Um, and I had, while you were gone I had said that you do so many other things in the daytime in teaching and sharing different things. Someone has a question. Miss H has a question: What type of homes do the Inuit typically live in? And I’m guessing that they’re wondering… You’re in St. John’s, but I think maybe they’re wondering, Back in Nunatsiavut, what kind of homes people live in nowadays? Well, we’re in the modern world so we’ve got wooden houses. We have houses like everywhere else in Canada. If you’re wondering about the igloo? The last one that was used, that actually somebody lived in, would have been in the 1800’s. It’s been quite a while since anyone actually had lived in an igloo. And there’s a couple of questions here from John Kershaw’s class: At what age did you start learning to drum? Uh, 5 years ago. So as an adult. That’s interesting. Yes. And how did you learn? Well, um, there were group of Inuit from Labrador living here, who decided to revive the drumming. But it’s only recently, like fifteen years ago that, fifteen, twenty years ago, that Inuit drumming started coming back in Labrador . Because, ah, it was, even though it was a traditional Inuit activity, it was banned by the church in the 1800’s. It was seen as bad, taboo, not right, and against Christianity. And so that was part of the residential school system and the churches coming to try and settle the people, and make them Christian, and make them modern, and so the drumming was banned. Was the language banned as well? The language has been pretty much kept alive. But the Church, the Moravian Church that came to Labrador in 1771, they came up with a writing system for us, you’ve seen the chart. And they were the ones that gave us a writing system, because up until then all we had was oral history or music history. So it was the Moravians that gave us a writing system. And with their teaching and our knowledge we used a combination of our words and their writing to come up with our writing system. Right. I’m going to change the topic here. There are some questions about hunting that I know some of the kids are really interested in. A couple questions, Ok. one about the transportation used, and when you were young, and compared to what they use today? And what was your favourite animal to hunt, and what was it like to hunt? OK. Well going with when I was a child, it was long long time ago, back in the 60’s. My grandfather still used the dog team, and I would ride along and he’d, my grandparents were the ones that taught me how to hunt, trap, and live off the land traditionally. So I, my earlier times I did use, actually use dog teams for hunting. Wow. So today, today that is no longer used. We still have dog teams but they’re more for special events like Easter races, Christmas time. Each community got their own dog team race where different racers gather in the community and have dog team races. But today we use snowmobiles, and speed boats, and boats. Welcome to the modern era. My favourite hunting animal? Yes. Would be… the polar bear. Because they are smart, they are wise, and they are also dangerous. They can kill you if you don’t know how to hunt them, because they can outsmart you hunting them. And they can hunt you instead. So what, did you use a gun? Or did you have guns? or did you use harpoons? What did you, how did you kill a polar bear? Traditionally, my grandfather told me a story of when he was in his younger days, in his twenties, that he did hunt polar bears with a harpoon. So. For myself, I have not used a harpoon, I used a big game animal rifle. I’m not brave enough to hunt the polar bears with a harpoon. Ya. Ya. Really. Mr. Cameron’s class says, Can you share some uses for the polar bear? What was the polar bear used for? Well, its hide is very thick, very warm that we can use as pants for minus fifty, minus sixty weather, very cold weather. And the bones we use for tools, because some of the bones of the polar bear is like walrus ivory, very tough, very good for harpoons, spears, the bow and arrow. Every now and then we do eat polar bear meat, but not as often as we used to, because, the modern era, we got the corner store, grocery stores now. Right. I’m just looking at some of the, there’s all kinds of questions coming in right now. When you were a child, what kind of clothing and shoes did you wear? Well, uh, up until I started living in the community of Nain, most of my clothes were from the land, traditional, like when you see old Inuit pictures of skin boots, seal skin pants, or seal skin jackets. Like, the jackets would vary on the season. Summer time, you would use seal skin, but it would have to be water-proof. And in the winter time, we’d have wolf jackets, wolf skin, or polar bear jackets which were much warmer. And how about