Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I, Tommy Akulukjuk, of Nunavut, Canada

I, Tommy, have made the following resolutions, but not promises:

to support the Liberal Party
the conservative party
the New Democratic Party,
the green party
the Marijuana Party
the parti bloc quebecois
the Rhinoceros Party

because i expect they'll have free drinks
maybe even marijuana
be democratic about partying
be "bloc"king roads
wear the colour green
conserve energy
liberally pass out free drinks again
and i expect animals from all of them, especially
african born - horned animals

i, tommy, have renounced

and vow to be extra
rage more wars
gain more profits
combine socialism
with capitalism
murder innocent little cute animals

such as baby seals
kill my first polar bear
contribute to global warming
by burning more fossil
bathe in tar
have gasoline as my cologne

i will be the poster child for
climate change
i will be in an advertisement for
nunavut Tunngavik
where they promise to take care
of poor Inuit

i will appear on TV in the new year
as a newscaster
will make fun of politicians
make fake advertisements that advocate country food
will pretend to be peter mansbridge

will try to drink more beer
and disappoint even more so
my sister
my parents
and all those righteous
religious inuit
who try to create a perfect
docile inuit society

i will burn my poems
a whole notebook
a whole book that i really like
and use it to warm myself

i will vote and then tear my vote away
i will cry when an inuit politician
accomplishes something for once
i will carve a statue of
brian mulroney for signing the land claim
i will tear a picture of paul quassa for signing the land claim

i will sabotage
inuit employment levels
inuit employment targets
i will
become the qallnaat development coordinator

i will become the wage reduction coordinator for GN

i will kill baby seals and not eat them

i will
i will
i will
i will

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Bum On The Bus

on my way
to nowhere
by bus
on the greyhound
with 40 others
sane and insane
poor and more poor
five hours to nowhere
sitting beside
an asian girl and

behind me and her
is a guy, a young guy
beard, army style
baggy pants
a paper-back book
in his hands

i had seen him
earlier at the
talking to a lady

when i passed him
by at the station
i smelled a stench
of an old wet dog
moulded socks
and i almost gagged

and on the bus
he sat behind me
and the asian girl
and when he passed us by, she looks at me

i smile at her and
she does too
and we have the same though:
you did smell that too?!?

we try to ignore the stench but its hard

to take our minds off of him
we read
she in korean or japanese
in english and
through out the 5 hours

the smell reaches, swoops by
we smile at each other again

after an hour
we forget the smell
part of the bus ride
part of the experience

me and the asian
don't smile at each other
anymore, not even a glance at
each other

one time
we were connected
by both out disgust but as soon as
we get used to the bum on the bus
we become strangers
and our smiles don't connect

we were no longer in unison
our nose were no longer friends
we turned into
another people who can ignore
the bum on the bus

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Suburban Shopping

Markham is Canada's
fastest growing community
has grown by 70% since 1990

i went to a mall there
and thousands upon
of squawking people
much like seagulls
fighting for a piece of meat

except they did not
fight for food but for
prices and
merchandise they do
not need

so many people
so much ignorance
so much pain
so much hunger
so little time

i got what i needed
i got my jacket
and i got my shoes
and for my entertainment
i sat and watched
people acting like seagulls

all clamouring for a piece
of this superficial
economy of imaginary
and they probably
went back home
happy and
well, i
the country's

Sunday, December 26, 2010

the woman crying in the streets

as i walk to the place
where i sleep, walking,
to sarah's
minding my own
i see this girl
crying, maybe she is a woman
and she is on the phone
and when she sees me
she looks away
and i look at her
we don't know each other
no need
to say anything
but i have a
that she needs
to talk
but still i walk
pass her by
and when i have
passed her
she starts sobbing
i can't understand
what she is saying
but she sobs
and i just pass her by
when i look back, she is still looking my way
and i still don't
do anything
and i have a thought:
my father would feel sympathy.
but me,
does not,
i feel pity
not love
not hate
not compassion
no sympathy
and that is because
i am different,
grew up in front of the
where i saw the
people in the movies and TV shows
ignore the same women
who cry in the
but later on
when i sit to write
i feel guilt
i feel remorse
i feel ugly and think
i never wanted to be
like those people
that just pass women
who are crying
i don't want to be like those
people on TV
i want to be one of those people
that say:
"are you okay?"
to a woman who cries in the streets.

Friday, December 24, 2010

# 4 Bus

i like the streets of Ottawa
i get to see so many characters
i get to talk to strangers
and the anonymity is euphoric

but there was i
waiting for the number 4
to get downtown
where i can have some spicy asian food

and this guys says to me:
how long have you been waiting
and i say:
not very long, two minutes maybe

he asks me where i am from
(i always get asked)
and i tell him and that
there is still no ice up there, colder here than there

we talk and talk
small pointless chatter
he is a cook at the Briggs
and i am on holidays

and i light a cigarette
and this lady goes up to me
asks for one stick
i gladly oblige and pass her one

she says to her friend
this is tommy, he is my cousin (i am not totally sure, but anyone from Pang in Ottawa might be one)
and ben says, nice to meet you tommy
and she says her mother has cancer

i say the usual, so sorry
hope she feels better
hope she has good holidays
and she thanks me for it, says i am nice and i smile

we get on the number 4
and proceed to our seats
and she sits right by me, next to me
and says that she needs a break

been at the hospital for 4 weeks
a horrible alcoholic, she says, but you do
what you have to do
for family and she did what she had to do

i guess saying goodbyes
to a mother who is dying can
be tiring and depressing
because she says, she told her mother that

the dying mother said
she understand why her daughter,
my cousin, drinks a lot
and apparently she gave her permission

to continue her alcoholism
and tonight was her night
is her night and she is excited
says, been at it since three this afternoon, can you smell?

and i ask, is it vodka?
as she smiles satisfaction
and she starts talking to me
about crack-cocaine

see my teeth? i nod
(what a strange questions to ask)
and says, from smoking that crap, loosing teeth
still going to tonight
got some for free from a good friend

i think how good can he be
if he gives out free drugs
and i think again, not a lot of people
give away anything for free, especially crack

he must really be a good friend
and we are on the bus
in front of twenty white people
many of them with grey hair

and they all look our way and i know what they are
thinking and i start having thoughts
maybe i should pretend not to know people
next time, especially
people who are crack addicts and alcoholics

but as they get off, ben and her, she says aakkuluk
and gives me an eskimo kiss
and i have a feeling that even
alcoholics and crack addicts need and have to give love

i forget absolutely everything
and tell her the same, except i don't eskimo kiss her
and when they got off, an older lady says to me
its good to see love around the holidays

i smile at her
and outside, my cousin the alcoholic
waves goodbye to me
and i imagine smelling vodka
on her, and she smiles
and all i see are her ugly crooked and broken teeth
teeth that are rotting as we read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Seventh of December

Today is someone's birthday
born on the seventh she is
whomever it is
happy birthday to her
maybe i love her and
adore her
i talk of she because
one day she'll talk of me
because uncles are
sometimes remembered as people
who used to talk to her
and who still baby talks to her
Oh, even at a young age
did she have a mouth and
talk did she
Today is her birthday
today she is three and
already i am writing about
how much she talks
she is my niece and it's her
third birthday
happy birthday little girl
happy birthday Taivitie

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

are these the times?

The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
-Mark Twain's Notebook (1935)

I have a question for you, the reader.

When the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement or any other Inuit Land Claims in Canada, was created, is it done by radicals? Are these claims radical ideas and were they once?

And if these were radical views or if they still are, are they or about to wore out now?

and If they are worn out, have Inuit become conservatives and accepted the provisions and articles as dogma or as unquestionable rights and stagnant human right?

Have we put ourselves in our own cells and have given the key away to institutions?

Can you still get out?

Are these the times?

Friday, November 26, 2010

How to become a caribou

my father says to become a caribou a person has to pray every day for twenty years. he says praying is the answer to people's aspirations and that to attain some answers for your prayers, you have to kneel down and clasp your hands together.

my mother doesn't like to disagree with my father because they have been in love for the past four years. when they met, my father was praying to become a seal and my mother was praying to be an arctic tern because she knew that they fly from one end of the earth to the other end. My father never became a seal and my mother was so close to becoming a tern that she whistles beautifully. My father says he never really clasped his hands hard enough that his prayers weren't answered.

so, whenever i think of becoming a caribou, i pray really hard and clasp my hands like i am losing my heart. i pray so hard that it hurts my head and my father is really proud of me when i tell him of the pain. He says that someone in my big family has to become a caribou one day and he has faith in my prayers. i want to make proud my father, and i try and try to become a caribou.

i envision myself running on the tundra and i imagine myself eating those luscious herbs and imagine myself making fat from the nutrients of the land. I pray so hard about eating that sometimes i get the taste of the shrub in my mouth. i sometimes feel hollow furs growing in place of my human hairs but i never tell my father because i only want to show in progress only when small antlers are protruding from my head.

my mother gives me advice on how i can handle being an animal because she has a little bit of experience. She says no one believes her but for one day she was a tern and went as far south as Michigan until she started missing her parents. her parents, my grandparents were both lemmings. my grandpa and grandma were a pair matched in the realm of the still born babies. they were paired by the great Decider of spirits. the Decider is basically a progress report on your being and is being written as we speak. your being is your making and how you want to progress in becoming an animal is your responsibility.

