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Earth Changes => Antarctica & the Arctic => Topic started by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 03:54:39 pm



Title: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 03:54:39 pm




              (http://www.snowwowl.com/images/inuit/inuit.12.jpg)










                                                          T H E   I N U I T





 
Total population

150,000
 


Regions with significant populations

Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Russia



Languages


English language,

Inuit language,

Eskimo-Aleut languages

and others



Religion


Christianity,

Shamanism,

Animism



Related ethnic groups


Aleuts,
Yupiks



Inuit (plural; the singular Inuk means "man" or "person") is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Alaska. The Inuit language is grouped under Eskimo-Aleut languages.



The Inuit people live throughout most of the Canadian Arctic and subarctic:


in the territory of Nunavut ("our land");

the northern third of Quebec, in an area called Nunavik ("place to live");

the coastal region of Labrador, in an area called Nunatsiavut ("Our Beautiful Land");

in various parts of the Northwest Territories, mainly on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and formerly in the Yukon territory.



Collectively these areas are known as Inuit Nunaat.



In the US, Alaskan Inupiat live on the North Slope of Alaska and the Seward Peninsula.

Greenland's Kalaallit are citizens of Denmark.

Sireniki Eskimos live mainly on the Chukchi


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:00:53 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/Inuit_Grandma_1_1995_06_11.jpg/751px-Inuit_Grandma_1_1995_06_11.jpg)

INUIT GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDCHILD


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:08:36 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Inuktitut_dialect_map.png)

Distribution of Inuit language variants.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:11:49 pm









In Canada and Greenland the term Eskimo has fallen out of favour, is considered pejorative and has been replaced by the term Inuit. However, while Inuit describes all of the Eskimo peoples in Canada and Greenland, that is not true in Alaska and Siberia.

In Alaska the term Eskimo is commonly used, because it includes both Yupik and Inupiat, while Inuit is not accepted as a collective term or even specifically used for Inupiat (which technically is Inuit). No universal replacement term for Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, is accepted across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples.






Inuit, Yupik, and First Nations people


 
The Inuit Circumpolar Council, a United Nations-recognized non-governmental organization (NGO), defines its constituency to include Canada's Inuit and Inuvialuit, Greenland's Kalaallit Inuit, Alaska's Inupiat and Yup'ik people, and the Siberian Yupik people of Russia.[7]

However, the Yupik of Alaska and Siberia are not Inuit, and the Yupik languages are linguistically
distinct from the Inuit languages.  Yupik people are not considered to be Inuit either by themselves
or by ethnographers, and prefer to be called Yupik or Eskimo.

Inuit are recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982 as Aboriginal peoples in Canada, which also includes First Nations and Métis peoples.

The Inuit should not be confused with the Innu, a distinct First Nations people who live in northeastern Quebec and Labrador.

Some of the Inuit dialects were recorded in the 18th century, but until the latter half of the 20th century, most were not able to read and write in their own language. In the 1760s, Moravian missionaries arrived in Greenland, where they contributed to the development of a written system of language called Qaliujaaqpait, based on the Latin alphabet.

The missionaries later brought this system to Labrador, from which it eventually spread as far as Alaska


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:14:00 pm




              (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/Artic-cultures-900-1500.png/180px-Artic-cultures-900-1500.png)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:17:16 pm









The Inuit are the descendants of what anthropologists call the Thule culture, who emerged from western Alaska around 1000 AD and spread eastwards across the Arctic, displacing the related Dorset culture (in Inuktitut, the Tuniit). Inuit legends speak of the Tuniit as "giants", people who were taller and stronger than the Inuit. Researchers believe that the Dorset culture lacked dogs, larger weapons and other technologies that gave the expanding Inuit society an advantage over them. By 1300, the Inuit had settled in west Greenland, and finally moved into east Greenland over the following century.

The Tuniit survived in Aivilik, Southampton and Coats Islands, until the beginning of the 20th century. They were known as Sadlermiut (Sallirmiut in the modern spelling). Their population had been ravaged
by diseases brought by contact with Europeans, and the last of them fell in a flu epidemic caught from
a passing whaler in 1902. The area has since been resettled by Inuit.

In Canada and Greenland the Inuit circulated almost exclusively north of the tree line, the de facto southern border of Inuit society. To the south, Native American Indian cultures were well established, and the culture and technology of Inuit society that served them so well in the Arctic was not suited to subarctic regions, so they did not displace their southern neighbours. They had trade relations with more southern cultures, but as is the usual case boundary disputes were common and often a cause
of aggressive actions. Warfare, in general, was not uncommon among Inuit groups with sufficient population density. Inuit, such as the Nunatamiut (Uummarmiut), who inhabited the Mackenzie River delta area experienced common warfare whereas the Central Arctic Inuit lacked the population density to engage in warfare.

The first contact with Europeans came from the Vikings, who settled Greenland and explored the eastern Canadian coast. Norse literature speaks of skrælingar, most likely an undifferentiated label
for all the native peoples of the Americas the Norse contacted, Tuniit, Inuit and Beothuks alike.

Sometime in the 13th century the Thule culture began arriving from what is now Canada. Norse accounts are scant. However, Norse made items have been found at Inuit campsites in Greenland.
It is unclear whether they are the result of trade or plunder. One old account speaks of "small people" with whom the Norsemen fought. Ívar Bárðarson's 14th century account mentions that one of the two Norse settlement areas, the western settlement, had been taken over by the skrælings. The reason
why the Norse settlements failed is unclear, but the last record of them is from 1408, roughly the same period as the earliest Inuit settlements in east Greenland.

After roughly 1350, the climate grew colder during the Little Ice Age and the Inuit were forced to abandon hunting and whaling sites in the high Arctic. Bowhead whaling disappeared in Canada and Greenland (but continued in Alaska) and the Inuit had to subsist on a much poorer diet. Without whales, they lost access to essential raw materials for tools and architecture that were derived from whaling.

The changing climate forced the Inuit to also look south, pressuring them into the marginal niches along the edges of the tree line that Native Americans had not occupied, or where they were weak enough to coexist with. It is hard to say with any precision when the Inuit stopped their territorial expansion. There is evidence that they were still moving into new territory in southern Labrador in the 17th century, when they first began to interact with colonial North American civilization.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:18:12 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Inuit_man_by_Curtis_-_Noatak_AK.jpg/791px-Inuit_man_by_Curtis_-_Noatak_AK.jpg)

INUIT MAN IN A KAYAK


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:19:14 pm









Inuit language



The Inuit mainly speak one of the traditional Inuit languages or dialects, sometimes grouped under the term Inuktitut, but they may also speak the predominant language of the country in which they reside. Inuktitut is mainly spoken in Nunavut, and, as the Greenlandic language, in some parts of Greenland.

The Inuktitut syllabary used in Canada is based on the Cree syllabary devised by the missionary James Evans. The present form of the syllabary for Canadian Inuktitut was adopted by the Inuit Cultural Institute in Canada in the 1970s. The Inuit in Alaska, the Inuvialuit, Inuinnaqtun speakers, and Inuit in Greenland and Labrador use the Roman alphabet, although it has been adapted for their use in different ways.

Though conventionally called a syllabary, the writing system has been classified by some observers as an abugida, since syllables starting with the same consonant have related glyphs rather than unrelated ones. All of the characters needed for the Inuktitut syllabary are available in the Unicode character repertoire. (See Canadian Aboriginal syllabics character table.) The territorial government of Nunavut, Canada has developed a TrueType font called Pigiarniq for computer displays, designed by Vancouver-based Tiro Typeworks.

The Inuit language is written in several different ways, depending on the dialect and region, but also on historical and political factors. Moravian missionaries, with the purpose of introducing the Inuit peoples to Christianity and the Bible, contributed to the development of an Inuktitut writing system in Greenland during the 1760s that was based on Roman orthography. They later travelled to Labrador in the 1800s, bringing the written Inuktitut with them. This Roman alphabet writing scheme is distinguished by its inclusion of the letter kra. The Alaskan Yupik and Inupiat (who, in addition, developed their own system of hieroglyphics) and the Siberian Yupik also adopted the system of Roman orthography.

Eastern Canadian Inuit were the last to adopt the written word when, in the 1860s, missionaries imported the written system Qaniujaaqpait they had developed in their efforts to convert the Cree to Christianity. The very last Inuit peoples introduced to missionaries and writing were the Netsilik Inuit
in Kugaaruk and north Baffin Island. The Netsilik adopted Qaniujaaqpait by the 1920s.

The "Greenlandic" system has been substantially reformed in recent years, making Labrador writing unique to Nunatsiavummiutut at this time. Most Inuktitut in Nunavut and Nunavik is written using a scheme called Qaniujaaqpait or Inuktitut syllabics, based on Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. The western part of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories use a Roman orthography (alphabet scheme) usually identified as Inuinnaqtun or Qaliujaaqpait, reflecting the predispositions of the missionaries who reached this area in the late 19th century and early 20th century


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:19:33 pm
    (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Inuitbasket.jpg/649px-Inuitbasket.jpg)

    Inuit basket made by Kinguktuk (1871-1941)
    of Barrow, Alaska.
    Ivory handle.

    Displayed at Museum of Man,
    San Diego, California.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:24:20 pm








The Inuit have traditionally been hunters and fishers. They hunted, and still hunt, whales, walruses, caribou, seals, polar bears, muskoxen, birds, and at times other less commonly eaten animals such as foxes.

The typical Inuit diet is high in protein and very high in fat - in their traditional diets, Inuit consumed
an average of 75% of their daily energy intake from fat.

While it is not possible to cultivate plants for food in the Arctic, gathering those that are naturally available has always been typical. Grasses, tubers, roots, stems, berries, and seaweed (kuanniq or edible seaweed) were collected and preserved depending on the season and the location.

Anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived with and studied a group of Inuit.  The study focused
on the fact that the Inuit's extremely low-carbohydrate diet had no adverse effects on Stefansson's health, nor that of the Inuit. Stefansson (1946) also observed that the Inuit were able to get the necessary vitamins they needed from their traditional winter diet, which did not contain plant matter.
In particular, he found that adequate vitamin C could be obtained from items in the Inuit's traditional diet of raw meat such as Ringed Seal liver and whale skin (muktuk).

While there was considerable scepticism when he reported these findings, they have been borne out
in recent studies.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:30:33 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/Qamutik_1_1999-04-01.jpg/800px-Qamutik_1_1999-04-01.jpg)

TRADITIONAL QAMUTIK


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:35:03 pm









Sea animals were hunted from single-passenger, covered seal-skin boats called qajaq, which were extraordinarily buoyant, and could easily be righted by a seated person, even if completely overturned. Because of this property, the Inuit design was copied, along with the Inuit word, by Europeans who still make and use them under the name kayak.

Kayaks have a special tube like design.

Inuit also made umiaq, larger, open boats made of wood frames covered with animal skins for transporting people, goods and dogs. They were 6–12 m (20–39 ft) long. They also had a flat bottom
so that it could come close to shore.

