Thank You For Letting Me Tell These Stories

By Maia Iotzova, October 2019

It was a cold and sunny Sunday afternoon in April 2016 when Zacharias Kunuk and Michelline Ammaq sat in the shack turned into an office, telling stories of camping, hunting, travelling, getting lost on the land – while pointing to an old map. This was my first visit to Igloolik and the Arctic, and I was looking at everything with fresh eyes. It was during that time that the map caught my attention. The crinkled paper map they were pointing to had rips, and had been glued together from 12 different topographic pieces with packing tape. It had been well used. On the map, Zach’s father, Enuki Kunuk, had written in syllabics the names of places, the areas where hunting was good, and all other things he knew about the Igloolik area. The map was covered in writing I could not read but made much more sense than the sparse English names referring to explorers, princes and queens. [...]