footwear, because that’s pretty close, I mean that’s Arctic area. What did you have for footwear? We had sealskin boots. It had to be seal skin boots because they were only animal fur that was waterproof and durable and we can use them a long time, even though they would still wear away. But you could not just, the interior, instead of socks. We didn’t have socks back then. We’d have another fur for inner lining like polar bear skin or polar bear fur, or goose fur, (feathers, sorry!) So different animals species to keep us warm and dry. Again to just change the topic. A couple of people have asked what the drum is made from. Traditionally it would have been made from ah, seal skin, seal bone and seal skin, or walrus bones and seal skin. And for it to get that good sound, it would have to be tanned properly. But today’s drums, we use wooden frames and ah, other, vinyl, or that shower curtain screen, that shower drape we use. Oh really! Yah. That’s that fabric that you see there in the picture. So that, it’s a modern take on an old traditional drum. Exactly. So it’s ah, adjusting to new circumstances, right? Well, we’ve always had to, since up until the Moravians, the missionaries, the Europeans, the Portuguese, the Newfoundlanders, all started coming to Labrador. There are so many questions coming in right now. One from Heather Cookes Class says: The communities in the west use dugout canoes to travel in the Pacific Ocean. What type of boats do they use to travel and hunt on the Atlantic? There was two varieties. One is, everyone knows now, is the Kayak, a seal skin boat. But today’s modern boats, the modern kayak are fibreglass or plastic. So the kayak was a fast-moving little boat that one person would use to hunt seals and duck that we need to move fast with. It was light, durable, we can take it anywhere. The other vessel or the boat we made was called a Umiak, U, M, I, A, K which was made from a mixture of walrus bones, bear bones, and it had to be made from walrus hide because walrus hide is way tougher than the regular seal skin hide. They had to durable and tough. And how many people, I know in a kayak you can have1 or 2… but how many in a umiak? In an umiak, that was traditionally used for, ah… can be used by 3 to 4 people for walrus hunting. It was a slower, slower than seal. So we could use that for walrus hunting. And it was also used for, when we moved from one community, one region to another, from the island areas to inland areas. So it was big enough that it can hold up to 8, 9, even 10 people. Oh wow. So they can be big, they can be large. They can be huge, yes. I have a question for you Angus. When I met some Inuit from the western Arctic, I discovered that they couldn’t swim, and I had never thought of that before. The ocean is very cold. Can you swim? And do the people of Labrador swim? Well, I can swim, but only because I got introduced to it when I travelled Canada. But a lot of older Inuit, ah, traditionally, Inuit were not swimmers, because we were wise enough not to fall in! But, ah, yah, we were, traditionally not a swimming people. Yah. Well that was a surprise to me. I had never thought of it before. And I, the kids will, you know, the Inuit gave us the kayak which is, right now, it is THE number one selling personal watercraft. People have asked, and I meant to make sure that I ask you this: Did you or any of your family go to a residential school? My father did, and my uncles did, my aunts did, but my grandmother stopped me from going seeing her children go to it and seeing the change in her children. And I can’t say I was a spoiled only child. But I was taught a lot about, they tried to pass on their knowledge of hunting, fishing and trapping to me, as they did to their children. But they, they stopped and prevented me from going to residential school which made a difference from.. And I seen the transition in this type of schooling in my aunts and uncles and some people actually my age that did go to it. I think we’re all very sorry to ah, to know about that now. I mean, if that, if that was known at the time, in the same way that I mean that known by everyone, I’m sure that we would’ve tried to have stopped it. But um, I’m sorry to hear that that happened in your area as well. I don’t think some of the people understand that you’re living in a city now, but that you lived on the land when you were growing up. So there are questions about when you went to school in Nain, was it in English or in Inuktit, or when did you learn English? How did that work? Um, I started going to school regularly when I was 10 or 11. And at that time, Inuktitut was not an option even in regular schooling, not even in residential school. By the time I was in Grade 6 and 7, I’d started losing my language. And if it was not for my grandmother