In the winter, Inuit would also hunt sea mammals by patiently watching an aglu (breathing hole) in the ice and waiting for the air-breathing seals to use them, a technique also used by the polar bear, who hunts by seeking out holes in the ice and waiting nearby.

On land, the Inuit used dog sleds (qamutik) for transportation.

The husky dog breed comes from Inuit breeding of dogs and wolves for transportation. A team of dogs in either a tandem/side-by-side or fan formation would pull a sled made of wood, animal bones, or the baleen from a whale's mouth, over the snow and ice. They used stars to navigate at sea and landmarks to navigate on land and possessed a comprehensive native system of toponymy. Where natural landmarks were insufficient, the Inuit would erect an inukshuk to compensate.

Dogs played an integral role in the annual routine of the Inuit. During the summer they became pack animals, sometimes dragging up to 20 kg (44 lb) of baggage. In the winter they pulled the sled and yearlong they assisted with hunting by sniffing out seal's holes and pestering polar bears. They loyally protected the Inuit villages by barking at bears and strangers. The Inuit generally favoured and tried to breed the most striking and handsome of dogs, especially ones with bright eyes and a healthy coat.

Common husky dog breeds used by the Inuit were the Canadian Eskimo Dog (Qimmiq; Inuktitut for dog), the Greenland Dog, the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. When the dog was newborn, the Inuit would perform rituals on the dog to give the pup favourable qualities. Its legs were pulled to make it grow strong and its nose was poked with a pin to enhance its sense of smell.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:36:53 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Igloo.jpg)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:39:19 pm









Inuit industry relied almost exclusively on animal hides, driftwood, and bones, although some tools were also made out of worked stones, particularly the readily-worked soapstone.

Walrus ivory was a particularly essential material, used to make knives.

Art is a big part of Inuit history. Small sculptures of animals and human figures were made out of ivory and bone usually depicting everyday activities such as hunting and whaling.

Inuit made clothes and footwear from animal skins, sewn together using needles made from animal bones and threads made from other animal products such as sinew. The anorak (parka) is in essence made in a similar fashion by Arctic peoples from Europe through Asia and the Americas, including by the Inuit. In some groups of Inuit the hood of an amauti, (women's parka, plural amautiit) were traditionally made extra large, to protect the baby from the harsh wind when snuggled against the mother's back. Styles vary from region to region, from shape of the hood to length of the tails. Boots (kamik or mukluk) could be made of caribou or sealskin, and designs varied for men and women.

Certain Inuit also lived in temporary shelters made from snow in winter (the famous igloo), and during the few months of the year when temperatures were above freezing, they lived in tents made of animal skins and bones. Other Inuit, such as the Siglit, used driftwood, while others built sod houses.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:40:52 pm



              (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Inuit_women_1907.jpg/493px-Inuit_women_1907.jpg)

              INUPIAT WOMAN
              circa 1907


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:44:20 pm









The division of labour in traditional society had a strong gender component, but it was not absolute.

The men were traditionally hunters and fishermen. The women took care of the children, cleaned huts, sewed, processed food, and cooked.

However, there are numerous examples of women who hunted out of necessity or as a personal choice. At the same time, men who could be away from camp for several days would be expected to know how to sew and cook.

The marital customs among the Inuit were not strictly monogamous: many Inuit relationships were implicitly or explicitly sexual. Open marriages, polygamy, divorce, and remarriage were fairly common.

Among some Inuit groups divorce required the approval of the community, if there were children, and particularly the agreement of the elders. Marriages were often arranged, sometimes in infancy, and occasionally forced on the couple by the community. Marriage was common for men when they became productive hunters, and for women at puberty.

Family structure was flexible: a household might consist of a man and his wife or wives and children;
it might include his parents or his wife's parents as well as adopted children; or it might be a larger formation of several siblings with their parents, wives and children; or even more than one family
sharing dwellings and resources. Every household had its head, an elder or a particularly respected
man.

There was also a larger notion of community, generally several families who shared a place where
they wintered. Goods were shared within a household, and also to a significant extent within a
whole community.

The Inuit were hunter-gatherers, and have been referred to as nomadic.

It is mistakenly believed that they had no government, and had no conception of either private pro-
perty or ownership of land. In fact they had very sophisticated concepts of private property and of
land ownership that, as with their form of governance, was so drastically different than the Western concepts understood by European observers that the existence of such went entirely undocumented until well into the 20th century.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:47:01 pm









Virtually all Inuit cultures have oral traditions of raids by other indigenous peoples such as the Bloody Falls Massacre, even including fellow Inuit, and of taking vengeance on them in return. Western observers often regarded these tales as generally not entirely accurate historical accounts, but more
as self-serving myths. But evidence shows that Inuit cultures had very accurate methods of teaching historical accounts to each new generation.

The historic account of violence against outsiders does make clear that there was a history of hostile contact within the Inuit cultures and with other cultures.

It also makes it very clear that Inuit nations existed, and at times confederations of those nations too. The known confederations were usually formed for defensive purposes, generally to defend against a very prosperous, and thus very strong, nation. Alternately, people who lived in less productive geographical areas tended to be less warlike, having to spend more time producing food.

Justice with Inuit cultures was moderated by the form of governance that gave significant power to
the elders in such decisions. But even then, as in most cultures around the world, it could be harsh
and often included capital punishment for serious crimes against the community or even against an individual.

It is also noted that during raids the Inuit, like their non-Inuit neighbours, tended to be merciless.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:54:07 pm








"A pervasive European myth about Inuit is that they killed elderly and unproductive people."

This is not generally true.

In a culture with an oral history, elders are the keepers of communal knowledge, effectively the community library, and there are cultural taboos against sacrificing elders because they are of
extreme value as the repository of knowledge.

Knud Rasmussen found that the death of elders by suicide was a commonplace among the Iglulik Inuit.He heard of many old men and women who had hanged themselves. By ensuring they died a
violent death, Inuit elders purified the soul for its journey to the afterworld.

According to Franz Boas suicide was not of rare occurrence and was generally accomplished through hanging.

Writing of the Labrador Inuit, Hawkes (1916) was considerable more explicit on the subject suicide
and the burden of the elderly:

"Aged people who have outlived their usefulness and whose life is a burden both to themselves and
their relatives are put to death by stabbing or strangulation. This is customarily done at the request
of the individual concerned, but not always so. Aged people who are a hindrance on the trail are abandoned."

People seeking assistance in their suicide made three consecutive requests to relatives for help.
Family members would attempt to dissuade the individual at each suggestion, but the third request became obligatory.

In some cases, a suicide was a publicly acknowledged and attended event.

Once the suicide had been agreed to, the victim would dress him or herself as the dead are clothed,
in this case with clothing turned inside out. The death occurred at a specific place, where the material possessions of deceased people were brought to be destroyed.

When food is not sufficient there is little doubt that the elderly are the least likely to survive. In an extreme case of famine the Inuit fully understood that a hunter was necessarily the one to feed on whatever food was left if there was to be any hope of obtaining more food.

However, a common response to desperate conditions and the threat of starvation was infanticide, which did sometimes entail abandoning an infant in hopes that someone less desperate might find and adopt the child before the cold or the wildlife killed the child.

The belief that the Inuit regularly resorted to infanticide may be due in part to studies done by Asen Balikci, Milton Freeman and David Riches among the Netsilik.

It was long presumed by anthropologists that Inuit cultures routinely killed children born with physical defects.

Between 1982 and 1994, a storm with high winds caused ocean waves to erode part of the bluffs near Barrow, Alaska, and a body was discovered to have been washed out of the mud. Unfortunately the storm claimed the body, which was not recovered. But examination of the eroded bank indicated that
an ancient house, perhaps with other remains, was likely to be claimed by the next storm.

The site (known as the "Ukkuqsi archaeological site") was excavated.

Several frozen bodies (now known as the "frozen family") were recovered, autopsies were performed, and they were interred as the first burials in the then new Imaiqsaun Cemetery south of Barrow.

Years later another body washed out of the bluff - that of a female child, approximately 9 years old, who had clearly been born with a congenital birth defect.  This child had never been able to walk, but must have been cared for by family throughout her life.

During the 19th century, the Western Arctic suffered a population decline of close to 90% of their population resulting from foreign diseases including tuberculosis, measles, influenza, and smallpox. Autopsies near Greenland reveal that, more commonly pneumonia, kidney diseases, trichinosis, malnutrition, and degenerative disorders may have contributed to mass deaths among different
Inuit tribes.

The Inuit believed that the cause of the disease came from a spiritual origin.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:55:33 pm
aurora borealis


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 04:57:46 pm









The Inuit people lived in an environment that heavily influenced a mythology filled with adventure tales of whale and walrus hunts.

Long winter months of waiting for caribou herds or sitting near breathing holes hunting seals gave birth to stories of mysterious and sudden appearance of ghosts and fantastic creatures.

Some Inuit looked into the aurora borealis, or northern lights, to find images of their family and friends dancing in the next life, and they relied upon the angakkuq (shaman), while the nearest thing to a central deity was the Old Woman (Sedna), who lived beneath the sea. The waters, a central food source, were believed to contain great gods.

The Inuit practised a form of shamanism based on animist principles. They believed that all things had
a form of spirit, just like humans, and that to some extent these spirits could be influenced by a pantheon of supernatural entities that could be appeased when one required some animal or inanimate thing to act in a certain way. The angakkuq of a community of Inuit was not the leader, but rather a sort of healer and psychotherapist, who tended wounds and offered advice, as well as invoking the spirits to assist people in their lives. His or her role was to see, interpret and exhort the subtle and unseen. Angakkuqs were not trained, they were held to be born with the ability.

Inuit religion was closely tied to a system of rituals that were integrated into the daily life of the people. These rituals were simple but held to be necessary. According to a customary Inuit saying, "The great peril of our existence lies in the fact that our diet consists entirely of souls." By believing that all things, including animals, have souls like those of humans, any hunt that failed to show appropriate respect and customary supplication would only give the liberated spirits cause to avenge themselves.

The harshness and randomness of life in the Arctic ensured that Inuit lived with concern for the uncontrollable, where a streak of bad luck could destroy an entire community. To offend a spirit was to risk its interference with an already marginal existence.

The Inuit understand that they work in harmony with supernatural powers to provide the necessities of day-to-day survival.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:34:23 pm









                                                   Since the arrival of Europeans






                                                                Canada



Early contact with Europeans

The lives of Paleo-Eskimos of the far north were largely unaffected by the arrival of visiting Norsemen except for mutual trade.  Labrador Eskimo have had the longest continuous contact with Europeans. After the disappearance of the Norse colonies in Greenland, the Inuit had no contact with Europeans for at least a century. By the mid 16th century, Basque fishermen were already working the Labrador coast and had established whaling stations on land, such as been excavated at Red Bay. The Inuit appear not to have interfered with their operations, but they raided the stations in winter for tools, and particularly worked iron, which they adapted to native needs.

