Download: The Keewatin Echo Issue 69, April 1974
Selected articles and letters from this issue:
Native claim Inuit are more concerned about land and wild life ... Sees $10 on meat the size of his head.
In delivering this short speech I will mentally imitate an Inuk before there were any Qablunaat in our land many years ago.
Thus, I will speak regarding our land. This land of ours has many wild animals, animals needed to sustain my people. Therefore, should mineral and oil prospectors come to work on the land, without prior consultation with the people who live here, unemployed people will experience considerable difficulty in sustaining themselves because food such as meat is unbelievably expensive in the stores.
If I am unemployed and made no money and our land had no country food; if I went into a store and saw meat the size of my head, I would see $10.00 right there.
Because I have no money to buy it, I wouldn't just take it even if I wanted to. The trader wouldn't just let me take it without first giving him the money.
Therefore, if we had no money and if there were a lot of noises in our land, or if mineral and oil explorers went ahead to work on our land without consulting the people, people who have no jobs would experience great difficulty in sustaining themselves from the animals of the land and sea.
We are not against explorers and oil drillers and we do not forbid them to work up here, but it is very very important that they consult the people first and work with them before any major activity takes place. it is not right for this kind of activity to take place without any kind of prior consultation with the people.
the things that we talked about during our meeting today and now; things like money, changes, equipment, getting better water supply and many other things that are taking place will affect our lives are indeed great and were very happy about them. But above all these wonderful things, the most important and valued things to the average Inuit is the land and the animals that live in it.
These are of course far more important to us and we think about them most above everything else.
It is wonderful indeed that Eskimo Point is flattered by many things that they will receive and use; money, houses and many other things. We are happy to hear about all this because it is for our own benefit. But I am talking about our land and our animals. If there is to be work on the land people must be consulted and their wishes be taken into careful consideration. If both parties are in agreement over a specific aspect and co-operate with one another, life would be much easier and Inuit would be happier.
Also, there was a plane this evening and my daughter who was in Toronto just arrived and said that it is impossible to live down south without money. She pointed out that she could eventually starve to death in the midst of all the Qablunaat if she had no money. She could live only if she had money. This struck me hard and made me think all the more about our land and the animals, which Inuit have occupied and used for many years.
At this time I would like to give a letter (petition) regarding the land of the Inuit. This letter contains the wishes and signatures of the Inuit and I will give it to the Commissioner. That is all I have to say.
What the settlement said is quite right and this is the case that I was talking about earlier. That is, you cannot allow yourselves or you should not allow yourself to become too dependent on the supplies and things that are made that come from the south.
This is the settlement of Eskimo Point. The Settlement Council have a responsibility for this community or what we call "in-town responsibility." But they also have responsibility outside of the community and it's things like this that your council, more and more, will be called upon to act.
There are two governments. The Federal Government is in Ottawa and the Territorial Government in Yellowknife. The Territorial Government has nothing to do with mineral exploration or with oil exploration. That is all the responsibility of the Federal Government.
With regard to the Federal Government, Mr. Chretien, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, has said that he will listen to the people, he will listen to the community. If there are exploration close here or people working for minerals on the land or for oil on the bay and you have not been consulted, if you sent him a wire or a letter, he will act. But you must send it to Mr. Chretien.
Sanikiluarmiut Learn math, English and Events
If you drop into Sanikiluaq school on a Tuesday or Thursday evening you'd find about 30 men and ladies learning math and English or discussing how government works and current events that affect our lives in the north. the Education Advisory Board sponsored the course in response to the many people who were asking for classes. 9 youth of the settlement and instructor Bob Gamble, the principal, works with these instructors on Wednesdays so they will be able to teach well and keep learning new things themselves. The eager participation of all these adults shows that they are learning things that interest them. Many settlements have had classes in math and English, but Sanikiluaq people were also eager to learn more about how government works, taxes, etc. Lucassie Kittosuk teaches that part of the program, which supplements what the settlement manager has been doing through Settlement Council.
Other settlements that want programs like this can ask their Education Advisory Board to sponsor it. Adult Education staff will gladly help if requests are received.
Issue 69, April 1974
The Keewatin Echo
Published monthly by the Keewatin Region Adult Education Staff Government of the Northwest Territories.
Editor - Mark Kalluak
Eskimo Point NWT
Printed by Normal Publishers Limited
108 Third Street, The Pas, Manitoba.
All correspondence and articles should be sent to the Editor Eskimo Point NWT.
Download a copy of Issue 69 of the Keewatin Echo (PDF).