Home > North meets South > Inuit Recollections on the Military Presence in Iqaluit > CRAVING FOR COUNTRY FOOD

Assuituq National Park, near Broughton Island.

The melting of the sea ice near Broughton Island.


Mittuk Nowdluk

"The men who were working full time were unable to go hunting for meat. Although we weren't short of food there were times when we really craved country food."
In chapter eleven, the elders talk about the way their lives changed after the arrival of the Americans and about the problem of Inuit workers’ families having access to game.

Oolooriaq Ineak says that the Americans were very generous and gave out a lot of food, which Kanaju Ipeelie confirms. She mentions that the Inuit were never hungry, but that the men tried to hunt as much as possible to feed the dogs.

Shorty Shoo says it was hard to go hunting in those days because the men did not have time off. But, the men started hunting again after the building was finished.

According to Pallu Nowdlak, it was better to live in Iqaluit than in the camps, because the Hudson’s Bay Company did not give anything away, and the Inuit got a lot of things for free from the Americans.

Jayko Pitseolak talks about the places she lived and when she moved to Iqaluit to spend time with her family. She says that the only differences between the soldiers and the Inuit were their language and clothes. She compares life in Kinngait and in Iqaluit, where people did not seem to have dogs.

Kanaju Ipeelie, Jimmy and Martha Kilabuk as well as Mittuk Nowdluk talk about how, when the men started working for the Americans, the Inuit could no longer find game, and how it was hard for them. They ate the qallunaat food, but they missed game a lot. But, other people, who still lived in far-away camps, brought them some when they came to Iqaluit.

Mary Peter says that the real hunters, the ones who only relied on hunting, did not want to live in Iqaluit among the qallunaat.

Saami Qaumagiaq talks about the life of women in those days. She does not really blame the Americans for the lack of game, but says that, after the government outlawed dogs, the Inuit went hungry because the men could no longer go hunting during the winter.