Martin Frobisher's 1576 search for the Northwest Passage was the first well-documented post-Columbian contact between Europeans and Inuit. Frobisher's expedition landed in Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, not far from the town now called Iqaluit, but long known as Frobisher Bay. This first contact went poorly. Martin Frobisher, attempting to find the Northwest Passage, encountered Inuit on Resolution Island. Five sailors jumped ship and became part of Inuit mythology. The homesick sailors, tired of their adventure, attempted to leave in a small vessel and vanished. Frobisher brought an unwilling Inuk to England, doubtless the first Inuk ever to visit Europe. The Inuit oral tradition, in contrast, recounts the natives helping Frobisher's crewmen, whom they believed had been abandoned.

The semi-nomadic eco-centred Inuit were fishers and hunters harvesting lakes, seas, ice platforms and tundra. While there are some allegations that Inuit were hostile to early French and English explorers, fishers and whalers, more recent research suggests that the early relations with whaling stations along the Labrador coast and later James Bay were based on a mutual interest in trade.

In the final years of the 18th century, the Moravian Church began missionary activities in Labrador, supported by the British who were tired of the raids on their whaling stations. The Moravian missionaries could easily provide the Inuit with the iron and basic materials they had been stealing from whaling outposts, materials whose real cost to Europeans was almost nothing, but whose value to the Inuit was enormous and from then on contacts in Labrador were far more peaceful.

 
The European arrival tremendously damaged the Inuit way of life, causing mass death through new diseases introduced by whalers and explorers, and enormous social disruptions caused by the distorting effect of Europeans' material wealth.

Nonetheless, Inuit society in the higher latitudes had largely persisted in isolation in the 19th century.

The Hudson's Bay Company opened trading posts such as Great Whale River (1820), today the site of the twin villages of Whapmagoostui and Kuujjuarapik, where whale products of the commercial whale hunt were processed and furs traded. The British Naval Expedition (1821-3) led by Admiral William Edward Parry, which twice over wintered in Foxe Basin, provided the first informed, sympathetic and well-documented account of the economic, social and religious life of the Inuit. Parry stayed in what is now Igloolik over the second winter. Parry's writings with pen and ink illustrations of Inuit everyday life (1824) and those of George Francis Lyon (1824) were widely read.

Captain George Comer's Inuit wife Shoofly known for her sewing skills and elegant attire was influential in convincing him to acquire more sewing accessories and beads for trade with Inuit.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:35:39 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/HBC-Upper_Savage_Islands-Hudson_Strait.jpg)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:37:56 pm









A few traders and missionaries circulated among the more accessible bands, and after 1904 they were accompanied by a handful of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Unlike most Aboriginal peoples in Canada, however, the lands occupied by the Inuit were of little interest to European settlers -- to the southerners, the homeland of the Inuit was a hostile hinterland. Southerners enjoyed lucrative careers as bureaucrats and service providers in the north, but very few southerners chose to retire there.

In the early years of the 20th century, Canada, with its more hospitable lands largely settled, began to take a greater interest in its more peripheral territories, especially the fur and mineral rich hinterlands. By the late 1920s, there were no longer any Inuit who had not been contacted by traders, missionaries or government agents. In 1939, the Supreme Court of Canada found in Re Eskimos that the Inuit should be considered Indians and were thus under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Native customs were worn down by the actions of the RCMP, who enforced Canadian criminal law on Inuit who often could not understand what they had done wrong, and by missionaries who preached a moral code very different from the one they were used to. Many of the Inuit were systematically converted to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries, through rituals like the Siqqitiq.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:44:04 pm








World War II and the Cold War made Arctic Canada strategically important for the first time and, thanks to the development of modern aircraft, accessible year-round. The construction of air bases and the Distant Early Warning Line in the 1940s and 50s brought more intensive contacts with European society, particularly in the form of public education, which instilled and enforced foreign values disdainful of the traditional structure of Inuit society.

In the 1950s the High Arctic relocation was undertaken by the Government of Canada for several reasons. These reasons were to include protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic, alleviating hunger (as the area currently occupied had been over-hunted), and attempting to solve the "Eskimo problem", meaning the assimilation and end of the Inuit culture. One of the more notable relocations was undertaken in 1953, when 17 families were moved from Port Harrison (now Inukjuak, Quebec) to Resolute and Grise Fiord. They were dropped off in early September when winter had already arrived. The land they were sent to was very different from that in the Inukjuak area; it was barren, with only a couple of months above freezing and several months of polar night. They were told by the RCMP they would be able to return within two years if conditions were not right. However, two years later more families were relocated to the High Arctic and it was to be thirty years before they were able to visit Inukjuak.

By 1953, Canada's prime minister Louis St. Laurent publicly admitted, "Apparently we have administered the vast territories of the north in an almost continuing absence of mind."  The government began to establish about forty permanent administrative centres to provide education, health and economic development services for Inuit.  Inuit from hundreds of smaller camps scattered across the north, began to congregate in these hamlets.

Furthermore, regular visits from doctors and access to modern medical care raised the birth rate and decreased the death rate, causing an enormous natural increase (see Demographic transition). Before long, the Inuit population was beyond what hunting and fishing could support, i.e. the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. By the mid-1960s, encouraged first by missionaries, then by the prospect of paid jobs and government services, and finally forced by hunger and required by police, all Canadian Inuit lived year-round in permanent settlements. The nomadic migrations that were the central feature of Arctic life had for the most part disappeared. The Inuit, a once self-sufficient people in an extremely harsh environment, were in the span of perhaps two generations transformed into a small, impoverished minority lacking skills or resources to sell to the larger economy, but increasingly dependent on it for survival.

Although anthropologists like Diamond Jenness (1964) were quick to predict that Inuit culture was facing extinction, Inuit political activism was already emerging.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:47:41 pm








In the 1960s, the Canadian government funded the establishment of secular, government-operated
high schools in the Northwest Territories (including what is now Nunavut) and Inuit areas in Quebec
and Labrador along with the residential school system. The Inuit population was not large enough to support a full high school in every community, so this meant only a few schools were built, and stu-
dents from across the territories were boarded there. These schools, in Aklavik, Iqaluit, Yellowknife, Inuvik and Kuujjuaq, brought together young Inuit from across the Arctic in one place for the first
time, and exposed them to the rhetoric of civil and human rights that prevailed in Canada in the
1960s.

This was a real wake-up call for Inuit, and it stimulated the emergence of a new generation of
young Inuit activists in the late 1960s who came forward and pushed for respect for the Inuit and
their territories.

The Inuit began to emerge as a political force in the late 1960s and early 1970s, shortly after the
first graduates returned home. They formed new politically active associations in the early 1970s, starting with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in 1971, and more region specific organizations shortly afterwards, including the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (Makivik Corporation) and the Labrador
Inuit Association.

These activist movements began to change the direction of Inuit society in 1975 with the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This comprehensive land claims settlement for Quebec Inuit, along with a large cash settlement and substantial administrative autonomy in the new region of Nunavik,
set the precedent for the settlements to follow. The Labrador Inuit submitted their land claim in 1977, although they had to wait until 2005 to have a signed land settlement establishing Nunatsiavut.

In 1982, the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (TFN) was incorporated, in order to take over negotiations for land claims on behalf of the Northwest Territories Inuit from the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which became a joint association of the Inuit of Quebec, Labrador and the Northwest Territories.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:52:37 pm








The TFN worked for ten years and, in September 1992, came to a final agreement with the government of Canada.

This agreement called for the separation of the Northwest Territories into an eastern territory whose aboriginal population would be predominately Inuit, the future Nunavut, and a rump Northwest Territories in the west.

It was the largest land claims agreement in Canadian history.

In November 1992, the Nunavut Final Agreement was approved by nearly 85 percent of the Inuit of what would become Nunavut.

As the final step in this long process, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement was signed on May 25, 1993 in Iqaluit by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and by Paul Quassa, the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, which replaced the TFN with the ratification of the Nunavut Final Agreement. The Canadian Parliament passed the supporting legislation in June of the same year, enabling the 1999 establishment of Nunavut as a territorial entity.

The Inuvialuit are western Canadian Inuit who remained in the Northwest Territories when Nunavut split off. They live primarily in the Mackenzie River delta, on Banks Island, and in parts of Victoria Island in the Northwest Territories. They are officially represented by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and received a comprehensive land claims settlement in 1984, with the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

With the establishment of Nunatsiavut in 2005, all the traditional Inuit lands in Canada are now covered by some sort of land claims agreement providing for regional autonomy.

Inuit communities in Canada continue to suffer under crushing unemployment, overcrowded housing, substance abuse, crime, violence and suicide. The problems Inuit face in the 21st century should not be underestimated.

However, many Inuit are upbeat about the future. Arguably, their situation is better than it has been since the 14th century.

Inuit arts, carving, print making, textiles and throat singing, are very popular, not only in Canada but globally, and Inuit artists are widely known. Indeed, Canada has, metaphorically, adopted some of the Inuit culture as a sort of national identity, using Inuit symbols like the inukshuk in unlikely places, such as its use as a symbol in the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Respected art galleries display Inuit art, the largest collection of which is at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Some Inuit languages such as Inuktitut, appears to have a more secure future in Quebec and Nunavut. There are a surprising number of Inuit, even those who now live in urban centres such as Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg, who have experienced living on the land in the traditional life style. People such as Legislative Assembly of Nunavut member, Levinia Brown and former Commissioner of Nunavut and the NWT, Helen Maksagak were born and lived the early part of their life "on the land".

Inuit culture is alive and vibrant today in spite of the negative impacts of recent history.






Inuit cabinet members



On October 30, 2008,Leona Aglukkaq was appointed as Minister of Health, "[becoming] the first Inuk to hold a senior cabinet position, although she is not the first Inuk to be in cabinet altogether."

Jack Anawak and Nancy Karetak-Lindell were both parliamentary secretaries respectively from 1993-96 and in 2003.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 06:57:28 pm








                                                        G R E E N L A N D





The history of Greenland, the world's largest island, is the history of life under extreme Arctic conditions: an ice cap covers about 95 percent of the island, largely restricting human activity
to the coasts.

The first humans are thought to have arrived around 2500 BC. This group apparently died out and were succeeded by several other groups migrating from continental North America.

To Europeans, Greenland was unknown until the 10th century, when Icelandic Vikings settled on the southwestern coast. This part of Greenland was apparently unpopulated at the time when the Vikings arrived; the direct ancestors of the modern Inuit Greenlanders are not thought to have arrived until around AD 1200 from the northwest.

The Norse settlements along the southwestern coast eventually disappeared after about 500 years.

The Inuit thrived in the icy world of the Little Ice Age and were the only inhabitants of the island for several centuries.

Denmark-Norway nonetheless claimed the territory, and, after centuries of no contact between the Norse Greenlanders and their Scandinavian brethren, it was feared that the Greenlanders had lapsed back into paganism; so a missionary expedition was sent out to reinstate Christianity in 1721.

However, since none of the lost Norse Greenlanders were found, Denmark-Norway instead proceeded
to baptize the local Inuit Greenlanders and develop trading colonies along the coast as part of its aspirations as a colonial power. Colonial privileges were retained, such as trade monopoly.

