A grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter take us on a remarkable journey in which the cycles of life - childhood, adolescence, marriage, birthing and child rearing - are presented against the contrasting experiences of three successive generations. Their memories and reflections give us poignant insight into the history of the people of the new territory of Nunavut. Apphia Awa, who was born in 1931, experienced the traditional life on the land while Rhoda Katsak, Apphia's daughter, was part of the transitional generation who were sent to government schools. In contrast to both, Sandra Katsak, Rhoda's daughter, has grown up in the settlement of Pond Inlet among the conveniences and tensions of contemporary northern communities - video games and coffee shops but also drugs and alcohol. During the last years of Apphia's life Rhoda and Sandra began working to reconnect to their traditional culture and learn the art of making traditional skin clothing. Through the storytelling in Saqiyuq, Apphia, Rhoda, and Sandra explore the transformations that have taken place in the lives of the Inuit and chart the struggle of the Inuit to reclaim their traditional practices and integrate them into their lives. Nancy Wachowich became friends with Rhoda Katsak and her family during the early 1990s and was able to record their stories before Apphia's death in 1996. Saqiyuq will appeal to everyone interested in the Inuit, the North, family bonds, and a good story.
"Wachowich skillfully brings together the life stories of three generations of related Inuit women in a manner that highlights the great changes that have taken place in the North. From Apphia's dominant voice to Sandra's poignant recognition of the difficulties young people face in what is now Nunavut, this unique collaboration makes a fresh contribution to our understanding of the Inuit and life in the North." Dorothy Harley Eber, author of Images of Justice, winner of the 1998 Canadian Authors' Association Prize for History. "I was absorbed in the stories, they flowed well, and I think the book will be an excellent addition to the ... literature about, and by, Inuit." Jean L. Briggs, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Memorial University of Newfoundland. From the book: "Ok, yes, I will start talking now. I am Apphia Awa. Now I will start ... At that time we had caribou skin for our clothing, nothing else. Even during the summer we wore caribou skin clothing ... there were no fabrics back then for us to make clothing, nothing at all, only caribou skins." - Apphia Agalakti Awa. "I moved in off the land and went to school when I was eight years old. That is when they started trying to teach me how to become a Qallunaaq." - Rhoda Kaukjak Katsak. "I guess I have always felt that I wasn't Inuit enough ... I know that what I am doing right now is good, learning my roots, learning to sew, learning tough Inuktitut words ... Sometimes I think what I would like to do is to absorb as much traditional knowledge as I can and be like my name, be a Pikujak and take care of my family." - Sandra Pikujak Katsak
Series: McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series, 19
Number Of Pages: 301
Published: 14th February 2001
Country of Publication: CA
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 0.48