I am now fourteen and have been praying since i was ten years old. i still have another ten years until i grow antlers but i am growing hairs, hollow caribou hairs because a young caribou still needs to be warm.

i clasp my hands and kneel down again and pray to the Decider. My head hurts and my father is smiling like the day he first saw me. He never says he is proud, but i can tell by the small smile in him that he believes that I'll have great antlers that are six feet tall and that i'll have great fat in me.

Mr Speaker

Mr Speaker,

i am standing up in the chambers of this illustrious and sad group of people who claim to represent people, and mr speaker, i am here to denounce the very actions that this chamber has worked on.

mr speaker, i am but one person and as but one person from one community, i have grave concerns regarding the rearing of our children and our elders in what you call a great land when in all honesty, it is just land.

first off, i want to talk about the children and the elders. the children do not give a crap about anything anymore and the respect they used to have is nothing but past memories now. the meaning of respect has been lost in the vocabulary of the children and this great idea of the past, the respect for people, is no longer practiced and all i see is laughter and ridicule towards the elders from this generation. You, this young generation of children's children, you are a child of a child, we don't blame you but blame ourselves.

Secondly, the elders are put into homes. Not just any homes but small and passionless houses where the next closest example is a prison to explain the living situations of our beloved elders. these, mr speaker, are the very people you claim to listen to and represent and everyone has, according to me, have become nothing but abusers of ancient knowledge by imprisoning our elders.

Mr. speaker, we have to create super heroes to replace these past elders. The heroes i am proposing are not children, are not people at all, but are ideas. Our heroes have to be ideas and ideas are more dangerous than you are mr speaker. you the speaker are six feet and five inches tall and have a huge beard, your cowboy boots are caked with mud, your hat is filled with information. Ideas are to replace you an me, we have to start producing ideas that are concrete and superfluous at the same time.

The land is just land, nothing more. sure there are thing in the ground that we want but we don't need those, other than what is on top which is food and animals. the land is attached to ideas and the ideas of this land are all gained towards profit and greed, to torture the very land that produced you.

Mr speaker, i abruptly end this great speech for i have to go to the bathroom and write on bathroom walls this:

Why i would taste like chicken:

i would taste like chicken if
you ate me right now
for i have been cooped up
been forced fed
bred for the sake of appearance
and for the consumption of others
tastes like chicken because
i've been eating generic food
just the same white chicken
in front of other thousand
white chickens white chicken meat
but still i make good broth
but still i make good broth

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cup O' Noodle Traditional Soup

Shot and killed
skinned and prepared
dried and frozen
or raw
unpackaged and unlabeled

just add soup
turn on the stove
heat it up, boil
taste to desire

sit and enjoy
talk to father
laugh with mother
"its good right"
ask the sister

you have just
played a role
in a long
tradition of
consuming food

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quinn The Eskimo and Tommy The Inuk

I was listening to Bob Dylan
about this Eskimo called Quinn
but i am pretty sure he was no
indigenous Eskimo
i have a feeling he might have
been an American-Mexicano
that Anthony Quinn
And He plays Inuk
The not-so-magnificent.

so i write this as an ode to him
for playing a character
that is close to kin
and i wonder if he was cold or if he was hot
in those costumes of sin
wife sharing in those clothes of skin

and how dare they chase that Eskimo
for killing that zealous missionary
just because the Eskimo wanted what was
normal to him, the kissing of another man's wife
and of course the Eskimo was offended
for not sharing what is rightly his,
that's right, another man's wife

and those Chinese are the closest
to becoming the real thing
of actually eating raw meat
and his name is Undik
What kind of an Eskimo name is that?
And do they know what Anarvik means?
do you know Andy Ho?
Don't worry, i am pretty hard to offend
even with names such as these:
and i find it funny, really funny!

And The Savage Innocents?
Is that not contradictory?
Because a savage cannot rightly be innocent

Life So Primitive It Will Make You Gasp!
- which is the tag line
and i actually gasped!

Oh Bob Dylan
And Anthony Quinn
We have made something of us
one a folksy singer nasally voiced
one a movie star, may you rest in peace and
one who is actually a surviving Eskimo
and i always wanted to write this poem

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop Pretending

I know it is a long hill to climb
slippery and wet, hail thrown down
wind sweeping the roads
snow clinging onto ice particles
the hill is full of obstacles
but still we have to try, i think, to conquer

i know, it is a lot of pessimism
that i write, i know first hand, right?
been labeled as a nihilist,
asked if i don't have an ounce of optimism in me

But i am challenging the world
to stop pretending that things will be okay
because admit it, they're not.

We have no utopia and no dystopia
it is rather a cornucopia of confusion
because we are trying too hard
to make something out of it
and putting too much labels on it's life

This place that we live in is a place
that is weird and frightful
but still we try to be grateful
because it is our bread and honey
or rather our meat and water
life-giving piece of land

Let's stop pretending it will be perfect
and treat it like a child rather than a
a great mother or father.
have you seen Nunavut lately, looks
like a 50 year old prostitute
when it is only a 10 year old boy.
Stop pretending and let's make a toy
for this 11 year old little boy.

After all, we are not in a Canadian beauty contest
we are in the Canadian Confederation to be honest
and let's be modest
about the what we have, even though it's not much
but i have a hunch
in many years from now
That it just might be okay.

Speak and You'll be Set for Life

I was reminded of the time when i had to present at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. No, they sit, they don't stand. And I think there was one half-aboriginal person in the committee.

But during that meeting, I had said this: "how can Inuit parents support us so much, trying to make us go through high school like that, and then when we go home they're saying, “You don't speak enough Inuktitut when you get home.” I always question my parents about why they support us so much in learning English and learning science, while at the very same time as we're learning that, I'm forgetting how to speak my language like my father does."

I was referring that my parents always told me to learn English so that jobs will be easier for me to obtain. I know, I believed them too. I am not saying that you shouldn't learn the language, I'm just saying maybe what we've been told is a lie or was a lie told to our parents.

Now I'll say this with all due sarcasm: In this great land and territory of ours. hahaha, did you laugh too? Anyways, in this part of the world, in this corner of the globe called Nunavut, language is an issue that is not taken lightly, which is a shame sometimes, because we take things seriously way too often. Anyways, two new language laws have been passed in the last year.

Official Language Act is this: The Official Languages Act (OLA) recognizes three official languages: Inuit language, English and French. Under this act the following rights are guaranteed:

Use of any official language in the Legislative Assembly debates or other proceedings;

Use of any official language in Nunavut Court of Justice and appeal court proceedings;

Anyone can communicate with or receive services in an official language from the head or central office of any territorial institution, and

If there is a significant demand, other territorial institutions that are not head or central offices also have a duty to provide a service in an official language.

Inuit Language Protection Act: "This is the only Act in Canada that aims to protect and revitalize a first peoples’ language. The aim is to increase the population of Inuit who can speak and read their language fluently. To help Nunavummiut achieve this goal, a new cabinet position of Minister of Languages was created under the act."

Remember that part about my parents and jobs? Well, I have been told and unfortunately many parents are still saying that. Even young parents are opting for Enlgish and is very evident in Kivalliq, Iqaluit and Kitikmeot. Yes there i said it. What is the shame of an Inuk to say that language in other regions is very weak? I know, I've met people from all three places and some don't even give a crap.

This will no longer be the case very soon, if the above laws are successfully and passionately carried out. Soon it will be the chic thing to be speaking and organizing in Inuktitut. Soon you will not be the favoured one if your only language is English. Soon government services shall be in Inuktitut, but don't trust the government on that because it is run by people who don't speak Inuktitut. Soon uni-lingual English speaking Inuit will be saying "son, i hope you learn Inuktitut because it will increase your pay-grade by 10 percent." or "daughter, Inuktitut is the language of the gods, it is so beautiful that poetry is the everyday language in Nunavut." or "there was a time when people in Nunavut only English now it is all Inuktitut and is so hard" I hope so.

You know its cool to speak Inuktitut. If you are young, listen to me please, at least this part:

it is you that is changing the face of Nunavut and it is your responsibility to speak your language. and believe me it needs changing. a little make-up can be good sometimes and have you seen Nunavut lately, looks like a 50 year old prostitute when it is only a 11 year old boy.

to speak Inuktitut is probably one of the most attractive traits that a person can have. I am utterly attracted to people that can speak Inuktitut. So you should be too. Forget that blue eyed qalunaaq and go for that Inuktitut speaking brown-eyed beauty.

we have the accents and dialects that are so pretty when spoken and should be practiced more readily and often, and that goes for proficient speakers as well.

If you cannot speak Inuktitut, you'll have a much harder time to get jobs (lets hope so)

Read and write in Inuktitut, because this culture really needs a revolution when it comes to literature. A culture that doesn't take advantage of its literature, orally or literally, has gone stagnant and should be resurrected.

I mean, when did it become cool to throat sing?

When will it become cool to speak Inuktitut? Pretty soon, if you don't - make sure you learn quickly because one day people like me (how scary is that) will eventually start making decisions. And when we make decisions, let's hope we are not angry and hope we don't have iron fists. With the amount of pride in some youth, I would not be surprised if they are ultra-nationalistic about being Inuk and speaking Inuktitut in 50 years. It is not going to happen, don't pee in your pants yet.

Speak Inuktitut and you'll be fucken cool.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Last Canadians-Canadians Last ?