who was fluent Inuk in English and Inuktitut. She said to me one day “If you don’t speak to me in Inuktitut, don’t speak to me.” Oh wow. And at age 11 years old, I was losing my language at that time, it was that noticeable, that I started to do what I can to get my language back. So I’ve, what I’ve learned is from my aunts, my uncles, and elders, and the church. And even when I travelled, I learned also from other Inuit elders. So even today, I’m still studying more Inuktitut because there are different Inuit dialects throughout Canada, and I had made a promise to myself that I will never lose my language again, and I want to make it stronger by learning other Inuit dialects. Well that leads me to one question I’ve been saving, and I think, I have to apologize to all the classes that we can’t ask all of the questions that you’ve been putting in the chat. And there are some wonderful questions. We’re short on time so I want to ask you one final question. Mrs. Sisson’s class asked. “If you had three wishes, what would they be, and why?” You have to repeat it that please? “If you had three wishes, what would they be, and why would you wish that?” Ah ha ha ha. OK. Number one would be for my land claims region, Nunatsiavut, to have its own 100% control of how we live, what we do, because even though we have settled land claims, we still have to follow the Canadian Government and the Newfoundland Government regulations. So I would like to have our own government, our own life, our own world where we don’t have to follow any more what I call colonial rule. Yes. That’s one. Number 2. I would love someday to come up with this type of format of always teaching everyday about the language, the culture, the history of Inuit that I can go out on the street and say, “Ai Kanuivet? that is Hey, How are You? to anybody And they would understand. And number 3, is… Hey, we all need money! Win the lottery!! Well, we all would like to do that. But you have to buy a lottery ticket before you can do that. You have to buy in order to win. Yup! Yah. So I hope that you win the lottery. You deserve to win the lottery. And I want to remind the teachers that he is available for you to talk with the class and answer so many of these questions that have come in here. Or you could even write him a class email with your questions and he might answer you. It’s time for us to end, and I want to thank all of you teachers for bringing your classes here today. The teachers on the national Kids’ Guide organizing team really hope that you’ll investigate the entire Kids’ Guide project because there are so many other activities that we hope that your students would enjoy. And we also have the map, where we really would like you students to introduce your own area to the rest of the students of Canada. Usually our webcasts are created by students. But because it was difficult to find classes in Labrador, and Angus is such a good teacher, that we got him to do this. But perhaps some of you classes who are watching right now would be interested in helping to create a webcast introducing YOUR area. And finally, of course, we want to thank you, Angus, for this. I’m so sorry that we’ve had technical difficulties, but we’re not at a point in our world that we have reliable Internet everywhere yet, and we’re just so lucky to have been able to
talk with you at all let alone have you on camera. But we want to thank you, most of all for sharing your valuable knowledge and the information the values of the Inuit. And knowing that there are so few Inuit people in the south for us to access. We have First Nations, and hopefully we’re getting to a point where we can talk to the first Nations people near us, and they can come into our classes. But we just don’t have access to Inuit who could come in and teach us. So from all of the students here, and all the teachers, and all of the organizing committee from the Kids’ Guide, from the bottom of our hearts thank you
so much for doing this for us and for sharing with us, and we’re already talking about perhaps doing another one, just for the older students in grade 6, 7,
and 8. Because I think they would like to have some conversations with you about some of the issues at a different level. So we’ll have to talk about doing that. And with that, thank you Leigh, for trying to take care of all of these technical problems. Thank you Angus, and thank all of you teachers and students. So teachers, we will send out an email, probably tomorrow, I’ve got to have time to edit this. And in that, will be all the information you might want. If you check your email and you haven’t already seen the maps and the language sheet that we shared that was in an email. Thank you everybody. Have a great day. Bye!

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