WE ARE INUINNAIT
Since the earliest times, we have lived to survive off this land. Tradition has taught us to function in harmony with the world. Our respect for animals, spirits and landscape is exchanged for the life-sustaining gifts that they provide to us.
The territory that we walk through is deep in stories and place names that help us navigate our lives. Our ancestors have taught us how to build our houses, clothe our families and nourish our bodies from what the Arctic has to offer. They have taught us values that we, in turn, pass down to our own children. Inuinnait culture lives on in the language, hearts and minds of our people.
Taimaniraaluk, inuuraaqpakhuta manirarmi inuuvluta. Pitquhivut ilitturiyaatigut qanuq ilagivaktavut katilviuvakhuta hilaryuavut. Ihumagittiaqhugit huradjat, anirningillu nunallu himmauhiqhugit inuuttiarnirmut tunihivaktaatigut nakuurpiaqtumik.
Hamna nunakput pihukhimayavut hitilluaqhuni unipkaavut unalu nunanut atiit ikayuutauvaktaatigut ihivgiuriangat inuuhiqput. Angayuqqaavut hivulliit ilihautivaktaatigut igluliurnirmut, aannuraaliurnirmit uqquuhiqiyaangani niqhiuriamilu ilakput timivullu haffuminngat Ukiuqtaqtum tunihimayaatigut. Ilitturiyaatigut ihumagittiarnirnut ukpiruhuutivut, talvangaanit, apquliuriangani nutaqqavut. Inuinnait pitquhingit inuraaqtut uqauhiqput, uummativut ihumavullu inuutiptingnit.
Inuinnauyugut is a community-driven exhibit created by the Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society to re-think the centennial anniversary of Inuinnait contact with the western world. Between 1913 and 1918, the Canadian Arctic Expedition travelled the Central Arctic, documenting the culture and lifeways of a group they called the Copper Eskimo. This encounter opened the gateway to new people, materials and ways of life, and within a matter of years the world of the Inuinnait was dramatically altered. This exhibit pairs historic artifacts collected by the Canadian Arctic Expedition with contemporary artworks, stories and perspectives of Inuinnait to meditate on how their culture has changed, adapted and persevered over the last 100 years.
Inuinnauyugut opened in 2015 as an exhibit at the May Hakongak Cultural Centre in Cambridge Bay. In 2017, a second instalment of the exhibit opened in the Northern Voices Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, where it resided until 2019.