During World War II, Greenland became effectively detached, socially and economically, from Denmark and became more connected to the United States and Canada.

After the war, control was returned to Denmark, and, in 1953, the colonial status was transformed into that of an overseas amt (county).

Although Greenland is still a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it has enjoyed home rule since 1979.

In 1985, the island became the only territory to leave the European Union, which it had joined as a part of Denmark in 1973.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:00:39 pm








The prehistory of Greenland is a story of repeated waves of Paleo-Eskimo immigration from the islands north of the North American mainland. As one of the furthest outposts of these cultures, life was constantly on the edge and several cultures have come and then died out during the centuries. Of the period before the Norse exploration of Greenland, archaeology can give only approximate times.

The Saqqaq culture is the earliest culture established in the southern and western parts of Greenland.

It arose around 2500 BC and declined around 800 BC. For much of that time Saqqaq culture coexisted with the Independence I culture, which arrived in northern Greenland from Canada.  The earliest culture in the northern and northeastern parts of the island, Independence I arose around 2400 BC and lasted until about 1300 BC.

In around 800 BC the Independence II culture rose in the same area where rose Independence I. Independence II has been called an intermediate phase between the earlier cultures and the Dorset culture, which arrived in Greenland in around 700 BC; recent studies have shown the cultures may be identical within Greenland. For this reason the cultures have been designated "Greenlandic Dorset."
The most recent dates for Independence II artifacts are from the second or first century BC. The Early Dorset culture existed in Greenland until about AD 200, and artifacts have been found as far north as Inglefield Land on the west coast and the Dove Bugt area on the east coast.

There is general consensus that, after the collapse of the Early Dorset culture, the island remained unpopulated for several centuries.

The next to arrive may have been people belonging to the Late Dorset culture, perhaps as early as AD 800.  The Late Dorset culture was limited to the northwest part of the island, and disappeared around AD 1300.

The Norse arrived in AD 980 and began to colonize the island.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:04:21 pm








Islands off Greenland were sighted by Gunnbjörn Ulfsson when he was blown off course while sailing
from Norway to Iceland, probably in the early 10th century. During the 980s, explorers from Iceland
and Norway arrived at mainland Greenland and, finding the land unpopulated, settled on the south-
west coast. The name Greenland (Grænland in Old Norse and modern Icelandic, Grønland in modern Danish and Norwegian) has its roots in this colonization and is attributed to Erik the Red (the modern Inuit call it Kalaallit Nunaat, meaning "Land of the Kalaallit (Greenlanders)").

There are two written sources on the origin of the name, in The Book of Icelanders (Íslendingabók),
an historical work dealing with early Icelandic history from the 12th century, and in the medieval Icelandic saga, The Saga of Eric the Red (Eiríks saga rauða), which is about the Norse settlement in Greenland and the story of Erik the Red in particular. Both sources write: "He named the land Green-
land, saying that people would be eager to go there if it had a good name."

At that time, the inner regions of the long fjords where the settlements were located were very different from today. Excavations show that there were considerable birch woods with birch trees up
to 4 to 6 meters high in the area around the inner parts of the Tunuliarfik- and Aniaaq-fjords, the central area of the Eastern settlement, and the hills were grown with grass and willow brushes. This was due to the medieval climate optimum.

The Norse soon changed the vegetation by cutting down the trees to use as building material and for heating and by extensive sheep and goat grazing during summer and winter. The climate in Greenland was much warmer during the first centuries of settlement but became increasingly colder in the 14th and 15th centuries with the approaching period of colder weather known as the Little Ice Age.

According to the sagas, Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for a period of three years, due to a murder.  He sailed to Greenland, where he explored the coastline and claimed certain lands as his own. He then returned to Iceland to bring people to settle on Greenland. The date of establishment of the colony is said, in the Icelandic sagas, to have been AD 985, when 25 ships left with Erik the Red. Only 14 arrived safely in Greenland.

This date has been approximately confirmed by radiocarbon dating of some remains at the first settlement at Brattahlid (now Qassiarsuk), which yielded a date of about 1000. According to the sagas, it was also in the year 1000 that Erik's son, Leif Eirikson, left the settlement to discover Vinland, generally assumed to be located in what is now Newfoundland.

 
The last written records of the Norse Greenlanders are from a 1408 marriage in the church of Hvalsey — today the most well-preserved of the Norse ruins.This colony existed as three settlement areas — the larger Eastern settlement, the smaller Western settlement, and the still smaller Middle Settlement (which is sometimes considered part of the Eastern). Population estimates vary from highs of only 2000 to as many as 10,000 people. More recent estimates such as that of Dr. Niels Lynnerup in "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga by Fitzhugh Ww and William W. Fitzhugh", have tended toward the lower figure. Ruins of around 600 farms have been found in the two settlements, 500 in the Eastern settlement, 95 in the Western settlement, and 20 in the Middle. This was a significant colony (the population of modern Greenland is only 56,000) and it carried on trade in ivory from walrus tusks with Europe as well as exporting rope, sheep, seals and cattle hides according to one 13th century account. The colony depended on Europe (Iceland and Norway) for iron tools, wood, especially for boat building, which they also may have obtained from coastal Labrador, supplemental foods, and religious and social contacts. Trade ships from Iceland and Norway (from late 13th century all ships were forced by law to sail directly to Norway) traveled to Greenland every year and would sometimes overwinter in Greenland.

In 1126, a diocese was founded at Garðar (now Igaliku). It was subject to the Norwegian archdiocese of Nidaros (now Trondheim); at least five churches in Norse Greenland are known from archeological remains. In 1261, the population accepted the overlordship of the Norwegian King as well, although it continued to have its own law. In 1380 the Norwegian kingdom entered into a personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark. After initially thriving, the Norse settlements declined in the 14th century. The Western Settlement was abandoned around 1350. In 1378, there was no longer a bishop at Garðar. After 1408, when a marriage was recorded, not many written records mention the settlers. There are correspondence between the Pope and the Biskop Bertold af Garde from same year. The Danish Cartographer Claudius Clavus seem to have visited Greenland in 1420 from documents written by Nicolas Germanus and Henricus Martellus who had access to original cartographic notes and map by Clavus. Two mathematical manuscripts containing the second chart of the Claudius Clavus map from his travel to Greenland where he himself mapped the area were found during the late 20th Century by the Danish scholar Bjönbo and Petersen. (Source: originals in Hofbibliothek at Vienna. A Greenlander in Norway, on visit; it is also mentioned in a Norwegian Diploma from 1426, [Peder Grønlendiger] source: Diplomatarium Norwegicum bind 13 nr 91.)

It is probable that the Eastern Settlement was defunct by the middle 15th century although no exact date has been established.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:05:36 pm



           (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Hvalsey.jpg)

           The church ruins at Hvalsey, Greenland.

           Photograph by Frederik Carl Peter Rüttel (1859–1915).



Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:10:40 pm








There are many theories as to why the Norse settlements collapsed in Greenland.

Jared Diamond, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, suggests that some or all of five factors contributed to the demise of the Greenland colony: cumulative environmental damage, gradual climate change, conflicts with hostile neighbors, the loss of contact and support from Europe, and, perhaps most crucial, cultural conservatism and failure to adapt to an increasingly harsh natural environment. Numerous studies have tested these hypotheses and some have led to significant discoveries.

On the other hand there are dissenters: In The Frozen Echo, Kirsten Seaver contests some of the more generally-accepted theories about the demise of the Greenland colony. Thus Seaver asserts that the Greenland colony, towards the end, was healthier than Diamond and others have thought. Seaver believes that the Greenlanders cannot have starved to death. They may rather have been wiped out by Inuit or unrecorded European attacks, or they may have abandoned the colony to return to Iceland or to seek out new homes in Vinland.

However, these arguments seem to conflict with the physical evidence from archeological studies of the ancient farm sites. The paucity of personal belongings at these sites is typical of North Atlantic Norse sites that were abandoned in an orderly fashion, with any useful items being deliberately removed but to others it suggests a gradual but devastating impoverishment. Midden heaps at these sites do show an increasingly impoverished diet for humans and livestock.

Greenland was always colder in winter than Iceland and Norway, and its terrain less hospitable to agriculture. Erosion of the soil was a danger from the beginning, one that the Greenland settlements may not have recognized until it was too late.

For an extended time, nonetheless, the relatively warm West Greenland current flowing northwards along the southwestern coast of Greenland made it feasible for the Norse to farm much as their relatives did in Iceland or northern Norway. Palynologists' tests on pollen counts and fossilized plants prove that the Greenlanders must have struggled with soil erosion and deforestation.

As the unsuitability of the land for agriculture became more and more patent, the Greenlanders resorted first to pastoralism and then to hunting for their food.

But they never learned to use the hunting techniques of the Inuit, one being a farming culture, the other living on hunting in more northern areas with pack ice.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:11:55 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/Grtemp.png)





A graphical description of changes in temperature in Greenland from AD 500 – 1990 based on analysis of the deep ice core from Greenland and some historical events. The annual temperature changes are shown vertical in ˚C. The numbers are to be read horizontal:



1. From AD 700 to 750 people belonging to the Late Dorset Culture move into the area around Smith Sound, Ellesmere Island and Greenland north of Thule.

2. Norse settlement of Iceland starts in the second half of the 9th century.

3. Norse settlement of Greenland starts just before the year 1000.

4. Thule Inuit move into northern Greenland in the 12th century.

5. Late Dorset culture disappears from Greenland in the second half of the 13th century.

6. The Western Settlement disappears in mid 14th century.

7. In 1408 is the Marriage in Hvalsey, the last known written document on the Norse in Greenland.

8. The Eastern Settlement disappears in mid 15th century.

9. John Cabot is the first European in the post-Iceland era to visit Labrador - Newfoundland in 1497.

10. “Little Ice Age” from ca 1600 to mid 18th century. 11. The Norwegian priest, Hans Egede, arrives in Greenland in 1721.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:16:00 pm



              (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/ThuleGreenlandersWhaling.png)

              The Thule were skilled whalers,
              as depicted here by Norwegian
              missionary Hans Egede in the
              18th century.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:20:14 pm







The Norse may not have been alone on the island when they arrived; a new influx of Arctic people from the west, the Late Dorset culture, may predate them.

However, this culture was limited to the extreme northwest of Greenland, far from the Norse who lived around the southern coasts. Some archaeological evidence may point to this culture slightly predating the Norse settlement. It disappeared around 1300, around the same time as the westernmost of the Norse settlements disappeared. In the region of this culture, there is archaeological evidence of gathering sites for around four to thirty families, living together for a short time during their movement cycle.

Around 1200, another Arctic culture, the Thule, arrived from the west, having emerged 200 years earlier in Alaska. They settled south of the Late Dorset culture and ranged over vast areas of Greenland's west and east coasts. These people, the ancestors of the modern Inuit, were flexible and engaged in the hunting of almost all animals on land and in the ocean, including big whales.

