Like an iceberg, 1997, “Qaggiq”

A date with Siku girl

Like an iceberg, 1997: “Qaggiq”

The sun still doesn't rise above the horizon in mid-January, 1997, when I visit. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE) The sun still remains below the horizon in January, 1997, when I first arrive in Igloolik. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

The long polar night is not yet over in Igloolik when I decide to visit this eastern Arctic community, 870 kilometres northwest of Iqaluit, in early January, 1997. I’ve heard about its ceremony to welcome back the sun, and for years I’ve wanted to visit Igloolik, because it’s supposedly the most “traditional” place in the region.

In Igloolik, residents speak the purest dialect of Inuktitut, so my Inuktitut teachers have told me. It’s a community that still keeps Inuit traditional culture alive, I hear.

And I’ve been watching a television series called Nunavut: Our Land, by Igloolik filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, which makes me want to see that landscape and its people for myself.

When I’m visiting Igloolik, I stay with the local Anglican minister’s family at…

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