One Score and eight years ago, on a bright sunny June afternoon of the tenth, nineteen eighty two, a Eskimo mother was in great pain. People have been betting if she cried or not on that unfaithful day, but in all actuality, she did cry. The author is pretty sure of it.

On the tenth of that month, a Canadian was born without ever wanting to be any nationality, he just wanted to be a person and not be associated with any territory, culture, and country. He wanted to be part of family and he was, a fairly big one too, with 3 brothers and four sisters, two of whom are adopted and younger than the author.

He never dreamed of a land claim, because he thought that land was un-own-able, after all he was just a child, with no knowledge of racism, bigotry and government. He didn't even have an identity, he was part of a family. He liked that best!

In school, he was taught many things, but reading is one he is most appreciative of.

History is the product of the people and as part of the people, responsibility for history has fallen upon the above Canadian to state that nationality and association to any people and culture is a very dangerous thing.

When it comes to aboriginal people, were the Eskimos not part of the last wave of people to cross the land bridge? Last Eskimoids to cross the bridge. The Last "Canadians", we might as call ourselves the Last Nations and accept our fate in North America. Stop making ourselves special. After all, these Last Canadians, have, and is probably their best trait, a modesty matched by none. They are so humble that some people have even started saying that it is a fault of theirs.

Now imagine these Eskimos surprise when people of not so modest means, came to their part of the world and started imposing their own sense of modesty - which there is practically none, unless your a religious leaders and those are so few in numbers. So these newcomers were to be Canadians, and their founding father was going to be part of their people, and call him John A Macdonald and say, welcome to Canada only 100 years after Canada. Is there shame in that?

These new lawmakers started imposing hunting restrictions and boundaries and rules as to when you can kill animals, which the Last Nations depended upon, the animals to be clear. These new lawmakers also had a dubious notion of rights, because unlike the Last Nations, (who followed the golden rule without ever learning about it), their parents were so abused by authorities in the past, that they wanted to avoid those atrocities and in their naive view, rights were going to get rid of the abuses. But using those rights, they ended up abusing the very people that welcomed them into their world.

So, considering the the past, should Eskimos not be Canadians Last? should they be so supportive of Canada? The Last Nations didn't really have a concept of country and nation not until well into the twentieth century. And These Last Nations had to fight for the right just to be recognized and they had to fight for their own land. Does that not seem fair to you?

June ten nineteen eighty two, the Eskimo became Canadian by proxy. He never did want to be one. People who are nationalistic were thought to be dangerous by the greatest minds of the past, such as Einstein, Orwell, Bertrand Russell and many great thinkers.

People can be proud without espousing nation, territory, culture, language and heritage. Those are hard to be concretely proud of, but one thing people should be most proud of is family, no matter how dysfunctional it might be. Also, parents are to be revered and honoured, they are the ones that brought you to be Canadian.

Last Canadians Canadians Last

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to make your In-you-it Character

when writing characters that have Inuit in 'em
always make sure you include the followin'
as they will make your writing richer
and will instill some realism into your story

A Typical Inuk character
don't need to be a victor
because he is always a quitter
make sure: his environment is winter

He is always drunk
of course mention the words:
staggeringly walks

He fights anyone
especially other Inuit
he is a racist
he has been defeated
by another race
black eyes are his trademarks

of course
he had to sniff
gasoline and naphtha
and had a near-death
experience with
exploding propane tanks
when a cousin ignited a lighter
while he huffed

Your Inuit
has no job, lives on welfare
has never heard of Voltaire
but make sure you proclaim
that his language is rare
he doesn't look for a job
but he has done shit like rob

Make sure he has
a mental discrepancy
because the mother sure had
alcohol and drugs
when she was pregnant
she gambles
and always rambles
on about those Anglican bibles

He didn't do very well in school
he was never cool
people always called him a fool
he wore wool
because the weather is always cool
oh, make sure he is good with mechanical tools
compare his face and his family to

Asia, make sure you mention because
the current educational institution teaches
that is where he came from
in schools that is the dogma
and he loves cola
everyday he has to experience trauma
he asks:
who the hell is the Dalai Lama?

If your Inuit is an adult
make sure that he loves having kids
because no kids would just be an insult
he is susceptible to cults

an Inuit has to be a smoker of cigarettes
and dope has to play a part in your story
and he has to be poor
and he has to pay exorbitant prices for pumpkins
he is the northern, arctic, hillbilly

If your Inuit has a house or rents a house
and is not homeless (though that would be perfect)
make sure that he pays 65 dollars a month
and the house walls all have holes from
the Inuit's teenage son's anger
the daughter is promiscuous

Of course he has to like drinking tea
and his pee is always yellow
when he is calm, he is mellow
and he has to think that all
qalunaat are all shallow
tea and bannock, tea and bannock
to be more precise

he lives with 12 other people
in a house of three bedrooms
and sleeps on the couch
with a eleven ear old pillow

Make sure your Inuk is a hopeless
romantic to have a "normal" family
he dreams of a father
a sober mother
a caring brother
and a much nicer sister
and he wants to fall in
love with a caring and compassionate
big-breasted-double-PhD-white woman
who will eventually
create a international best-seller
by recounting his
In-You-It husband's life trials
and tribulations
and she will make an artist
out of him
an Inuk who can't
do art is unknown

when he turns old
he has to be wise
and young Inuit have to go up to him
and ask him questions about his past
because he has turned out to be
a holder of knowledge
of the yesteryear's past
because he know words from the past
make sure he talks about
how the good ol' them days
used to be better.

to be a successful Inuit
he has to die of suicide
and people should be asking at the funeral
why why why why why

Friday, November 12, 2010

Loves His Mommy

Tommy loves his mommy
because he came out of her -
cold - and if he could have spoke
he would have said "Burrrr."

Because in an instant he got the shivers
when he came out of hers.

Tommy's mommy:
And she loves him the same
even though the first words he spoke were
nothing but

Are we not lucky
to have such mommies?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home to Nowhere

Do you get homesick for a place that does not exist?
Can there be a home in your heart, your mind or your soul?
Do you imagine a place where things are ideal?

I have been looking for a place to call home
a place where someone loves me and expects me
a place where i can sit and relax and rewind from my day

home is a tough place to make?
home is something that is in our minds?
home is a fragment of our imaginations?

what makes a home?
is it the furniture?
when you plug in your TV?

Is home where you cook?
is home where you eat?
is home where you sleep?
is home where you wake up?

is home a community
a family
a friend
is home four walls and a bed?

I thought i went home
because that is what they called it
and it had four walls and a bed
family was there
friends were just phone calls away
community where i grew up
inside the four walls were
where i used to sleep
and wake up
where i cooked and ate

it never felt like home anymore
there was love
and friendship
and family
but missing the main ingredients
to make whatever a home is

and i went home to nowhere
because they expect you to be home
even if you are homeless

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take Your Culture Calmly

I am not much to be giving advice, but I'll try.

Do you ever get the feeling that what you do in life is a result of culture?

School is culture. Reading, writing, eating, speaking, dancing, singing, clothes and many more are all part of your culture. Prisons are part of culture. Shunning and ridicule are a big part of culture. Some cultures are pretty good at creating and adding new bits of life into their ways of life. Smoking weed is culture. Drinking alcohol is culture. Rubber boots are part of some cultures. Culture is everyone's. We fight on behalf of it, cry for it, and laugh at its expense.

My culture is proud, sometimes too much. My culture is of the colder temperatures and eater of raw meat foods. My culture is a hunter, a seamstress, an ingenious machine when it comes to fixing anything. My culture wears kamiks, mitts and homemade parkas.

I have talked to many of Inuit ancestry who are so proud they get offended when you say you are tired of "we are environmentally-friendly-sustainable people that burns garbage" or "throatsinging and ajajajaas are so outdated" or "Susan Aglukark is out-rated" or "English can be easier" or "thank god the English brought tea huh!" and so on...

culture is just an extension of life, and everyone of us, has life (or so we like to think). What i am trying to say is, culture is not stagnant, nor is it dead. Culture is like a little child at the age of two and four, acquiring every form of information at an increase rate. He learns so quickly its astonishing, speaks and imitates language and is always improving his physical ability. Culture is like that, cannot keep it in one place because its already off somewhere doing and re doing something to make it its own.

At the state that we are now, in Canada, as Inuit, we are forgetting the fact that culture is alive and we have control and no control over it. Just like a kid, we can control but we can't always stop them from putting something into their mouths. We cannot always stop a child from saying fuck you or shit or even "i'm from the government and i am here to help." Impossible.

We are trying to treat our lifestyles as if we are trying to resuscitate Sedna to help us out. Sedna has long been dead, and you wouldn't want to do a mouth to mouth procedure with her (imagine the stink of her breath after so many years.) Our lives are moving objects. All we can do is respect the past and hopefully learn from it. We don't have to do all the things they used to do, we can just respect it.

Which brings me to: We can practice culture, any culture, be it Inuit, Japanese, Greek or Italian and keep it alive by being let it be. There are people all over the world dying in the cause of culture. what a waste.

I suggest that Inuit take it easy on the cultural front. Let's not get militant and take it easy. If we are going to use culture as a political scapegoat, we might as well think about it as hard as we can. If any of the candidates for NTI presidency mentions culture, don't vote for them. They are using your lifestyle as a way to get people to like them. If a person says culture this and that, don't trust them because they are insecure about their own.