They had dogs, which the Dorset did not, and used them to pull the dog sledges; they also used bows and arrows, contrary to the Dorset. Increasingly settled, they had large food storages to avoid winter famine. The early Thule avoided the highest latitudes, which only became populated again after renewed immigration from Canada in the 19th century.

The nature of the contacts between the Thule, Dorset and Norse cultures are not clear, but may have included trade elements. The level of contact is currently the subject of widespread debate, possibly including Norse trade with Thule or Dorsets in Canada or possible scavenging of abandoned Norse sites (see also Maine penny). No Norse trade goods are known in Dorset archaeological sites in Greenland; the only Norse items found have been characterized as "exotic items". Carved screw threads on tools and carvings with beards found in settlements on the Canadian Arctic islands show contact with the Norse. Some stories tell of armed conflicts between, and kidnappings by, both Inuit and Norse groups.

The Inuit may have reduced Norse food sources by displacing them on hunting grounds along the central west coast. These conflicts can be one contributing factor to the disappearance of the Norse culture as well as for the Late Dorset, but few see it as the main reason. Whatever the cause of that mysterious event, the Thule culture handled it better, avoiding extinction.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:22:03 pm








In 1536, Denmark and Norway were officially merged by personal union into Denmark–Norway, and the old Norwegian land claims were taken up by the new kingdom. In the 1660s, this was marked by the inclusion of a polar bear in the Danish coat of arms. In the second half of the 17th century Dutch, German, French, Basque, and Dano-Norwegian ships hunted bowhead whales in the pack ice off the east coast of Greenland, regularly coming to shore to trade and replenish drinking water. Foreign trade was later forbidden by Danish monopoly merchants.

In 1721 a joint merchant-clerical expedition led by Norwegian missionary Hans Egede was sent to Greenland, not knowing whether the civilization remained there, and worried that if it did, they might still be Catholics 200 years after the Reformation, or, worse yet, have abandoned Christianity altogether. The expedition can be seen as part of the Danish colonization of the Americas. Gradually, Greenland became opened for Danish merchants, and closed to those from other countries. This new colony was centered at Godthåb ("Good Hope") on the southwest coast. Some of the Inuit that lived close to the trade stations were converted to Christianity. In 1733 German followers of Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf from Herrnhut founded a mission post in South Greenland; this attracted southeast Greenlanders, who subsequently abandoned that part of the coast.

When Norway was separated from Denmark in 1814, after the Napoleonic Wars, the colonies, including Greenland, remained Danish. The 19th century saw increased interest in the region on the part of polar explorers and scientists like William Scoresby and Greenland-born Knud Rasmussen. At the same time, the colonial elements of the earlier trade-oriented Danish presence in Greenland expanded. In 1861, the first Greenlandic language journal was founded. Danish law still applied only to the Danish settlers, though. At the turn of the 19th century, the northern part of Greenland was still sparsely populated; only scattered hunting inhabitants were found there.   During that century, however, Inuit families immigrated from British North America to settle in these areas. The last group from what later became Canada arrived in 1864. During the same time, the Northeastern part of the coast became depopulated following the violent 1783 Lakagígar eruption in Iceland.

Democratic elections for the district assemblies of Greenland were held for the first time in 1862–1863, although no assembly for the land as a whole was allowed. In 1888, a party of six led by Fridtjof Nansen accomplished the first land crossing of Greenland. The men took 41 days to make the crossing on skis, at approximately 64°N latitude.   In 1911, two Landstings were introduced, one for northern Greenland and one for southern Greenland, not to be finally merged until 1951. All this time, most decisions were made in Copenhagen, where the Greenlanders had no representation. Towards the end of the 19th century, traders criticized the Danish trade monopoly. It was argued that it kept the natives in non-profitable ways of life, holding back the potentially large fishing industry. Many Greenlanders however were satisfied with the status quo, as they felt the monopoly would secure the future of commercial whaling. It probably did not help that the only contact the local population had with the outside world was with Danish settlers. Nonetheless, the Danes gradually moved over their investments to the fishing industry.

At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, American explorers, including Robert Peary, explored the northern sections of Greenland. Peary discovered that Greenland was an island and mapped the northern coasts. These discoveries were considered to be the basis of an American territorial claim in the area. All claims in Greenland itself were ceded to Denmark by a declaration connected with the U.S. Virgin Islands purchase treaty.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:23:22 pm


              (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/ThuleAirBase.jpg)

              THULE AIRBASE
              Established after World War II,
              is the northernmost base of the
              US Air Force








After Norway regained full independence in 1905, it refused to accept Denmark's sovereignty over Greenland, which was a former Norwegian possession severed from Norway proper in 1814. In 1931, Norwegian whaler Hallvard Devold occupied uninhabited eastern Greenland, on his own initiative. After the fact, the occupation was supported by the Norwegian government, who claimed the area as Erik the Red's Land. Two years later, the Permanent Court of International Justice ruled in favour of the Danish view.

 
The Thule Air Base, established after World War II, is the northernmost base of the US Air ForceDuring World War II, when Germany extended its war operations to Greenland, Henrik Kauffmann, the Danish Minister to the United States — who had already refused to recognize the German occupation of Denmark — signed a treaty with the United States on April 9, 1941, granting the US Armed Forces permission to establish stations in Greenland. Because of the difficulties for the Danish government to govern the island during the war, and because of successful export, especially of cryolite, Greenland came to enjoy a rather independent status. Its supplies were guaranteed by the United States and Canada.

During the Cold War, Greenland had a strategic importance, controlling parts of the passage between the Soviet Arctic harbours and the Atlantic, as well as being a good base for observing any use of intercontinental ballistic missiles, typically planned to pass over the Arctic. The United States therefore had a geopolitical interest in Greenland, and in 1946, the United States offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100,000,000, but Denmark did not agree to sell.

In 1951, the Kauffman treaty was replaced by another one. The Thule Air Base at Thule (now Qaanaaq) in the northwest was made a permanent air force base. In 1953, some Inuit families were forced by Denmark to move from their homes to provide space for extension of the base. For this reason, the base has been a source of friction between the Danish government and the Greenlandic people. Tensions mounted when, on January 21, 1968, there was a nuclear accident — a B-52 Stratofortress carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed near the base, leaking large amounts of plutonium over the ice.

Although most of the plutonium was retrieved, natives still make claims about resulting deformations in animals.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:30:41 pm








The colonial status of Greenland was lifted in 1953, when it became an integral part of the Danish kingdom, with representation in the Folketing. Denmark also began a program of providing medical service and education to the Greenlanders. As a result, the population became more and more concentrated in the towns. Since most of the inhabitants were fishermen and had a hard time finding work in the towns, these population movements may have contributed to unemployment and other social problems that have troubled Greenland lately.

As Denmark engaged in the European cooperation later to become the European Union, friction with the former colony grew. Greenlanders felt the European customs union would be harmful to their trade, which was largely carried out with non-European countries such as the United States and Canada. After Denmark, including Greenland, joined the union in 1973 (despite 70.3% of Greenlanders having voted against entry in the referendum), many residents thought that representation in Copenhagen was not sufficient, and local parties began pleading for self-government. The Folketing granted this in 1978, the home rule law coming into effect the following year. On February 23, 1982, a majority (53%) of Greenland's population voted to leave the European Community, which it did in 1985, the only governmental entity to have done so.

Self-governing Greenland has portrayed itself as an Inuit nation. Danish placenames have been replaced. The center of the Danish civilization on the island, Godthåb, has become Nuuk, the capital of a close-to-sovereign country. In 1985, a Greenlandic flag was established, using the colors of the Danish Dannebrog. However, the movement for complete sovereignty is still weak.

International relations, a field earlier handled by Denmark, are now left largely, but not entirely, to the discretion of the home rule government. After leaving the EU, Greenland has signed a special treaty with the Union, as well as entering several smaller organizations, not least with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and with the Inuit populations of Canada and Russia. It was also one of the founders of the environmental Arctic Council cooperation in 1996. Renegotiation of the 1951 treaty between Denmark and the United States, with a direct participation of self-governing Greenland, is an issue, and the 1999–2003 Commission on Self-Governance suggested that Greenland should then aim at the Thule Air Base eventually becoming an international surveillance and satellite tracking station, subject to the United Nations.

Modern technology has made Greenland more accessible, not least due to the breakthrough of aviation. However, the capital Nuuk still lacks an international airport (see transportation in Greenland). Television broadcasts began in 1982.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:34:45 pm




              (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Inuit_man_1906.jpg)

              INUIT MAN
              circa 1906


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:38:24 pm










                                                           A L A S K A






The Inupiat (plural) or Iñupiaq (singular) (from Inupiaq- people - and piaq/t real, i.e. 'real people') are the Inuit people of Alaska's Northwest Arctic and North Slope boroughs and the Bering Straits region.

Barrow, the northernmost city in the United States, is in the Inupiat region.

Their language is known as Inupiat.

There is one Inupiat culture-oriented institute of higher education, Ilisagvik College.

Inupiat people continue to rely heavily on subsistence hunting and fishing, including whaling. The capture of a whale benefits each member of a community, as the animal is butchered and its meat
and blubber allocated according to a traditional formula. Even city-dwelling relatives thousands of miles away are entitled to a share of each whale killed by the hunters of their ancestral village. Maktak, which is the skin and blubber of Bowhead and other whales, is rich in vitamins A and C and contributes to good health in a population with limited access to fruits and vegetables.

In recent years oil and other resources have been an important revenue source for the Inupiat. The Alaska Pipeline connects the Prudhoe Bay wells with the port of Valdez in south central Alaska.

Inupiat people have grown more concerned in recent years that climate change is threatening their traditional lifestyle. The warming trend in the Arctic affects the Inupiaq lifestyle in numerous ways, for example: thinning sea ice makes it more difficult to harvest Bowhead Whales, seals, walrus, and other traditional foods; warmer winters make travel more dangerous and less predictable; later-forming sea ice contributes to increased flooding and erosion along the coast, directly imperiling many coastal villages.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council, a group representing indigenous peoples of the Arctic, has made the case that climate change represents a threat to their human rights.

Inupiaq groups in common with other Eskimo/Inuit groups, often have a name ending in "miut." One example is the Nunamiut, a generic term for inland Inupiaq caribou hunters. During a period of starvation and influenza (brought by American and European whaling crews, see John Bockstoce's 1995 Whales, Ice, & Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic) most of these moved to the coast or other parts of Alaska between 1890 and 1910. A number of Nunamiut returned to the mountains in the 1930s. By 1950, most Nunamiut groups, like the Killikmiut, had coalesced in Anaktuvuk Pass, a village in north-central Alaska. Some of the Nunamiut remained nomadic until the 1950s. More Nunamiut information can be found in Nicholas Gubser's 1965 The Nunamiut Eskimos, Hunters of Caribou and Nunamiut; among Alaska's inland Eskimos by Helge Ingstad, published in 1954.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:46:23 pm









                                                       E S K I M O S





There are two main groups referred to as Eskimo: Yupik and Inuit. A third group, the Aleut, is related.

