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Leaders, Elders and Shamans

Lucasie Nutaraaluk
The school children are being taught in English and are taught to ask questions. They know a little of the qallunaat way and a little of the Inuit way. They are caught in between. They call their parents by their names. I find it hurtful to hear this, because it takes away from the role of the mother and father. Even toddlers learning to talk call their parents by name. People no longer use correct kinship terms. They call their relatives by name. This seems to take away the feeling of family. We used to address people by using kinship terms to avoid using their names. For example, he [Imaruittuq] is my ilinniaqtitsijiuqati, co-teacher. (Page 121)
Leaders, Elders and Shamans

Leaders, elders and shamans played an important part in preserving the peace and settling conflicts within the camps. The elders had great authority. As Kim Kangok states in her essay, "The innatuqat, the elders, were known to have powerful minds, so powerful that they were capable of changing one's future for good or bad." When they thought people were not behaving correctly they would counsel them and their words carried great weight. The angakkuit were particularly important in cases of sickness or when the relationship with the game was disrupted. Aaju Peter states in her essay, "The angakkuq was not there to judge a person, neither was he there to set the laws. He was there to find out who had broken the tirigusuusiit and get them to confess. At the same time he held a lot of power since he could kill people with his tuurngaq." Finally, the camp leaders exercised considerable authority. In Aaju's words, "These great angajuqqaat who got their status through their abilities as great hunters, or through a combination of ability and birth-right, held a lot of power. In a world where you depend totally on game you owe your life to the people who feed you." If the camp leaders went astray, however, the elders would not hesitate to counsel them.