That was my advice, do with it what you will!

-Radio #5

Monday, November 1, 2010

From My Bowels To Yours

They say, you are what you eat!

Therefore i am a seal, walrus, polar bear, caribou and add little bits of chicken, cows, grains and coffee. I guess i am of that.

I have been thinking about how people pass on knowledge and i was wondering if they pass on the taste or food. Can people actually keep talking about food you've never tasted and have a craving for it?

Have you smelled igunaq before? (igunaq is fermented anything, seal, walrus, etc...) cheese and yogurt are qalunaat igunaqs. Some taste pretty good. My parents love igunaq, they eat it like they're going to put a quota on it. As for me and some of my generation, we don't really like the smell of fermented meat. It's too strong for some of us.

I think my generation is too quick to complaining (and that goes with me). We have been spoiled by modern conveniences and smells and taste. We can press buttons and food will be ready in two minutes. We can pre-heat an oven and shove in a pizza and wait twenty minutes - tadaa - a whole meal. We can just add water to some flour paste and we have pancakes. No longer do we patiently wait for the seal to cook, no longer have the taste for that igunaq. No longer craving meat that has been traditionally prepared.

This morning, i had some uujuq. Uujuq is a word for cooked meat of any kind. The uujuq i had this morning was seal. I was reminded of the time when breakfast must have been what i ate, leftovers from the night before, made for anyone who was going to have a full day. I admit, when i burp all i taste is seal. This was the breakfast of champions.

Food is one part of culture that goes along with language and tradition. You cannot separate food from culture, it defines who and what we are. In this case, Inuit is who we are and human is what we are. I have to admit that i never eat everything that is offered to me. i am at fault too.

I am not saying that food will make you an Inuk. Food will not turn you into anything. But the way it is consumed will decide what preference you have and that preference can tell us how much you respect and how much you enjoy being who you are.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seal this and seal that!

Alright, for the people that are not of the Inuit race, listen carefully because i am about to bust a myth created by Inuit. And for other Inuit, listen as well because its not as serious as "leaders" make it out to be.

I have tried to mock the idea of seal skin markets and Inuit protesting a government that is thousands of kilometers away. I mean, don't you think its pointless, that we are trying to save an economy that loses more money each year than make money?

How many seal hunters do you know that make a full time living by just selling seal skins?

It was in the news again today, the news about seals and that damn group EU. We are trying to fight a government that doesn't know the value of culture and has been at constant war with either itself or with other governments for the possession of land.

here is the articles from both CBC and Nunatsiaq News:

I had said before too that we should be supporting the mothers and grandmothers that make seal skin clothing for their families. Inuit hunters will always hunt, with or without the ban. Mothers and Grandmothers sewing skills are not being passed down from generation to generation and that is a bigger deal than Inuit men making $60 per skin.

Hunting and killing seals will never be lost but what i am afraid of is that our culture is being used as a scapegoat to challenge people that don't give a crap about us.

And Ms. Simon had this to say: "We plan to appeal the ruling as we believe the original seal ban was based on colonial perceptions of our sealing practices, and this week’s ruling is a perfect illustration of this.” Boohoohoo - are you not tired of that word, colonial? It is so outdated and our "leaders" still keep on using it. She should realize right now, after reading this terrific writing, that she is colonizing Inuit into believing her, that the non-existent seal market is important.

Inuit have many more options as to how they can utilize their culture to make an economy. Tourism is one example, showing people the Inuit way of life on the land. There are people excited enough to see your cousin eat a seal rather than sell the seal. There are people willing to pay for an airline ticket just to watch whales, and some can be coming from Europe. People willing to walk hundreds of kilometers in Nunavut just to see the land. there are many more economies out there other than mining and seals!

I don't know, but maybe it feels good, for ITK, to finally be on the same side as the federal government. They've never really worked together before until now and it just must be euphoric for both parties.

There is no market. Inuit "leaders" just need something to fight on behalf of culture, while they make three figures sitting on a leather cushioned chairs and a desk made of hardwood while their "Inuit seal hunters" are freezing their butts off trying to kill that coveted seal to sell to that lovely Austrian lady who likes to wear little seal skin purses.

with or without the ban, seals are going to be hunted by Inuit, but i am not sure about the Labradorians, Newfies and those Qubecois, who kills seals for the market, they'll just lose all those seasonal jobs.

Anyways, "wear your seal skin day" is coming up soon and if you have no seal skin clothing, just wear cowboy boots, they look just as cool as seal skin.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Radio #5 on Inuit

Radio #5 was born in 1975. His first name is Radio and his middle name is # and his surname is 5. His parents were of the traditional stock of the Eskimo race before they converted to Inuit in the 1980's. Before conversion, they hunted animals and used the skins for clothing. They spoke only Eskimo and later on Inuktitut. Radio grew up in this environment, hunting and foraging, until his father was told to get a life and demanded that he start paying for other Canadians well-being. So he got a life, started paying taxes and gave up his Eskimoness in favour for Inuit.

Inuit are a recent come-along to humanity. It is a new word that people started imposing on Eskimos, because they didn't know any better to be called something else. Inuit started introducing snowmobiles and outboard motors to Eskimos. Eskimos gave up their dog teams and also started wearing traditional Inuit clothing, such as bell-bottom pants and started having their hair glossed over with a cream.

Back in the 1970's when Eskimos started converting to Inuit - the Inuit also realized that they'll need some sort of government and self government was seen the way to go towards. So they proselytized about the evils of Trudeau-ism, because they said Inuit should be like Canadians as well, looks and all. Inuit didn't like this, so they said, we want in, but let us in - in our own kamiks and boots. They said the black shoes were too uncomfortable. And they demanded and shouted, sometimes even going on TV to say a few words to Trudeau and his little monkey Chretien.

So Radio grew up around where the world was changing all the time, not just his Inuit world, but everyone Else's. People often make this mistake, thinking that Inuit went through huge changes, but that is a conspiracy because in the 60's, 70's and not so much 80's, everyone's world was changing all the time. New channels on TV, new radio shows, Montreal Canadiens were changing the game of hockey, while Toronto Maple Leafs hardly made a dent. The fax machine was making things so fast. The telephone had buttons on it rather than a dial. And so much more. the world changed, not only Inuit.

When Radio was 5 years old, he was exposed to a radio at his community and vowed that he would be the one announcing everything to everyone. He became a radio DJ. He did good.

In 1980's, these things happened, that the world has regretted ever since:

* Brian Mulroney
* The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
* Ronald Reagan
* Union Carbide
* Margaret Thatcher didn't die (same for Reagan)
* Bob Marley and John Lennon were killed (so sad)
* Bon Jovi
* Molly Ringwald
* the TV show Dallas

and so many more that my hands are getting tired!

These events are true, if you don't believe me, you can ask Jean Chretien, or Duran Duran, who were very political. They are all true! I never lie, otherwise I'll never make it to heaven!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Smoking on a windy night

do you ever get that feeling of euphoria?

maybe it's only me, knowing that i am unique, that is euphoric?!?!

I was standing outside, smoking my cigarette, in the dark and on a windy night. I had just been driven home and before i entered, needed to get my nicotine addiction in check first. so i lit one up and began to suck on the smoke.

as i was smoking, i remembered a story that one of my brothers had told me. He is six years older than i. he gave me advice on how to hide the smokes from my parents, how to get rid of tobacco smell before i went home and also how to spend your money wisely - so that your parents don't question where all that money you make goes to.

So he told me of a story when he was 16, with our cousin. he said my family was to be out hunting for three weeks. he was hiding the smoke from our parents. and he didn't have any money so he had to steal the pack from someone else. so a pack of cigarettes for two sixteen years old boys for three weeks. if you smoke, that is a tough stretch.

well, what he said was: there is a lot of risk when you are in a camp of about fifteen people in two tents, most of them are older than you and none of them want you to smoke. so we had to hide them and we needed a good hiding spot for the pack, where rain would not get to it.

so they hid the pack.

the next morning, my father decided to go somewhere where there might be some caribou and wanted to leave early. of course my brother is sixteen and stays up later than anyone in the camp. and being young that he is, he sleeps in all the time. unfortunately, him being a late sleeper, my father didn't give him enough time do what he has to do. He made him do chores and soon as they were done, they went on the boat and off they went hunting for caribou, never to come back to the camp they slept in.

along with the camp, went the cigarettes, never to be seen again as well.

that was my brothers story: story of great eskimo despair, of eskimo sadness, of an eskimo growing up in the eskimo world. how sad.

as sad as it is (hahaha) it reminded me of a time when my brother would give me advice on how to be sneaky. it brought back memories of growing up eskimo. and i remembered the time he told me the story when we were smoking, passing by the very island where he slept in and where he hid his smokes, passing it by from a boat.

unbeknown to us, my father was listening, and told my brother, "i knew you smoke all along... the only person that i didn't know who smoked was your younger brother."

and he looked at me smiling, as if a father and son relationship had just been realized.

NOT. He scolded both of us for being smokers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Free the Polar Bears

Do you have the time to listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once
I am one oh those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone no doubt about it
- "Basket Case" By Green Day

There was a time i was innocent and a virgin. There was a time when I hated cheese and never cared for hummus. There was a time when i didn't want to wear kamiks. There was a time when I said "no" to my mother and felt powerful for a few seconds and then regretted for two days. There was a time when i didn't smoke anything. There was a time when i watched MuchMusic. There was a time when i was horny all the time. There was a time i did my multiplications and divisions. There was a time when i didn't know how to spell bureaucracy.

