Images of Iqaluit

As the base camp says goodbye to Iqaluit and moves to Pangnirtung, we want to share some images from our stay in Iqaluit. We learned a great deal from our time there and would like to thank our new friends for their kindness.

Aboriginal people were playing ice hockey well before European contact. Today in Iqaluit kids play street hockey all hours of the day and the schools have organized hockey programs. The assistant principal of Inuksuit High School in Iqaluit coaches the Canadian Deaf Olympics ice hockey team and Jordin Tootoo, an Inuk from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, plays in the NHL. street_hockey_thumb.jpg
A sculpture in the entryway of the Iqaluit visitor’s center depicts traditional drum dancing. Drums, called qilaut in Inuktitut, are made of caribou skin. While drum dancing, Inuit sing songs about their personal lives as well as songs passed down through generations. drum_dance_sculpture_thumb.jpg
A polar bear peers over the ice floe edge in a diorama at the Iqaluit visitor’s center. Other dioramas featuring walrus, caribou, ravens, foxes, lemmings, sea gulls and seals hint at the close relationship Inuit have with the land. polar_bear_diorama_thumb.jpg
An interpretive display at the Iqaluit visitor’s center features traditional Inuit sunglasses carved from bone, ivory or wood. The small slits let the wearer see but protected his or her eyes from snow blindness. From the limited resources available in the Arctic, traditional Inuit people developed many tools. Kayaks, komutiq sleds, harpoons, fish hooks, knives, cord, sewing needles, clothing and shelter were all fashioned from the plants, animals, soil, rocks, ice and snow available in the environment. traditional_sung_thumb.jpg
Local artist Craig Clark airbrushed these murals on the side of a house in Iqaluit. The first portrait is of Baker Lake artist Jessee Oonark, one of the most famous Inuit artists. The second portrays Guy Marie-Rousseliere, an archaeologist who spent the last sixty four years of his life researching and writing about northern Baffin Island. The third portrait is of Abraham Okpik who was instrumental in the Inuit family name project of 1968 to 1970. These family names replaced numbered medals the Canadian government used at the time to identify Inuit people. mural_thumb.jpg
The Legislative Assembly was built in 1999 for the newly created government of Nunavut. The design of the inner chamber is based on an igloo. The interior features komutiq sleds, kulliq oil lamps, seal skins and other traditional symbols. The assembly has no political parties and decisions are made by consensus. legislative_asse_thumb.jpg
A historic building from the Hudson Bay Company houses the local museum. The museum features old photographs and letters, a sled and clothing used by Canadian Brent Boddy on Will Steger’s 1986 North Pole expedition, a traditional skin kayak and Inuit carvings, including one by Global Warming 101 expedition member Lukie Airut. history_museum_thumb.jpg

These husky puppies will soon be full-grown sled-dogs. Dogteaming is experiencing a resurgence among the Inuit and it is common to see teams heading out over the sea ice on hunting trips.
husky_puppies_thumb.jpg
The polar bear shape of the Northwest Territory license plates was the idea of seventh-grade Yellowknife-resident Klaus Schoene, the winner of a 1969 design competition. The unique plates are favorites of collectors. nwt_license_plate_thumb.jpg
The Canada and Nunavut flags fly above Iqaluit. The colors of the Nunavut flag represent the richness of the land, sea and sky. In the center of the flag is an Inuksuk, a traditional stone marker that guides travelers over the land and marks special places. The North Star, a traditional guide for navigation, is symbolic of the leadership of community elders. flags_thumb.jpg

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