history

New year, new ideas

New year, new ideas

Cleaning and culling my Arctic library in prep for some big time writing time this winter. ‘Arctic Dreams’ is so tattered! Get a new copy or keep this one? (It has traveled in a backpack across the tundra but is so broken now it is hard to read. Dilemma.) These uppik will keep me company…

Stronger together

Stronger together

The Inuit Circumpolar Council turns 40 today! “ICC was initially envisioned by the respected Inupiat leader, Eben Hopson, to protect the rights of Inuit to sustainably harvest marine mammals critical to Inuit food security in the face of pending oil and gas development” said Okalik Eegeesiak, ICC Chair. “He understood that the Inuit voice was…

Powerful history

Powerful history

Modern tupilaks bear little resemblance to the originals; in fact, none of the originals exist anymore. Pre-contact, tupilaks were fashioned from perishable materials and released to seek and destroy an enemy. If the enemy had greater power, the plan could backfire, killing the original maker. At that time, tupilaks were powerful, secret objects, never intended…

History illustrated

History illustrated

Nuka K. Godtfredsen is the creator of four graphic novels about Greenland’s history from the early Inuit migrations to contact with the Norse. He begins with a manuscript, then a storyboard, then the drawings. Each two-page spread takes a month to complete. Nuka researches every detail from fashion to ship’s rigging, hunting equipment, and castle…

Day at the museum

Day at the museum

“These are called the treasure chambers, this is almost like open storage. This is from a strange time period. It’s from a non-time, it doesn’t have any dynamics. It’s a static view of what the Arctic is in this room. We just get this non-time with no-time dimension, with no development, with no past with…

Bridging the gap

Bridging the gap

“Education has helped me to express what I feel inside,” said Jens Heinrich, an historian and political advisor to Greenlandic members of the Danish Parliament and a former member of the Greenlandic Reconciliation Commission. He is both Danish and Greenlandic. In Denmark, he says, “There is a lack of knowledge about Greenland, a lack of…

New perspectives

New perspectives

One of the things that makes Copenhagen so fabulous is a very tall steeple wrapped in a golden staircase. Walk up, up, up and here you are. The canals open towards the salt water which soon becomes the North Atlantic that has led so many people over the centuries towards Greenland. These harbours below used…

Layers of History

Layers of History

It’s a different kind of Arctic connection than what we have explored before, and it’s very interesting so far. We’re in Copenhagen to learn about the colonial relationship between Denmark and Greenland, and we’ve begun with an evening tour of the city centre. You might recognize Nyhavn from a Danish postcard. Tonight it’s bustling with…