There was time in 1999 - when i crossed the Atlantic Ocean on to the Heathrow airport and then onto Glasgow and Edinburgh and Peterhead, Scotland. It was a high school trip. That is when i had my first taste of Budweiser (don't tell my mother yet), when i saw Scottish kids play football, when it didn't rain in Scotland or more than three days (and the people really thought we were good omen - those superstitious Scots - and demanded that we stay another three days so they can go to the beach, but it rained the next day and they threw us out like we were English royalty.)

At that momentous episode in 1999, where 18 high school Inuit found out that they can be anything they want, other than a teacher of course, it was 1999 - also the year Nunavut was created and they had stars in their eyes. Those stars in their eyes were to be removed as soon as they left Scotland, not by anyone but by themselves.

They thought Scotland was hot (probably the only people to ever think so) and strutted the streets of Edinburgh in their wife-beater shirts. This one day, they took a trip to their very first zoo. They had never been to one and were eager to see exotic animals from the south.

From the south my ass!

Well, they were, but not all!

There was this one animals you see, that the Inuit were totally familiar with, and some had even hunted it. To the outsider of Inuit life, this was the representative of toughness, an image of tranquility and independence. This was the "majestic" polar bear.

This particular majestic polar bear was from Churchill, that place that is associated with all sorts of evil, namely residential schools. Once those Inuit children left Churchill and became human beings, they started capturing polar bears to civilize and send them to far off places in the world - in a sense - to make them useful. This polar bear had a name but i can't remember it.

This polar bear wanted to help Inuit - I could just tell. Or maybe it was pity that the polar bear had in his eyes. Pity that these young Inuit were going to experience something that the polar bear knew all along - mainly that the Inuit were going to be seen as endangered.

OK. Polar bears are usually in a place where they have kilometers of room, nice cold weather and nice bloody - fat sustaining - foods to eat. They are revered for their cunning-ness by Inuit. They are free in the real sense of the word.

OK. But this particular Edinburgh polar bear was in a caged enclosure, less than a kilometer big, in a island the size of a living room, in a heat that was never reserved for the polar bears comfort. I don't know if polar bears like to play with beach balls but this one had a few of them in his brown murky water. Now get this, when we saw the polar bear, it was just going back and forth on its little island - looking depressed as ever and eating food that made it look like a clown bear, with it being so skinny and the colour of its skin was light brown. It looked like a crazy demented polar bear that didn't care. It WAS crazy!

This is from a country that actually civilized us!

I came home that spring and told my father about the polar bear and we agreed that that is not a way to live. We talked about how obnoxious and hypocrites people can be. They tell us to not to shoot too many polar bears, have quotas on whales, but when it comes to taking care of animals, such as the Edinburgh polar bear, they utterly failed to realize that animals suffer from depression and are not to be left in cages.

So, i say free the polar bears. Free all the animals! Free all the living things! FREE FREE FREE!

Anyways, they are pretty tasty!

And i haven't caught one yet, because apparently, the one i was supposed to caught through the quota system, has been living in Scotland all these years.

I blame Scotland for i am not a man yet. Oh wait... i blame... umm... i blame... i don't really know who to blame! I blame myself for not having the guts to talk to the zookeeper and try to explain that animal cruelty starts when you caged life!

Radio #5 plays Red Rover

Welcome to today's show. This is Radio #5. Don't pronounce it five, but as fye. Like fye o clock. Or fye dollar-mit? Or fye-mi it closes. Well, you get the drift. So this is Radio #5. Today on our show we are playing Red Rover. The game that many of us have played when we were young. I am sure you know all the rules, so just listen in and we'll report the play of this game.

The teams are divided into two.

On the North side, the team is composed of the Nunavut government MLA's and Inuit organization's elected executives. Often enough, we never see them working as hard together as they are now. They are dressed in fine Italian suits with matching seal skin ties and for extra grip strength, they are wearing synthetic seal skin mitts.

On the south side, we have some of the federal MP's and people from the non-renewable industry who are executives in their own respects. Often enough, we see these two working together. They are dressed in traditional Inuit clothing, designed by Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger. Man, they look good. Look those kamiks Chuck Strahl is wearing and the tight seal skin pants Stephen "The Even" Harper is sporting make Freddy Mercury look queerer than he is. And Look at that, Stockwell Day is sweating his ass off with the parka he is wearing, it looks to be two sizes too big.

Okay, the captains of each team has just chosen which coin they are calling to decide who gets to call first for the Red Rover game. The North side chooses tail and the south chooses heads. The south wins the coin toss and will call out first. This is interesting, who will they call over first. Who do they trust more than others or who do they think is stronger.

Ok, here is Stephen Harper calling the first person. He clears his throat and calls over Paul K, the entertaining and stylish NTI President. He is wearing that expensive Armani and the tie is made by a modern Inuk, which is made of seal skin with a design of the Montreal Candiens logo on it. He runs and is intending to break through and he is choosing to cross Gail Shea and Bev Oda, who both seem to be the weakest link. They look rather like poor wet puppies with those ridiculously designed amautiks they are wearing. As of we speak, my mother is criticizing the seamstress that made the amautiks. She is saying that they'll never be warm in those. And Paul K. makes it through, breaking the hands of Bev Oda in the process. So, the north side chooses Gail Shea, who does not have a broken hand.

It is time for the north team to decide who to send over. They have a bit of an advantage here, with those synthetic seal skin mitts. And they are pretty strong looking with Lorne K. and Moses A. holding hands like they are long lost lovers. And the Premier of Nunavut, Eva A. calls over the big dog of the south Stephen "The Even" Harper, who is the head of the south team. He pulls up his seal skin pants (they look rather tight) and proceeds to run, full blast. Oh no, he trips and falls face first on the ground. Oh look he gets up still and runs to Daniel S. who holds his ground to stop Stephen Harper. He switches to the North team.

Well, this is Radio #5, who brought you the Red Rover game between the south and the north. We are not going to cover the whole game because that would be so boring. I mean, both teams look ridiculous in their uniforms and they're playing a children game that ceased to be popular in the 80's. Nowadays, we have kids that have iPod's and video games.

So to end the show, I will be throwing copper coins at both teams.

Here is my first throw... it hits Eva A. right on the head. She gives me a mean look.

Second throw: it lands on the federal minister of health and knocks her out. She starts sobbing and Harper has to console her - while the rest of her team - they all look dejected.

Third throw: oh look at this! Stockwell Day catches it and throws it back to me. He smiles and hits me on my forehead. Oh look at that, what a catch.

Well, i have just interrupted a historic game of Red Rover. This definitely will not go to the history books.

This is Radio #5.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today on Radio #5

This is Radio #5, the station where nothing matters, which is precisely why it matters.

"you know what really grinds my gears?" is what Peter Griffin said.

"you know what is so unimportant that it deserves some explanation?" is what Tommy Blue says now.

Well, today on Radio #5, we have a few educational materials to talk about, one being that Americans can admit that global warming is happening but many of them don't understand the reason. Here is what CBC has to say:

According to a study by Yale University researchers, 63 per cent of U.S. citizens believe that global warming exists. However, only 57 per cent know what the greenhouse effect is and only 45 per cent recognize the impact of carbon dioxide in trapping the earth's heat.

Can you actually believe that? Well, I can. Americans are so smart they have dumb themselves down pretty good. I once had a conversation with an American about Inuit. He was from Florida, i think, walking around downtown Ottawa and he was standing by the NS building, looking at he poster that Murray had designed and wondering if the person is an Eskimo. I said sure. He asked if we go to school in Ottawa and i said yes. Then he asked me if we were still communist and he started asking questions about our livelihoods, so i answered each time and said, nope communism isn't our belief. So Americans can be ignorant but they are no less smarter than we are.

and get this again, they believed this:

The poll reveals that almost half of Americans — 49 per cent — incorrectly believe that the space program contributes to global warming, and that the hole in the ozone layer, toxic wastes, aerosol spray cans, volcanic eruptions, the sun and acid rain also play a role.

And another topic for Radio #5 is a question posed by an Inuk from Pang.: "Who is the Prime Minister of the United States of America?"

Well, all i can say is: many people in this world are ignorant, just as this Inuk is about USA. Buddy, they don't have Prime Ministers, they have a Presidents. And the President of US of A is Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Utah!

There you have it folks, this was Radio #5, giving you all the news and information you might need for the world.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I was found delirious and in need of immediate assistance

School started at the age of five. His sister held his hand on the first day and said to him, "See, your friend Jeremiah, he can go to school on his own, when are you going to go on your own?" Mind you, this is my first day of school. The world can be so full of questions that can never be sufficiently answered.

School went on for 12 more years, from the age of five until the age of seventeen, where hormones always had a party but never invited the host. School to him had always been kind of easy until he was in grade eleven and the hormones played a big part in his life and he started doing things that his parents warned him against. He stayed up late and started sleeping in. He failed a class but graduated from high school in time.

Well, school has some good parts to it but mostly bad parts. The good parts were that he learned to read and write in two languages and learned the old age tradition of dealing with numbers. those were good.

