Bounty of the Land

We live off the land whether we feel it or not. We live off the work of others, and the life of plants and animals, and the gifts of the universe.

I have been studying the Inuit way of life, and trying to learn a little Inuktitut, which is their language. I have been eating so much fish, feeling like I am living in a past life somehow. So Willow decided that this year we’ll take up fishing! I am excited to catch my own fish and eat it, living in harmony with the land, listening to the water and watching the sky. It feels beautiful, I can’t wait for spring to come.

Nakurmiik! Iiraaluk, nakurmiik, anirniq. (Thank you! Yes indeed, thank you spirit.)

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4 thoughts on “Bounty of the Land

  1. Whenever you have the time, I thought you might like this hour-long YouTube documentary [URL=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lazUV7PEw7w]Qallunaat[/URL], if you haven’t seen it before. It’s a parody of fourth-world anthropological studies, in the semi-mockumentary done by Inuit people to Qallunaat. It does have a serious side in showing the loss of their way of life and sense of self because of colonialization.

    I also wonder how you can have come to terms with any cultural and/or racial conflict of returning to Inuit-influenced life as a modern post-colonial person? My own spirituality reference has been, embarrassingly enough, fictional—the book version of Peter Pan has been a very spiritually and symbolically significant story to me. I feel the pirates more than the kids, but eventually thought that my sort of “pop culture paganism” would be alright for so long as I steered clear of Tiger Lily’s tribe. My intuitions include that anyway, which is more than embarrassing least because of how J.M. Barrie grossly misconcepted what I would broadly consider the source culture(s).

    For you, does it help to share geographic proximity with living survivors of that colonialization, that cultural death? Or at least find some grounding? Because mine is based completely on a fiction, so that’s a challenge to me, to become comfortable with navigating what influenced the fiction—still, in other aspects it’d a comfort for me to have come to terms with my main “canon text” being, categorically, fiction.

    Sorry most of that was a ramble. Happy fishing! 😀

    1. This ended up in my spam folder, grr! But thank you, I have seen that! I’ve been scouring the internet these days for documentaries on the Inuit and there is very little.

      I find myself embarrassed being a white person when I research the atrocities during/after colonization efforts. I’ve been watching Tanya Tagaq’s interviews where she talks about how there is still stigma and barriers imposed on Inuit seal hunting, because people seem to think that hunting seals is immoral whereas farming cattle is all right. There was even a ban on seal hunting not long ago, and there since there is so little else for the Inuit to eat in their native lands it’s insane to think that us qallunaat would interfere. I know that as a white person I may naively appropriate their culture or otherwise be disrespectful without meaning to, and that fills my heart with heaviness. I just want to honour shared beliefs and down the road I’d love to help indigenous peoples heal from the damages my own government caused. So by learning Inuktitut I hope to be an advocate somehow.

      I’m fascinated by what you’ve said here about a fictional reference for your spirituality. I support that wholeheartedly as I think everything is, at it’s root, a story. Not to say things are myths or untrue — just that everything is made of stories. Knowing your unique spirituality is beautiful no matter where it comes from, as long as it comes from your own heart originally in some way…I mean we all take inspiration from outside sources but there is some spark that is originally your own that perhaps cannot be translated except in your soul’s own unique language. i don’t know, now I’m just being poetic!

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