On Isuma.tv at LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium round table

On Isuma.tv at LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium round table  I first quoted an elder that said this about 12 years ago, she died last year:   "Just because we don't speak English does not mean we are not capable of thinking or having ideas."   Inuit elders are great listeners. Our ancestors and the elders of today often say Sila Isumataungmat, sometimes in their manner of speaking they are inclusive of weather, land, sea, environment and all that is in it, it means Sila is the boss, they also say Sila isumaqsuqtutuungmat which is translates as Sila is the one with total and absolute freedom.  These statements say a lot they speak of respect and acceptance as things are and one that calls for submission and utmost respect.   Our ancestors did not write lasws down, we learn from elders that Inuit had a law that if a person was new to an area of land that they could not freely take from that land until a winter had passed, if they needed suputit or kanguujait (plants they need for wick in oil lamps) other people that were not new to that land picked these for them. This law was based on respect always, our Inuit ancestors laws though unwritten have been broken by many.   Ancestral laws are based on respect to Sila, with the Industrial revolution and the many cultural tsumanis we have undergone (a kind of tsumani you cannot see)-we are being forced to change, whatever change is required will have to be based on shared respect, shared responsibility, our ancestors had vision enough to believe the land, sea, environment, sila, nuna does not belong to us but to our future generations.  The climate change, the current world economy is forcing us to change, to re-think, to be innovative, our ancestors (Aivilingmiut/Amitturmiut) had a saying "Akluniq ajuqsarniqangilaq" "In times of scarcity, there is much opportunity for innovative thinking."  Thank you.


02 June 2009


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