The bad were that he had to stay away from his family for half the day during the weekdays. To him, family was important than institutional learning. Of course he didn't know when he was going to school, he just thought school was school. he felt like he was in prison a lot. Except he didn't get fed like prisoners. They even taught him in his second language.

He went on to college and spent some time in the south. He lived amongst the people who prized education like it was an initiation to the world. in the south, education was prized as being civilized. He learned more about perception and how people construct and deconstruct the world they inhabit. He learned he had to gain most of his information by himself, and he started reading history and linguistics and political oriented books. He really like history because it made him feel part of the bigger world than what he left.

That is the thing about living in a different environment - the amount of information that floated in the world sometimes overwhelmed - there are so many things to think about. He thought that it was part of growing up, the amount of things he acquired felt like silk and thorns at the same time. It hurts and soothing at the same time.

One day they found him delirious and confused at a bookstore - unable to comprehend the spirituality and ecstasy of learning.

He stumbled and fell down right in front of the autobiography section of the bookshelves. And before he lost all consciousness, he reached for the book: Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

When he fell down and the book flopped beside him, it opened to the page with the lines:

"All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

to be an Inuk in a modern world

I don't believe there is such thing as modern. tomorrow this life that i had lived will be outdated and gone, only relived through memories. and my memories are completely biased towards myself, favouring my experience over other people.

the past that i reminiscence about so often is a favour that my mind is playing on my sense of time. This sense of ownership of one person's past is just an imaginary possession that i can get angry about, gain happiness from or get utterly confused about. The reason, why i think it is, is because we are so attached to our memories that they will make us re-think about our present and future, even though they are a construct of our imaginations.

I am pretty sure i am not making sense at all here. that is the thing about being an Inuk in the modern world. It is hard to make sense of what is and what was and what will be. We have been bombarded with all sort of information - from schools, from our parents and from society. The information is contradictory too, and as if knowledge is competing with other forms of knowledge. Who do i trust when it comes to believing what is true - the western knowledge or my ancestors knowledge?

If you are an Inuk, this would seem simple. you'd choose the ancestors belief! But for me, all i have are stories, nothing to experience my ancestors beliefs, unless i get it through bits and pieces that have been passed on to me, such as knowing very little about hunting, i try to me nice most times and respect for other living things is paramount. That is all i have that is tangible about my past. most of what i know about the past is gained through schools and western teaching curriculum - such as the history of Inuit - which i learned from white teachers from Ottawa, written by white people from Ottawa, examined and categorized as something important for Inuit to know.

So, i think i am safe to say that i am just a person who happens to live in the north, who happens to have Inuit ancestors, who inadvertently believes he has history that is tangible when all along, his world is categorized and inventoried. might as well put a bar code tattooed on my arm.

and don't you get tired of hearing throat singing sometimes?

Oh how tough it is to be so modern!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm one of those regular weird people.

the title is attributed to Janis Joplin.

as i was walking down the street and the snow is blowing low to the ground. the sun is shining and it is windy, gusting up to 5o Km an hour. As i listened to Nirvana, remembering that Cobain committed suicide or overdosed on drugs, which ever you prefer.

i don't believe in ghost of any kind. as one of the songs played, a gust of wind blew and the blowing snow on the ground looked like a streak of white linen and the thought of ghost leaped into my mind. I was mesmerized by the fluidity of snow and how it is affected by wind, but has this instinct to trail each other little flake of snow.

then the thought of how glorious of a day it is dawned upon me. Sure it is windy and snow blowing but somehow the sun intermingling with the clouds brought a sense of peace to the world. As if the world was only going so far, as if it was reluctant to leave something like good weed smoldering on the ashtray, also it felt like it was reluctant to say goodbye to a loved one, delaying anyhow as possible.

Do you think the world is in love with something? Anything?

to bring me back to the world, a taxi honked it's horn. I was back to the monotony and duplication of stop signs and buildings made of wood and metal.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My imaginary meeting with George Orwell

Am i too old to have imaginary conversations with dead authors?

No matter what you think, I want to have a conversation with George Orwell and ask him all sorts of questions about the world I inhabit right now and his thoughts on Inuit in general. I would tell him, as little I know of the history of Inuit and the political meanderings we have been treading. From the philosophy of the western world to the philosophies of my Inuit ancestors, because philosophy is just a fancy word for worldly thoughts of people.

So, I imagine, I am smoking a cigarette with a pint of beer out on a patio with nineteen eighty four and animal farm by my side and I am listening to Neil Young on the stereo, because for some reason, I suspect that Orwell would like Neil Young. Anyways, it's my imagination. Imagine I am a chain smoking Inuk, with a du Marier always dangling from my lips and always talking through the corners of my mouth. As more beers I drink, the more I loose my inhibition to be polite, so I become much easier and not so awestruck to talk to Orwell.

"So, why did you have a pen name? Isn't your real name Eric Arthur Blair? And what are the benefits of having a pen name?"

He just shrugs and asks me why I am interested in him.

I tell him, and point to the books on the table, "I never had the chance to read your books until I was in my twenties, which is probably a good thing, because I approached them in a cautious way, because people kept telling me they're classics. To me classics are way over rated, each generation should choose there own classics. The books you wrote did have an effect on me though, I thought animal farm is very relevant to my current Inuit society, because we have been lead to believe certain things are acceptable, like extinguishing aboriginal rights, that one form of government is better, albeit if it is democratic or not."

"those are some great insights" he would tell me.

"thanks" i say, "that means a lot coming from you, Mr. Orwell."

"No problem, Tommy."

I'd say "can you call me Eskimo dude from now on, please, Mr. Orwell?"

"ok Eskimo dude."

"i have also been thinking", i blurt out, "that literature of any language is very important to the well being of a society because it asserts a sort of an intellectual property on a human experience that is unique. You see, Inuit have been left very little room to leave their thoughts. I have also been wondering how you approach literature?"

Orwell goes: "Literature is a way of expressing human emotions using different ideas to convey the immensity of human differences but to connect those differences and make them similarities. As i have wrote in one of my essays 'When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer.' i think that is how people should approach literature."

"thank you very much Mr. Orwell, i'll challenge you to a beer chugging contest."

Orwell happily accepts the challenge but learns very quickly that he cannot beat the Inuk who prefers to be called Eskimo dude in such a challenge!

this headache of mine

it throbs and i can feel it at my temples.
this headache of mine
it makes life not so simple
feels like i am just wasting time

o, this headache of mine
is it because i have long hair?
o, this headache of mine
am i dehydrated?
am i not emancipated?
am i just constipated?
o, this headache of mine
i ask you, do i need to eat more bread?

i have been sitting and have been laying down
but my mind keeps wandering through town
and now here i am looking for the perfect noun
but i love how my skin is brown
and that keeps me from getting a frown!

o this headache of mine
i wish there was a hot line
to inquire about this head pain
but i search in vain
can someone just please say "Ain!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Making use of libraries

i have told people before that i don't like borrowing books, especially from a public library because i have an obsession of holding on to books. i love books and i love the smell of books and the creativity if provides to the mind. i can spend huge amounts of money on books and sometimes it feels like i have withdrawal from not having bought books in a while.

well, here i am at the iqaluit public library, after having chosen two books and now proceeding to write. while i was looking at the shelves and running my fingers through the Dewey decimal system and marveling who ever this Dewey was, i was struck with a thought that maybe to use the libraries is a much better economical and environmentally friendly way of consuming thoughts and knowledge.

so i have been visiting this library for a week now and amazingly there are people that are regular visitors and read regularly. you see, i have been biased all these years, maybe as an inuk, but more likely having had the luxury of books stores and southern high-mindedness, and always thought that not many people use nunavut's public libraries, but i have been proven wrong. or is it just iqaluit for its "cosmopolitan" attitudes and northern high-mindedness? when i went to Pang's library, i had opened books that actually had dust inside the pages, not only outside.

i was looking through the books and realized that the only way these "western" treasures can be kept open is by regularly using them and making sure that as many people use the facility. the more they're used the more books can be obtained.

anyways, i am saving money and paper and feeling very good about it

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

i saw the light

walking upon the land... birds chirping, mosquitoes buzzing, water slapping against the shore and a bee flies by and i run, like the they're killer bees. it's just a bumble bee, harmless insect.


the world got dark, darker than black, if there is such a thing. so dark i cannot see my hands, cannot see my breath and for a moment, my hearing goes away. the silence is deafening and starts to hurt my ears. i never knew that silence can hurt, but it does.

and from nowhere, i am on the road, right in middle of it and its paved. paved so clean that i can almost slide on it and i have to be careful not to slip. but slip i do. it hurts my ass and the pains reaches all the way up my spine and for a moment i am paralyzed.


the light, a bright light dawns upon me. for a moment i think "this is the stairway to heaven". but nope, it a big rig truck coming towards me.

and i wake up, near sweating, nine in the morning, with the sun shining on my face.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

NS conference

this should be easy to write about...

i took Nunavut Sivuniksavut back in the year 2002-2003, back when the world was flat and we had never heard of the internet or even email. i even think tyrannosaurus rex were running around in south america back then, and Dr. Dre was producing big much music hits. way back then...

the 25th year of nunavut sivuniksavut was celebrated last month on the eighteenth of june and went on for the weekend up until the 20th. i am guessing about 70 people registered but disappointedly not many of them attended the actual discussions. the conference consisted of the usual teachers, meaning morley and murray and they provided many of the steps.