The Yupik language dialects and cultures in Alaska and eastern Siberia have evolved in place beginning with the original (pre-Dorset) Eskimo culture that developed in Alaska.

Approximately 4,000 years ago the Unangam (also known as Aleut) culture became distinctly separate, and evolved into a non-Eskimo culture.

Approximately 1,500-2,000 years ago, apparently in Northwestern Alaska, two other distinct variations appeared.

The Inuit language branch became distinct and in only several hundred years spread across northern Alaska, Canada and into Greenland. At about the same time, the Thule Technology also developed in northwestern Alaska and very quickly spread over the entire area occupied by Eskimo people, though it was not necessarily adopted by all of them.

The earliest known Eskimo cultures were Pre-Dorset Technology, which appear to have been a fully developed Eskimo culture that dates to 5,000 years ago. They appear to have evolved in Alaska from people using the Archaic Small Tools Technology, who probably had migrated to Alaska from Siberia at least 2 to 3 thousand years earlier; though they might have been in Alaska as far back as 10 to 12 thousand years or more. There are similar artifacts found in Siberia going back to perhaps 18,000 years ago. It is believed that the Mongols, Eskimos, and probably the Korean people too all share a common ancestor in northern Asia.

Today the two main groups of Eskimos are the Inuit of northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland, and the Yupik, comprising speakers of four distinct Yupik languages and originating in western Alaska, in South Central Alaska along the Gulf of Alaska coast, and in the Russian Far East.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:49:39 pm









The Eskimo-Aleut family of languages includes two cognate branches: the Aleut (Unangam) branch
and the Eskimo branch.

The Eskimo sub-family consists of the Inuit language and Yupik language sub-groups.

The Sirenikski language, which is virtually extinct, is sometimes regarded as a third branch of the
Eskimo language family, but other sources regard it as a group belonging to the Yupik branch.

Inuit languages comprise a dialect continuum, or dialect chain, that stretches from Unalakleet and Norton Sound in Alaska, across northern Alaska and Canada, and east all the way to Greenland.

Speakers of two adjacent Inuit dialects can easily understand one another, but speakers of dialects
at the extreme distant ends of the range have significant difficulty.

Seward Peninsula dialects in Western Alaska, where much of the Inupiat culture has only been in
place for perhaps less than 500 years, are greatly affected by phonological influence from the Yupik languages.

Eastern Greenlandic, at the opposite end of the Inuit range has had significant word replacement due
to a unique form of ritual name avoidance.

The four Yupik languages have existed in place, which probably includes the locations where Eskimo culture and language began, for much longer than the Inuit language. Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Naukan (Naukanski), and Siberian Yupik, are distinct languages with limited mutualintelligibility.Even the dialectic differences within Alutiiq and Central Alaskan Yup'ik sometimes are relatively great for locations that are relatively close geographically.

While grammatical structures of Yupik and Inuit languages are similar, they have pronounced differences phonologically and differences of vocabulary between Inuit and any of one of the Yupik languages is greater than between any two Yupik languages.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 05, 2009, 07:53:15 pm









In Canada and Greenland the term Eskimo is widely held to be pejorative and has fallen out of favor, largely supplanted by the term Inuit.

However, while Inuit describes all of the Eskimo peoples in Canada and Greenland, that is not true in Alaska and Siberia.

In Alaska the term Eskimo is commonly used, because it includes both Yupik and Inupiat, while Inuit is not accepted as a collective term or even specifically used for Inupiat (which technically is Inuit). No universal replacement term for Eskimo, inclusive of all Inuit and Yupik people, is accepted across the geographical area inhabited by the Inuit and Yupik peoples.

The primary reason that Eskimo is considered derogatory is the false perception that it means "eaters
of raw meat". There are two different etymologies in scientific literature for the term Eskimo. The most well-known comes from Ives Goddard at the Smithsonian Institution , who says it means "Snowshoe netters". Quebec linguist Jose Mailhot, who speaks Innu-aimun (Montagnais) (which Mailhot and Goddard agree is the language from which the word originated), published a definitive study in 1978 stating that it means "people who speak a different language".

Nevertheless, while the word is not inherently pejorative, since the 1970s in Canada and Greenland Eskimo has widely been considered offensive, owing to folklore and derogatory usage. In government usage the term has been replaced with Inuit. The preferred term in Canada's Central Arctic is Inuinnaq, and in the eastern Canadian Arctic Inuit. The language is often called Inuktitut, though other local designations are also used.

The Inuit of Greenland refer to themselves as Greenlanders or, in their own language, Kalaallit, and to their language as Greenlandic or Kalaallisut.

Because of the linguistic, ethnic, and cultural differences between Yupik and Inuit peoples there is uncertainty as to the acceptance of any term encompassing all Yupik and Inuit people. There has been some movement to use Inuit, and the Inuit Circumpolar Council, representing a circumpolar population of 150,000 Inuit and Yupik people of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Siberia, in its charter defines Inuit for use within the ICC as including "the Inupiat, Yupik (Alaska), Inuit, Inuvialuit (Canada), Kalaallit (Greenland) and Yupik (Russia)."

However, even the Inuit people in Alaska refer themselves as Inupiat (the language is Inupiaq) and do not typically use the term Inuit. Thus, in Alaska, Eskimo is in common usage, and is the preferred term when speaking collectively of all Inupiat and Yupik people, or of all Inuit and Yupik people of the world.

Alaskans also use the term Alaska Native, which is inclusive of all Eskimo, Aleut and Indian people of Alaska, and is of course exclusive of Inuit or Yupik people originating outside the state. The term Alaska Native has important legal usage in Alaska and the rest of the United States as a result of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

The term "Eskimo" is also used world wide in linguistic or ethnographic works to denote the larger branch of Eskimo-Aleut languages, the smaller branch being Aleut.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Wind on February 06, 2009, 12:33:30 am
Wow  :o Bianca you've sure been busy.  I haven't had a chance to read all of this, but what I have read is interesting.   As I was reading though I couldn't help but recall this story.

Once upon a time there lived an Eskimo - girl named Chanyee. She lived with her family in the northeastern shore of Greenland, where their Inuit small community was isolated from everyone, and believed themselves the only people in the world until the beginning of the 19th century. They built large snow domes to be used as singing, dancing, and wrestling competition halls for the community during the long night of winter.

During the long winter months she created many images of her people. In all of her images - life always came 'full circle'.
One night a white light appeared in Chanyee's igloo. The Ancient One manifested before her. The Ancient One showed her igloos forming a stargate . . .and told her that she was from the stars .The Ancient One told her that now is the time of the Merging
when all things would appear as double becoming One
The Black and the White Opposites that now attract.

The Ancient One told her the Inuit legend of The Origin of Light
In the early times, there was only darkness; there was no light at all. At the edge of the sea a woman lived with her father. One time she went out to get some water. As she was scraping the snow, she saw a feather floating toward her. She opened her mouth and the feather floated in and she swallowed it. From that time she was pregnant.
Then she had a baby. It's mouth was a raven's bill. The woman tried hard to find toys for her child. In her father's house was hanging a bladder that was blown up. This belonged to the woman's father. Now the baby, whose name was Tulugaak (Raven), pointed at it and cried for it. The woman did not wish to give it to him but he cried and cried. At last she gave in and took the bladder down from the wall and let the baby play with it.
But in playing with it, he broke it. Immediately, it began to get light. Now there was light in the world, and darkness, too.
When the woman's father came home, he scolded his daughter for taking the bladder down from the wall and giving it to the child. And when it was light, Tulugaak had disappeared.

The Ancient One showed her the ancient city of Thule as it once existed in another time and place.
He told her this was the time of Atlan -AtlantisChanyee saw herself living in Atlantis, when Thule was not covered in snow.
The land was fertile and there existed a highly evolved societyThe heavens were different - as were the seas. The cities were built in the shape of the spiral of creation, fibonacci.
It was there that she worked as a healer using crystal harmonics to balance the energies of all sentient life forms.
When destruction fell upon Atlantis and the Earth cried out in a mighty roar - she could no longer heal those who came to her. She knew it was a time to move on to another soul experience.
She placed the ancient wisdom into crystals which the Ancient One turned into ice.
The land quickly froze preserving the knowledge until it was time for her to release it once again as the world was ready to move forward to another soul experience.
The Ancient One showed her that one day the Earth would thaw and the knowledge buried for all time would turn to water which would flow into the oceans and into the collective consciousness of humanity. Humanity would remember what happened in Atlantis and what will occur in their time line.

I just found this interesting :)   I'm sure it's probably already been posted somewhere on the forum, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.   I am sure though that this will add fuel to Marios fire ;D LOL

Wind



Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:05:18 am









Such a lovely tale, Wind!!!


Thank you.



No, I had not heard it before, so I am pretty sure it was not here.....


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:08:12 am


Kara Sundstrom
Hero Member

Posts: 376

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------









                                Inukpasuit, Inuit and Viking contact in ancient times






RONALD BROWER
February 12, 2009

There are many stories of ‘Qavlunaat,’ white-skinned strangers who were encountered in Inuit-occupied lands in times of old. Stories of contact between these foreign people and Inuit were passed down the generations and used mostly to scare children to behave “or the Qavlunaat will get them.” 

This sparked my curiosity to explore both sides of the encounters from written records and Inuit oral legends to see if some of these events can be correlated. One must recall that these legends were passed down orally in the Inupiaq language.

Inuit myths and legends of contact with other people were passed from one generation to the next through story telling traditions. Many people have heard Pete Sovalik, a well-known Inupiaq story-teller tell this shortened version of a story relating to Qavlunaat and other races.

Taimaniqpaa_ruk - In Times of Old – Qavlunaat were one of the children of an Inuk woman who refused to marry; a Ui_uaqtaq. Her name was Sedragina, also known as Sedna in other Inuit regions. In her youth she was just an ordinary person – A young Inuk girl (agnaiyaaq) who grew up disliking men because of abuse committed to her as a child.

Having grown into a beautiful marriageable maiden, niviaq_siaq, men from many lands sought to marry her but she rebuked all men.

One time she was courted by a rich shaman’s son to no avail. Angered by her reluctance, the rich shaman called upon other equally strong shamuses to punish her. Together they cast a great spell upon her father’s lead dog that was transformed into a handsome young man by night but by day, he was just an ordinary lead dog.

Every evening he relentlessly pursued her for sexual favors until she was worn and tired for lack of sleep wherein she, in a weakened state, gave way to his wishes. In due time, she bore a litter of human and dog-like children having a variety of skin colors as many litters often do. These became the other races of man.

As they grew, she decided to send her children away toward the East, for they became a menace to the surrounding communities because of their wild behavior. Her father had also decided to end her miserable existence - to be rid of her and the shame she brought to his house.

In Inupiat legends her story is seen as the beginning of all other human races and of the sea animals. Hence modern Qavlunaat now know her as the Mother of the Sea, a Goddess deity, but in reality Inuit do not have gods. They believe that the visible world is pervaded by Anirniit, the powers, invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living.

The story teller weaves in a passage of time when the children of Sedragina would return to their kin the Inuit. Their return would mark a time of change for the Inuit but the story tellers would not say what kind of change was to follow.

