NEWS: Around the Arctic January 25, 2013 - 2:43 pm

Facebook page records tales of the Inuit harvest

“This makes Inuit more proud to go hunting”

SAMANTHA DAWSON

Harvested belugas, a pair of swimming polar bears, sea urchins, crab, caribou hunting trips, women hunting seal, Arctic char, close-ups of lemmings and bird eggs, and hunters in front of their bowhead whale or walrus catch — these are some of the images you’ll see on the Facebook page “Hunting Stories of the Day.”

The page, started by Nick Illauq, invites Inuit of Canada, Alaska and Greenland to post stories, photos and videos of their hunting trips or hunting memories.

With more than 28,000 members, people have posted photos on the page to show themselves at spring camps, on ATV’s, snowmobiles and boats, as well as other photos of feasts and children cutting seal meat with tiny ulus.

“This [page] makes Inuit more proud to go hunting after seeing all those wonderful pictures and videos,” Illauq said. 

Inuit don’t have a place to talk about their most important resource, which is wildlife, he said.

In his view, Inuit being separated into territories and provinces may not have been a good thing when it comes to wildlife management.

“Each regional power makes rules regarding hunting and some are not even allowed to kill bears or narwhals,” Illauq said.

Illauq, from Clyde River, wants Inuit from all over the North to show what they catch so that the others will want to do the same as in other regions. 

“This site brings everybody together and in the future, it will become even more important in fighting Greenpeace and governments,” he said.
The goal of the page was to bring Inuit together under the topic of hunting.

“Inuit are a minority and this makes them stronger by combining forces and being one voice,” Illauq said. 

For him, the page reflects his political beliefs.

“I do not like what the Conservatives are doing in regards to development on Inuit land and how they want to slowly wean Inuit out of hunting on the land and start depending on resource development,” he said.

Illauq said he likes starting organizations.

“I like starting organizations and delegating it to other Inuit. I have done this a few times, I just like creating things that other Inuit can take over and run it with or without me,” he said.

“This site will be the site for Inuit [to] show the rest of the world without explaining anything to anybody, I have bigger hopes for the future,” Illauq added.

He’s removed himself as administrator because he’s “already achieved his purpose.”

“It will grow and grow, there are already many copies of the site in Nunavik and the Northwest Territories,” Illauq said.

First Nations people will see “Nunavut Hunting Stories of the Day” and might want to do the same, he said.