hopes project will give youth life survival skills
team of Nunavut film producers are embarking on an ambitious mission
to put the legends and stories of every elder in the territory on
camera crew has already recorded the advice and stories of all the
elders in Pond Inlet for archives being assembled by Inuit Communications
System Ltd., the commercial branch of the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation.
The group travelled to Pangnirtung this week, and plans to cover
four more communities in the next year.
Arreak, a 26-year-old film producer who played a key part in making
the elders video project into a reality, says it will forge a bond
between youth and elders that she fears is rapidly disappearing,
along with the Inuktitut language and traditional Inuit culture.
being lost in the modern world, Arreak said. [Elders]
are worried about the future of youth and where theyre going,
and they want to make sure they [youth] have at least something
to fall back on.
said she hopes the videos will give young Inuit the life skills
that she inherited from grandparents, who raised her and 14 other
children in Pond Inlet. She suggested that without their guidance,
she would have lacked the skills needed for university in the South,
a daunting step for a youth who had never left her community before.
I learned from my grandparents helped me survive wherever I go,
Arreak said. Im trying to pass down to youth whats
been passed to me by my grandparents, because its been useful
recently met with her bosses at ICSL about recording elders
stories and teachings on video, after she attended an Aboriginal
conference in the South. Arreak said she was inspired after hearing
that other communities were also struggling with protecting their
language and preserving elders traditional knowledge.
the project didnt come without sacrifice. For now, film crews
have to volunteer their time to make the elders recordings
while theyre in the communities working on other documentaries.
de Wolf, production office manager at ICSL, said her company doesnt
have extra funding for the elders archives project, and instead
puts time aside while theyre in communities doing a separate
elders documentary series for the Aboriginal Peoples Television
$90,000 in funding from the Nunavut Film Board, ICSL is assembling
a documentary series on Inuit culture as told by elders. The first
of the six films will focus on Arreaks relationship with her
grandfather, and about her return to Pond Inlet after her grandmothers
films in the series will touch on subjects like Inuit mysticism
and balancing traditional and modern knowledge in Nunavut today.
Although the project will require further funding, de Wolf said
shes hopeful her crew will travel beyond the six communities
chosen so far Pond Inlet, Pangnirtung, Iqaluit, Clyde River,
Baker Lake, and Taloyoak.
the documentary series and archiving are finished, elders will be
consulted about where their stories are kept and who has access
to them, said de Wolf.
elders stories are property of the elders, she said,
adding that the video storage could be anywhere from that National
Archives in Ottawa, to a future facility somewhere in Nunavut.
grandfather, Joanasie Benjamin Arreak of Pond Inlet, said the elders
archives project fits with why his generation dreamed of creating
reason we wanted Nunavut was to bring the culture back to future
generations, Arreak, 76, said in Inuktitut. We want
them to have the good life that we lived in the past. Were
trying to bring traditional Inuit knowledge to the youth for the
main reason that we want them to know the difference between right
and wrong. The youth today dont seem to know that anymore.
elders have already been chosen for the documentary part of the
ICSL project, but organizers are still scouting for residents in
the communities to coordinate the filming.