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Photo Two Inuit women dressed Pond Inlet 1922

Photo Inuit in front of the Anglican Mission

Chapter 1

Naki Ekho
We lived in a camp where there were no qallunaat. I’m from a place where they used to hunt bowhead. I remember the bowhead whale hunts, especially the last hunt I went on. I have seen qallunaat whale hunters. I remember the two Inuit hunters that used to be involved. I used to go out hunting with one more than the other. When I ended up with my first stepfather, he was the younger of the two who had the boat. That’s how we used to go out to different locations. His boat was very old. The boat had been used by the qallunaat bowhead whalers. A lot of the boats were given to the Inuit by the whalers. In my teenage years they were still using these boats, even though there were kumaruat [rock lice] on the boats at certain times of the year. Because the boats were so old, they started having those little red lice. (Page 24)
Two life stories are presented in this first chapter. The first one is that of Naqi Eko, born in Uummanarjuaq. Her mother was Inuk, Annie Arnaq, and she had a quallunaaq father, whom she never knew. The main diet of the small community was whale. During a hunting trip, Naqi met a man who was soon to become, not her step-father, but her father. "I did not want to call him ataatatsiaq, step-father, I wanted to call him ataata, father." (Page 24)

The second story is about Uqsuralik Ottokie. She was born on October 25th, 1924, near Kinngait, where she lived until she was married to Uttuqi. The marriage was arranged by her parents. She tells that at the beginning of their relationship she was afraid of her husband; looking at his hands was enough to scare her. "When you are forced to marry someone you do not want, it can be very frightening, even their hands scare you." (Page 27) But in time, the two spouses got closer and became true partners.