As hundreds of centuries passed, vague stories were heard of the return of these people now known as Qavlunaat but they slowly faded from legends passed down over the generations.

During the time when we lived in our little village of Iviksuk, our great uncle Owen Kiiriq would also tell tales during the dark months of winter in our little dwelling. Recalling a time that Inuit encountered another kind of race who already lived in our lands.

Kiiriq recalled that elders would call them Tunnit or Inukpasuit, the giants. They were treated as fearsome coastal dwellers and were considered enemies of Inuit. They spoke an Inuit language of an archaic type understandable to our ancestors.

Kiiriq would continue his tale and describe how Inupasuit were viewed as unkempt and unclean by Inuit standards. They were considered a danger to Inuit because they at times waylaid and captured unwary hunters.

Being smaller then them, our ancestors were considered a delectable prey. Once captured, they would be cooked and eaten with relish. Thus Inuit feared these giant beings and would attempt to wipe them out if they could. They were considered slow of thought but clever in their means of pursuit of game.  Inuit were ever moving eastward and the Inupasuit soon fell into the lot of myths and legends in our great grandparents’ time.

My research led me to Farley Mowat, author of Westviking, who includes descriptive appendices called “The Vanished Dorset”.

Mowat provides a description by the Norse who encountered the Dorset (Tunnit) around A.D.1000 as being swarthy and ill looking with remarkable eyes.

Mowat refers to another encounter of the Tuniit in the Floamanna Saga where the Viking Thorgisl Orrabeinsfostri shipwrecked in Baffin Island around 997. There, he and his men encountered a giant people, describing the Tunnit.

The Tunnit had lived in the Arctic for a long period of time before contact with either Inuit or Vikings. They developed a culture based on seal hunting and wherever their sod houses are found they show a long period of occupancy as noted by their middens of mostly seal remains.

As climate changed, seals moved further north following the sea ice. Mowat suggest that as seals shifted their range, so did the Tunnit following their primary food source. This may be why Erik the Red did not encounter Inuit or Tunnit when he explored the Greenland coast around 981.

Inuit myths and legends have passed through generations of story tellers. Many have changed but a little over time. A number of Inuit legends are being studied by scholars to see if they can be historically correlated to evidence found in archeological sites in several locations.

Look for an interesting conclusion of this exposition in part two.

Ronald Brower is an Inupiaq language professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.



http://www.thearcticsounder.com/news/show/4882


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:11:23 am
Kara Sundstrom
Hero Member

Posts: 376



    Rewriting Greenland's immigration history
« on: May 31, 2008, 01:03:18 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Public release date: 29-May-2008

Contact: Eske Willerslev
ewillerslev@bio.ku.dk
452-875-1309
University of Copenhagen







                                      Rewriting Greenland's immigration history






Thirty-six-year-old Professor Eske Willerslev, University of Copenhagen, and his team of fossil DNA researchers have done it a couple of times before: rewritten world history. Most recently two months ago when he and his team discovered that the ancestors of the North American Indians were the first people to populate America, and that they came to the country more than 1,000 years earlier than originally assumed. And the evidence is, so to speak, quite tangible: DNA samples of fossilised human faeces found in deep caves in southern Oregon.

This time, focus is on Greenland, and the scientific evidence is DNA analyses of hair from the Disco Bay ice fjord area in north-west Greenland, which are well-preserved after 4,000 years in permafrost soil. The team’s discovery makes it necessary to review Greenland’s immigration history. Until now, science regarded it as a possibility that the earliest people in Greenland were direct ancestors of the present-day Greenlandic population.

It now turns out that the original immigrants on the maternal side, which is reflected in the mitochondrial DNA, instead came from a Siberian population whose closest present-day descendants come from the Aleutian Islands on the boundary between the Northern Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea and the Seriniki Yuit in north-east Siberia. Discovered in more recent times by the Dane Vitus Bering in 1741, the Aleutian Islands today include some 300 islands spanning 1,900 km from Alaska in the USA to the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia.

“They must have crossed the ice from the Aleutian Islands via Alaska and Canada and then on to Greenland. We have always known that the first immigrants came to Greenland approx. 4,500 years ago, because tools from that time have been found. But what we did not know was that they probably came via the Aleutian Islands, which our DNA research now shows. The project was actually close to being shelved. Originally, I was in the most northern part of Greenland with Claus Andreasen from the National Museum of Greenland, Nuuk, looking for DNA traces. It was a total failure. But in another context, I found out that archaeologist Bjarne Grønnow from the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, had made some excavations at the Qeqertasussuk settlement in the northern part of West Greenland in the 1980s. And then, among all the samples taken from the frozen culture layers on the site, I suddenly found a tuft of hair which I analysed together with my colleague Tom Gilbert,” says Eske Willerslev.

‘The forgotten Greenlandic hair’ from the samples was subsequently analysed for so-called mitochondria. They are the genes on the maternal side, a kind of cellular power plant, and they are well-suited for comparative DNA studies of mammals, including humans. The Willerslev team then checked the results of the analysis of the Greenlandic hair against an international DNA database and the database came up with the eastern part of Siberia and the Aleutian Islands, which is populated by a group that has peopled other places in the Arctic area.

Another interesting finding is that there is no connection between this DNA mass and the most recent immigration to Greenland, the Thule culture, the ancestors of modern Greenlandic Inuit.

“Our findings prove that humans moved to other places far earlier than what is normally assumed today. We may only have studied the mitochondria – the female part, but it is the first time ever that someone has succeeded in sequencing the entire mitochondrial genome from an extinct human. Our next project will be to raise funds for recreating what is technically known as the core genome from the tuft of hair, in other words the first full picture of the genetic material of an extinct human. Today, this is technically possible, and it may tell us where the paternal line came from in the earliest immigration to Greenland, and, for example, the eye colour of these early people. The paternal line may very well come from a totally different place,” says Eske Willerslev, who will shortly publish his autobiographical book ‘Fra pelsjæger til professor – en personlig rejse gennem fortidens dna-mysterier’ (From fur hunter to professor – a personal journey through the DNA mysteries of the past).


###


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/uoc-rgi052708.php


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:15:15 am
Trinity
Hero Member

Posts: 108



     Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site
« on: July 05, 2007, 12:46:00 am » Quote 

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                               Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site



                           Artifacts of Unangam Aleuts may span 1,000 years, expert says






MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
UNALASKA

- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.

The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said Mike Yarborough, head archaeologist at the site.

"What's left was dug into the slope, everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for younger dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information pertinent to the research of prehistoric Eastern Aleutian cultural history, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht.

Last fall, the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was when beginning the dig, the crew discovered that the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September, it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after beginning, it rained for about the first two weeks.

Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same startup lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

Last week, the crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the site.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff pirate treasure," Rogers joked at the end of a long day.



http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/070207/sta_crews001.shtml


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:21:07 am
Rorie LaFay
Full Member

Posts: 46



    Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years
« on: July 10, 2007, 02:48:49 am » Quote 

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                                 Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years



                  HOUSES: Archaeologists have located three homes in 2nd year of excavations.






By MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
Published: July 7, 2007
Last Modified: July 7, 2007 at 01:38 AM
UNALASKA

-- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.

The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said head archaeologist Mike Yarborough.

"What's left was dug into the slope; everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for more recent dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information helpful to research on prehistoric Eastern Aleutian culture, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht.





SURPRISE IN SIZE



Last fall the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was that when they began the dig, the crew discovered the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to hope to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after the crew started, it rained for about the first two weeks.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on February 26, 2009, 10:23:35 am








MAKING PROGRESS



Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

The crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the area.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

The same crew that worked last summer resumed on May 19. The backhoe operator, Joe Henning, was with the crew last summer.

"He's gotten used to us, so we're making good progress," said Yarborough.

Joan Dale, a representative from the state office of archaeology, was there, available in case human remains are found.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff, pirate treasure," joked Rogers at the end of a long day.

At a City Council meeting last month, Yarborough gave an update to the community on the progress of the crew and artifacts recovered.

Every month, Yarborough has a teleconference with the Ounalashka Corp., the Qawalangin tribe, the city, the state historical society and the other state organizations.



http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/rural/story/9112357p-9028572c.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:12:58 am
(http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/02/090204112237-large.jpg)

Dog sled trail in Canada's Arctic.

Inuit trails are more than merely means to get from A to B. In reality, they represent a complex social network spanning the Canadian Arctic and are a distinctive aspect of the Inuit cultural identity.

(Credit:
iStockphoto
/Ryerson Clark)






                            Inuit Trails Represent Complex Social Network Spanning Canadian Arctic






ScienceDaily
(Feb. 4, 2009)

— Inuit trails are more than merely means to get from A to B. In reality, they represent a complex social network spanning the Canadian Arctic and are a distinctive aspect of the Inuit cultural identity.

And what is remarkable is that the Inuit’s vast geographic knowledge has been passed through many generations by oral means, without the use of maps or any other written documentation. These findings are by Dr. Claudio Aporta from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Using a combination of historical documents, ethnographic research, geographic tools including GPS, GIS and Google Earth, as well as a recent journey following Inuit along a traditional trail, Dr. Aporta shows the geographic extent of the Inuit’s sophisticated network of routes.  He describes how the Inuit have made use of the Arctic environment and how their trails represent significant channels of communication and exchange across the territory.  To the Inuit, the Arctic is a network of trails, connecting communities to their distant neighbors, and to fishing lakes and hunting grounds in between.

What is remarkable is that although the trails are not permanent features of the landscape, their locations are remembered and transmitted orally and through the experience of travel.  They do not use maps to travel or to represent geographic information.  Rather the journey along the trail, or the story of the journey, becomes one of the main instruments for transmitting the information.

The memory of the trail is intertwined with individual and collective memories of previous trips, as well as with relevant environmental information - the conditions of the snow and ice, the shape of snowdrifts, the direction of winds - and place names in the Inuktitut language.  The trails are not permanent, but disappear when the sled tracks get covered after a blizzard and as the snow and ice melt at the end of each spring.  Nevertheless, the spatial itinerary remains in people’s memory and comes to life again when individuals make the next trip.  The trails are ‘lived’ rather than simply travelled.

By mapping the trails with modern geographic tools, Dr. Aporta is able to show that complex and intricate knowledge can be precisely and accurately transmitted from generation to generation orally for centuries.  He comments that “oral history should not be a priori dismissed as unreliable and inaccurate.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Journal reference:

Aporta et al. The Trail as Home: Inuit and Their Pan-Arctic Network of Routes. Human Ecology, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s10745-009-9213-x
Adapted from materials provided by Springer.
Email or share this story:   
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Springer (2009, February 4). Inuit Trails Represent Complex Social Network Spanning Canadian Arctic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204112237.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090204112237.htm


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:17:01 am
Kara Sundstrom
Hero Member

Posts: 380



    Inukpasuit, Inuit and Viking contact in ancient times
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:01:40 am » Quote 

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                                  Inukpasuit, Inuit and Viking contact in ancient times






RONALD BROWER
February 12, 2009

There are many stories of ‘Qavlunaat,’ white-skinned strangers who were encountered in Inuit-occupied lands in times of old. Stories of contact between these foreign people and Inuit were passed down the generations and used mostly to scare children to behave “or the Qavlunaat will get them.” 

