In these challenging times of uncertainty, we need to dig deep and bring out what we are made of. We have knowledge, awareness, understanding, strength, resilience and a greater list of amazing attributes. We should allow these to blossom and to be shared.
The foundation of these attributes is the Inuit Qaujimajatuqannit Principles. I’ve recited these many times and is worth reciting many more times; respecting others, relationships and caring for people; fostering good spirits by being open, welcoming and inclusive; serving and providing for family and/or community; decision making through consensus; development of skills through practice, effort, and action; working together for a common cause; being innovative and resourceful and; respect and care for the land, animals and the environment.
In my view, too many times we throw up our hands in defeat and frustration and have the attitude of, let somebody else start or take over the situation. As the IQ Principles point out very clearly that, “we are working together for a common cause.”
Inuit or any other Indigenous peoples are not known for individualism. This has always been our example from our early beginnings.
We can look at the iconic musk-oxen and recognize that there is strength in numbers.
They form the protective circle when threatened by predators and this circle cannot be broken. So too in our desire for considered awareness; we are a people with extraordinary circumstances and situations. Our people are spread across this land and most times accessible by air only with associated costs.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I just want understanding for what we face daily up here.
Just to refresh your memory back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, we had a DC-4 and later a DC-6 that came to Cambridge Bay once a month. One of our local churches had the postal service maintained by them for a time and between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., there was a line-up in anticipation of family allowances, pension checks or parcels from the old Eaton’s catalogue.
In a nutshell, all I’m trying to say is stop for a moment and look inside for your needed strength and you will make it.