many of the alumni that went there had successful jobs and were starting successful lives, owning many things and having many possessions. i am glad that they are successful. and of course i have objections and i will explain.

if you went to NS, do you remember the passion and disgust that we developed regarding nunavut? disgust because we were appalled that we never learned what we did at the school? disgust because we thought nunavut had lots of maneuvering flexibility and to find out it might not be so. passion because we had a promising start to start contributing to the idea of nunavut and what the land claim could have been. passion because we were ready to make a difference.

and having attended the conference, i am unhappy to say that there really was none of that great excitement and passion that is generated from being at NS. why so was that?

my explanation is that many of us have really good jobs and honestly it was easy for most of us to get jobs. have you thought that it was too easy for you? for myself, it has been too easy for me to get a job and i know that it has been pretty easy for you as well. you have great connections and good networking colleagues. what is missing though is the passion to make nunavut into your own, make it into your own place and actually feel like its yours. where did that go? where is the disgust and passion?

obviously, it is not the same for all of us. i don't have the same passion as well.

so what can we do to remedy that?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

what makes it hard?

writing... umm, whats makes people write?

writing was usual as breathing for a while, as long as i was in Ottawa.

the reason i say that is because, i have been in nunavut for about 5 months and i have only posted one blog. and what might be the reason?

i have thought about this question since i realized i haven't written in more than a week since i got to nunavut. that was way back in march or april, i can't even remember. but here i am again, writing and trying to write at the most, which is being really hard, but the words do come, but questioning my mind has been best since arriving in nunavut.

writing to me was not prohibited. writing was not so questionable and was free thought until nunavut came along and why is that?

iqaluit and nunavut in the whole, has been eye opening and has made me realize what i had left and coming back to it has made me conscious of myself and what i might be saying. maybe it's not the best but i have a lot of respect for it and i had to give it some time. so maybe the time is now.

it is canada day and writing is flowing, not that it's canada day, but because writing just feels good right now. it just feels good to be putting thoughts on a page.

maybe writing is free more than freedom and has to be better than freedom so maybe i haven't been free enough to see writing as liberating! this is liberating - even if i don't make sense, it feels good.

nunavut has become personal and ottawa wasn't, that has become the most prominent factor in what i want to write about. in ottawa i don't know anyone and iqaluit, i know many more people. knowing people in a small communities scares me, maybe because i have been in un-personal worlds and i am now.

so to end it, beer is calling

Friday, April 30, 2010

a pulled muscle and picking grey hairs

one day i had a nap and i woke up with a pulled muscle on my back. i don't know if i am growing old (finally) or i am really unfit. so here i am with the pang mountains in the background and it feels like june already when it is only the end of april. is it global warming? or are we just more aware of the envioronment to finally notice any change?

to tell the truth, i really don't feel like writing right now. maybe its the lack of weed or the lack of that delicious - greatest invention in the world - beer but i don't have the itching to write. maybe its the lack of books and bookstores. whatever it is, i am doing this because i feel obligated to.

when i came through town i went to the local library and went to go check on the internet and see what was available on the bookshelves. what there was pretty pathetic, and the only book that actually caught my attention was a book by dan brown, just because it had familiar book cover. while i checked through there was a world atlas book that i was pretty sure never has been opened in the last ten years. every page was covered with dust and not just dust, the kind of dust that you only see in movies.

so back to that nap, i woke up with a sharp pain and its been a week since then and i am finally getting up to use my muscles. it is no fun.

and what is this about picking grey hairs?

what most people don't know abhout me is that i grew up picking grey hairs from both my parents heads. and i am trying to do that good deed that i did when i was a small kid. i think, if you grew up in the before the advent of computers, our parents made us do something constructive, like play outside and invent games and if you stayed at home for too long, pick grey hairs. so, out of memories and respect for my father, i had been picking grey hairs and he loves it.

i don't know if qallunaat do that and they probablt find it gross and weird but it is a source of bonding between me and my father and mother, where we gently talk and discuss issues and watch TV. its kind of like group meditation and collect thoughts because you are kind of forced to be corteous and polite with your words.

anyways. i don't know when the next time i'll be writing again. just in case, good luck. if i do come back, i'll think of something genius to write about next time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tommy Tsunami & Newfies & the mistaken Innu boy

"you know, i have complete respect for your people and the respect you guys have for the land. your Innu right?" asked René, the St. Johns man, who minutes before said that he loves the weather and the fog and how you can get wet just from walking two block in the fog. He wiped his face and said he is going to the hotel bar in Sheraton.

Mr. Tsunami had travelled to the republic of newfoundland and labrador before during the fall and of course it was as foggy back then as the night he met René, the St. Johns man. Mr Tsunami was a film maker and was in the republic to promote his latest documentary about Inuit land claims and Nuntsiavut had signed their claim back in 2005 and he hoped that the film could be used to teach the younger generation about how important their land claim was. He was on a mission.

Of course people thought his last name was weird and asked him if he picked it on his own. But no, he didn't pick his name. His name was from a great tsunami caused by a great wave of lemmings that jumped off the cliff in his hometown of Cumberland sound. Yes i know, that's impossible, but the impossible always happened around Mr. Tsunami and those wave of lemmings were millions upon millions that sacrificed their lives for the balance of nature. Those lemmings now preside in heaven beside St. Peter's right foot, eating the lice and dead skin of St. Peter. His parents saw the whole thing and Tommy was just two at the time and that is how he got his name Mr Tsunami.

He had travelled with a co-worker who made the film with him and they were revered in the land of documentary film making for their innovative thoughts and pictures. this time it was to the Inuit town of Nain. Nain is an Inuit community with a population of approximately 1300. On their way to Nain, they stayed at the Sheraton hotel in St. johns and were immediately welcomed like they were lost old aunts from the republic who were away for residential school. His co-worker had remarked that the people of the republic were known for their extreme kindness and he realized it too. they were kind to the point that he was called boy by everyone he saw.
"Haw's de foo' dere ma by?"
"haw's da foo' dere ma by?"
ahh, it's good.

In the Inuit community he showed the film and people liked it and they clapped and yes, they did want to use the film to teach the younger people of Nunatsiavut. so there they were, almost done and on there last night in Nain and decided to go out for a drink at the local bar. And what a show it was. People bought them drinks and were treated like they were celebrities and its as if people were fighting to sit with them. One old man kept saying, go away, I'm talking to my new friends. They both blushed with their new found glory of being celebrities.

The next day, they left the Inuit community and started heading back to St. Johns and they expected to be home to Ottawa in a couple days. Of course that is the night he met René in the fog drenched street of St. Johns and the story just kept getting weirder. So off to dinner with his co-worker, who kept getting hit on by old men and they liked her a lot. She laughed with Mr. Tsunami about the old men and their infatuations about her. Those newfies can get pretty weird sometimes and they were about to find out even further how weirder they can get.


After dinner they stuck around the bar and of course there was René, who loves the fog. He asked the question if Mr. Tsunami was Innu, at first he tried saying he is not but the fog lover must've thought that Inuit and Innu were the same people and he kept persisting that he is Innu and that they have a great tradition and culture. He wouldn't have it that inuit and Innu were different.

As the night wore on, René got drunker and drunker and kept saying how much he respects "his" culture. He got so animated and told Mr. Tsunami that he is a geologist and he said he likes maps and would one day like to map all the hunting grounds of the Innu, Mr. Tsunami's supposed land. He started saying that people have one common ancestors and Africa is the birthplace and that the people of north america, meaning the innu and Inuit came from mongolia. So Mr. Tsunami now was mongolian and he wondered if he can do the mongolian throat singing. René kept saying that the world separated in many different continents and Mr. Tsunami's people were once living in mongolia until the world split into many big islands.

It was as if René knew more about Mr. Tsunami that he knew about himself. In a matter of an hour, he had become the anthropologist and a historian. Beer was a great genius maker. the more beer one has, the more the genius comes out of people and René was no different.

At the end of the night René gave Mr. Tsunami a book about Mongolia and said that it will change his life.

It's been a day or two now since St. Johns and he wasn't sure if he had come from Mongolia still and his life was no different as of yet, even though he had looked through the mongolia book twice so far now. He still didn't know throat singing and he still didn't feel mongolian.

maybe time will tell

and he realized that he had changed identities at least three times that night in St. johns - from an Inuk to an innu and now he was mongolian.

Friday, March 26, 2010

How to tame an Eskimo into an obedient Inuk

There are many ways to tame an Eskimo and these are just examples.

Historically Eskimos were tamed by beating them into submission before the advent of schools. Beating them into submissions was deemed appropriate until Edward VI, the child ruler of England, thought that it was brutal and all his servants protested but he wouldn't have it because the Eskimos to him were a great novelty, kind of like the Kinder Surprises that children have nowadays.

King Edward VI changed all that and said that Eskimos were to be coerced or given incentives to change their ways by way of giving them metal pots and pans. So the tamers started producing gifts of pots and pans, but also as well, beads and little trinkets and sometime later on through food such as biscuits and tea. The latter have become part of the Eskimo tradition that persist to today.

Not too long in the past - schools were brought to the land of the Eskimos. Schools were great at taming the Eskimos but there was a drawback to the idea as it would take years until the Eskimo actually started listening to the tamers. Now the tamers, to be more effective, disallowed Eskimos to speak their language in schools and told them their ways of life would soon die anyways. Some Eskimos believed them and now they are known as the first Inuit.

Schools were slowly accepted into the Eskimo lifestyle and Eskimo parents started sending their Eskimo children to schools without being coerced or being given incentives. By now, they had plenty of biscuits and tea, so they just sent their kids to the tamer's schools.

Now, we got to be clear on the idea of taming an Eskimo, because there has always been Eskimos that secretly rejected the tamers way of life and weren't so easily submissive. These Eskimo fought a hard fight and still do to today, by never voting, by eating all the food that their ancestors hunted and by making their own clothing. But as always, they have been told their days are numbered, but naively enough they persist. To tame an Eskimo is tedious and involves many learning subjects and so called teachers. They have been most successful as of yet - the teachers.

Nowadays, the tamers have to try really hard to tame Eskimos into being Inuit and have developed ingenious ways of taming the modern Eskimo. Mostly today it is advertisements and some Inuit have done the job of the tamers today and these Inuit tamers were the first Eskimos to be named Inuit. The tamed are the tamers now. They select certain TV, newspaper and media slots to encourage other Eskimos into being Inuit. There is even some laws that the Inuit have made, such as land claims and so on. In one land claim it even states that representative levels of Inuit have to be hired so they can stop being Eskimos and work in the tamers/Inuit world. This law is called article 23.

Most work is done through Inuit organizations. Once there was an Eskimo Brotherhood but was infiltrated by Inuit early on in the existence and changed it into ITC, now called ITK. They basically tamed the Eskimo out of themselves. These tamers have an office in Ottawa, where taming was invented.

Today, money has crept into Eskimos way of life. So the Inuit started using money as a way of taming Eskimos and now most Eskimos have jobs and some are half tamed and half Eskimo, which the tamers agreed is a very hard thing to define what they are. To tame them, most Inuit now give $60,000 up to $150,000 to an Eskimo and that is usually enough to make them into Inuit. In a place called Nunavut this is most successful.

If you are a tamer in your dreams - Nunavut is the place to go to and learn from if you plan on taming any other group than Eskimos. The Inuit are doing that themselves now, so all you can do is give advice and learn from their success and failures.

Hope you found this helpful. If you have any other suggestions as to taming Eskimos, feel free to give me ideas, because i have one in my basement.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sensitivity of MY People

This morning, I was walking and there was a dead bird on the side of the road. I thought, what a dumb bird, it could've flown away but it was dumb enough to get hit by a vehicle. There were crows flying up high, but there was this big raven right by the dead bird, eating the flesh and removing the feathers off of it. I watched it carefully and a white lady pass me by and she said "eww Gross!" I didn't know what to do but smile because i've seen too many ravens eating who knows what in my lifetime.

In a way, the lady was offended by the raven and thought it gross to do what is normal for the bird, eat flesh.

I'm not comparing people to ravens but that would be appropriate sometime as we eat who knows what from all sorts and as i write this, you are eating my words and you are eating who knows what, even i am not sure. I am trying to take this somewhere but I am having a hard time, because i might just offend you.

There has and always will be offensive remarks made by people about certain people, especially minority groups, its inevitable. It has happened, as aboriginals like to say, since time immemorial. All you have to be is different and a a little far from their reality and they have all the comments they can regurgitate and feed to the masses.

Inuit internet world has been hit by another derogatory article made by some girl named Kristina who wrote for Vice magazine, which is a satirical magazine that people should never take seriously, its like junk food for the brain. Anyways, she wrote, second hand experience, nonetheless, and made comments about suicide, drinking and taking drugs among other things in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

I am writing this because i take no offense at all about it because i know it's just literature. From what i have read, government and Inuit organization reports can be even more offensive and sometimes outright oppressive with all there statistics of a grim life for everyone in the north. To me that is more damaging than the ignorant author of the Vice magazine article. The Inuit orgs. and governments have been telling us and recreating us the picture of poor Inuit, amongst dilapidated housing, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, angry wives and husbands and uncared for Inuit children. That to me is what we should get riled about because they are the ones that supposedly make decisions regarding the people that live in their jurisdiction and the author of the Vice article is just commenting - with binocular and sitting in an arm chair. While the people that give us information about the prospects of life in the Arctic, the Inuit orgs. and governments, are actually dissecting and doing lobotomy on the people of the north and we don't give them crap for writing all the crap they regurgitate.

What are magical words that Inuit just love to use?
- sustainable
- resilience
- traditional
- survival
- environment
- pride
- colonialism
- and so on....

Maybe that lady Kristina has just hit the angry bone in inuit because someone has even started a facebook page demanding that they remove the story, but they don't realize that the website has never received so much comments and these people are pissed off, just makes Vice even happier.

c'mon Inuit, I know we had a weak immune system to the viruses and bacteria that people brought to our parts of the world, but do we have to have a weak immunity to simple words? Are you not stronger than she is and take the words she wrote and forget them? Can't you "forgive and forget" about all the things that have happened to Inuit, historically or modern?

The time words are suppose to hurt is when they come from someone you respect and admire so much that you cry and get angry about, but this is a stranger and we'll probably never step in Nunavut again, because that is what these people do, make money and then leave. Have a little backbone and try not to get offended by every little remark regarding Inuit, whether it be suicide or tuberculosis. When we all come together and rant about the misrepresentation of our lives, we are only encouraging people to poke fun at us, because the easiest people to offend are the people that get offended all the time.

Maybe it's time we stop demanding apologies and re-compensation all the time for the bad shit that happens to everyone. We are on this blue and green ball just as everyone and everyone makes remarks and make fun of someone, it's bound to happen and next time just take it.

Here, let me try to offend the girl named Kristine about her world.

Ottawa is a government town, where people have no sense of humour and wear ties and suits everyday to work. They are so boring that it's like learning about Scientology. They all have drinking and drug abuse problems but never admit to it and live life as if they are the masters of the universe. They are so dumb that they forgot the most important thing about the three R's: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. They forgot the Reduce part and follow the other two which don't have much affect when you don't redce your intake. They are so dumb. The city is filled with crackheads and they gladly smoke out on the streets. People like Kristina have no sense of direction in their lives that as soon as they are done school, they go just go another environment and is a lot like school and "work". They all have bad breaths. They are all tall. They are very good at pretending to care.

There, I hope to get many comments from non-Inuit who are genuinely offended by this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The new conservatory/territory of Ushualuit

The conservatory/territory Ushualuit has been announced to protect the dying numbers of Inuit by the Afghan-dominated Nunavut government.

The Afghans have announced that they are willing to partition a piece of land that was once a small outpost camp to the Inuit to be called Ushualuit.

Ushualuit means "big scary penises" in the Inuktitut language and was chosen by the Inuit governing body, nominated by the grandson of Harmid Karzai, Aliqsis Nalgenie Karzai. The Inuit governing the conservatory/territory was chosen as a place to revive the Inuit population, language, and most "importantly" culture.

Aliqsis Nalgenie Karzai had this to say: "The Inuit, since we have occupied and bought the territory of Nunavut from the Government of Canada, has been declining in people, because we keep sending them to the floe-edge when the ice is not thick enough, because we have been intending to bring back the whaling industry due to the shortage of crude oil in our original country. So to increase the population of Inuit, we have created a glorious conservatory/territory which the Inuit call Ushualuit, and the laws concerning procreation are so lax that we are encouraging Inuit to have sex like rabbits, so that we can begin our whale hunting as soon as possible. We are also giving each Inuk, a compensation for wrong-doing and failed negotiations that happened when Canada withdrew from Afghanistan, in the amount of 5.00 Canadian Tire money, which they can use when they go to their mother country - Afghanistan."

The Inuit are said to be excited and have been laughing uncontrollably since the announcement. People are not sure if it is hysterical for them or if they have gone psychotic. One Inuk, who took the names of famous Inuit politicians - Paul Tagak Eva Peter Aglukkaq Mihira - has said that he is looking forward to the new government and how they'll be recruiting competent Afghans to run the government, although he says that there will be token Inuit to sit in the legislature just as they had done in the past when they were under Canadian control.

The spokesman for Inuit said that they will cooperate in any way with the formidable Karzai as he establishes a piece of land that plans to double the population of Inuit in five years from 5000 to a total of 10,000. To encourage reproduction in such a quick time, the spokesman said that since polygamy worked so well in Afghanistan and the historical Inuit, that the women are required by law to marry five fertile husbands every two years and the men are encourage to drink and be promiscuous when drunk, but both sexes are not required to have sexual intercourse with any other race, other than Afghans, of course.

It is rumoured that Karzai already has two hundred Inuit wives holed up in caves and fortified Igloos that he himself commissioned to be built out of chocolate, because they won't melt in the cold. And chocolate is said to be an aphrodisiac, so Inuit are rationed five chocolate bars every single day, starting from the age of 14.

Ushualuit is a rock half the size of Resolution Island at the southern tip of Baffin Island. Nothing grows on the Island, even the tough lichen that abound in the Arctic don't grow there. Nonetheless Inuit are excited and are willing to live there, under a puppet government that the mighty Afghans will run in the background.

The new leader of Ushualuit is to be chosen in a mock election in the next coming weeks. Each candidate has to be five feet tall, no less and no more, be able to light a qulliq, be able to whistle the song "we shall overcome", possess a pair of woolen socks and most importantly be able to dismantle a AK47 Kalashnikov. No women allowed.