This sparked my curiosity to explore both sides of the encounters from written records and Inuit oral legends to see if some of these events can be correlated. One must recall that these legends were passed down orally in the Inupiaq language.

Inuit myths and legends of contact with other people were passed from one generation to the next through story telling traditions. Many people have heard Pete Sovalik, a well-known Inupiaq story-teller tell this shortened version of a story relating to Qavlunaat and other races.

Taimaniqpaa_ruk - In Times of Old – Qavlunaat were one of the children of an Inuk woman who refused to marry; a Ui_uaqtaq. Her name was Sedragina, also known as Sedna in other Inuit regions. In her youth she was just an ordinary person – A young Inuk girl (agnaiyaaq) who grew up disliking men because of abuse committed to her as a child.

Having grown into a beautiful marriageable maiden, niviaq_siaq, men from many lands sought to marry her but she rebuked all men.

One time she was courted by a rich shaman’s son to no avail. Angered by her reluctance, the rich shaman called upon other equally strong shamuses to punish her. Together they cast a great spell upon her father’s lead dog that was transformed into a handsome young man by night but by day, he was just an ordinary lead dog.

Every evening he relentlessly pursued her for sexual favors until she was worn and tired for lack of sleep wherein she, in a weakened state, gave way to his wishes. In due time, she bore a litter of human and dog-like children having a variety of skin colors as many litters often do. These became the other races of man.

As they grew, she decided to send her children away toward the East, for they became a menace to the surrounding communities because of their wild behavior. Her father had also decided to end her miserable existence - to be rid of her and the shame she brought to his house.

In Inupiat legends her story is seen as the beginning of all other human races and of the sea animals. Hence modern Qavlunaat now know her as the Mother of the Sea, a Goddess deity, but in reality Inuit do not have gods. They believe that the visible world is pervaded by Anirniit, the powers, invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living.

The story teller weaves in a passage of time when the children of Sedragina would return to their kin the Inuit. Their return would mark a time of change for the Inuit but the story tellers would not say what kind of change was to follow.

As hundreds of centuries passed, vague stories were heard of the return of these people now known as Qavlunaat but they slowly faded from legends passed down over the generations.

During the time when we lived in our little village of Iviksuk, our great uncle Owen Kiiriq would also tell tales during the dark months of winter in our little dwelling. Recalling a time that Inuit encountered another kind of race who already lived in our lands.

Kiiriq recalled that elders would call them Tunnit or Inukpasuit, the giants. They were treated as fearsome coastal dwellers and were considered enemies of Inuit. They spoke an Inuit language of an archaic type understandable to our ancestors.

Kiiriq would continue his tale and describe how Inupasuit were viewed as unkempt and unclean by Inuit standards. They were considered a danger to Inuit because they at times waylaid and captured unwary hunters.

Being smaller then them, our ancestors were considered a delectable prey. Once captured, they would be cooked and eaten with relish. Thus Inuit feared these giant beings and would attempt to wipe them out if they could. They were considered slow of thought but clever in their means of pursuit of game.  Inuit were ever moving eastward and the Inupasuit soon fell into the lot of myths and legends in our great grandparents’ time.

My research led me to Farley Mowat, author of Westviking, who includes descriptive appendices called “The Vanished Dorset”.

Mowat provides a description by the Norse who encountered the Dorset (Tunnit) around A.D.1000 as being swarthy and ill looking with remarkable eyes.

Mowat refers to another encounter of the Tuniit in the Floamanna Saga where the Viking Thorgisl Orrabeinsfostri shipwrecked in Baffin Island around 997. There, he and his men encountered a giant people, describing the Tunnit.

The Tunnit had lived in the Arctic for a long period of time before contact with either Inuit or Vikings. They developed a culture based on seal hunting and wherever their sod houses are found they show a long period of occupancy as noted by their middens of mostly seal remains.

As climate changed, seals moved further north following the sea ice. Mowat suggest that as seals shifted their range, so did the Tunnit following their primary food source. This may be why Erik the Red did not encounter Inuit or Tunnit when he explored the Greenland coast around 981.

Inuit myths and legends have passed through generations of story tellers. Many have changed but a little over time. A number of Inuit legends are being studied by scholars to see if they can be historically correlated to evidence found in archeological sites in several locations.

Look for an interesting conclusion of this exposition in part two.

Ronald Brower is an Inupiaq language professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

http://www.thearcticsounder.com/news/show/4882


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:21:45 am
Kerissa Faad
Full Member

Posts: 58



    Ancient mask from Alaska ghost village returned to descendants 100 years later
« on: January 20, 2008, 01:33:19 am » Quote 

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          Ancient mask from Alaska ghost village returned to descendants more than a century later






The Associated Press
January 18, 2008
ANCHORAGE,
Alaska:

Four decades after it was abandoned, King Island holds an almost mystical pull for former inhabitants and their descendants, its crumbling homes still perched on stilts, clinging to the steep, rocky terrain.

Until recently, little else remained of the island, an Inupiat Eskimo village, except for traditions, memories and artifacts scattered at museums around the nation. Then came word from a stranger nearly 2,000 miles away who said she possessed an ancient mask a relative brought back from Alaska more than a century ago.

On the back of the relic was a faint inscription: "Taken from a medicine man's grave on King Island."

The woman from northwest Washington e-mailed Charlene Saclamana, tribal coordinator with the King Island Native Community based in Nome, a city 80 miles southeast of the tiny Bering Sea island where many of its residents relocated.

Marilyn Lewis said she wanted to return the wooden mask to its rightful owners. Two weeks later, she traveled to Alaska to deliver the artifact, which is now on display at the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum in Nome, named after the museum's late founder, a gold rush pioneer.

"It gives me and my family something tangible from our past. We've lost so much of the culture," said Saclamana, whose parents lived on King Island. "We were eager to have the mask back in our possession. We never had anything that well preserved from the island."

The island, home to about 200 people a century ago, was abandoned for various reasons.

Many of the men were drafted during World War II and didn't return. Tuberculosis killed some people and hospitalized others. Fewer residents returned from traditional summer camping grounds near Nome, where there were jobs and doctors.

Everyone was gone by 1966, several years after the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs closed the village school because of declining numbers and concerns about a potential rockslide.

Lewis, of Port Townsend, Wash., declined to discuss her family's role in the mask's return with The Associated Press, saying "it's not about us." But she told The Nome Nugget that her father's uncle traveled by steamship from Seattle to Alaska in 1898 to try his luck in the gold rush.

The uncle spent three years in Alaska, apparently not searching for gold but instead working as a bartender, probably in Nome or Skagway. He kept notes about his travels but never mentioned King Island, leading his family to theorize that someone sold or gave him the mask.

The uncle gave the mask to Lewis' father in 1927. Her parents kept it until late last year, when they asked her if she would help find its origins.

An Internet search led Lewis to Deanna Kingston, lead researcher in an Oregon State University study of King Island and its former inhabitants.

Kingston put Lewis in touch with Saclamana in early November. Around Thanksgiving, Lewis met a King Island representative at an Anchorage restaurant and turned over the mask.

Saclamana consulted with tribal elders and anthropologist Matt Ganley of the Bering Straits Native Corp. Everyone agreed the mask was the real deal.

Clues include its red-ochre face, beaked nose and black painted hair, which was probably colored with graphite or condensed soot, Ganley said. The mask was likely carved from driftwood.

"It's the style, the whole thing, the types of pigments used, the way the face is presented," Ganley said. "One person told me this looks like a lot of people from King Island."

It's unclear exactly what the mask was used for, despite the inscription pointing to a shaman's grave. Islanders in those days were buried aboveground, surrounded by their worldly possessions. In this case, the artifact might have been used in dances or religious ceremonies, Ganley said.

What's significant, he said, is that it survived and was returned freely instead of being the subject of a legal tug-of-war as other repatriation cases have been. The mask means far more to King Islanders than it would to someone who would hang it on a wall as a souvenir.

"It's a home item," Ganley said. "There's a sense that the island itself is pretty sacred to them, a focal point of their identity. They've maintained a pretty strong identity in Nome, not an easy thing to do."

Saclamana believes the mask belongs on the island, though no decision has been made on its final resting place.

"Some of my relatives found a similar mask at a grave on King Island and left it there," she said. "My personal feeling is this mask should be returned to the island. It's considered sacred."

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/01/18/america/Ghost-Village-Mask.php
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






On the Net:

http://www.kawerak.org/tribalHomePages/kingIsland/index.html

http://www.beringstraits.com
 


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:24:57 am
Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    Cultural claim to whale hunting
« on: December 31, 2007, 09:36:33 pm » Quote 

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                                                Cultural claim to whale hunting   






By Richard Black
Environment correspondent,
BBC News website,
Barrow,
Alaska 

The springtime Inupiat hunt uses the umiaq, a wooden-framed boat covered in sealskin. Boats are towed to the edge of the ice using snowmobiles.

The umiaq is a wooden-framed boat covered in sealskin


From the Barrow shore, the ice appears to stretch forever.

With feet planted in soft, squelching Arctic mud, you strain to make sense of the jumbled ridges and crags of ice which serrate the white terrain.

At some indeterminably distant point, a band of dark cloud hovers, apparently held between twin fingers of ice and sky.

The cloud marks the end of the shorebound ice, the beginnings of water - the lead which bowhead whales are following as they make their annual northwards trek from the cold waters of the Bering Sea between Siberia and Alaska to the even colder Beaufort Sea.

Strung out along the edge of the lead, waiting for the whales as they have done virtually every spring for 1,000 years, are Native Inupiat hunters for whom whales mark the centrepiece of the nutritional and cultural worlds.

When the whaling captain deems the time is right, his crew will slip their sealskin boat into the water and sidle up to the whale, ignored by their prey which perceives the boat as just another wild creature sharing its ocean.

If the crew's skill and fortune hold out, the prize will be killed with an explosive charge, snared with harpoons and wrested back to the ice, to lose its skin, blubber and meat to the appetites of the Barrow Inupiat community.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:26:23 am



                                      (http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/07/sci_nat_enl_1180361616/img/1.jpg)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:30:28 am

Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    Re: Cultural claim to whale hunting
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 09:38:28 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Double standards?



The Alaskan Eskimo hunt is one of five permitted by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which is holding its annual meeting in Anchorage on the other side of Alaska, under rules governing "aboriginal" or "subsistence" hunting.



 
Traditional hunting implements hang on the wall of Brower's Cafe in Barrow. The cafe is named after Charles Brower, a Yankee whaler who settled here in 1882, using the building as a whaling station and trading post.
 
The right is handed out to groups which, in the IWC's view, have a nutritional and cultural need for whalemeat, and where the whale population appears sufficiently robust.

Quotas are awarded for periods of five years, and are being reviewed at this year's IWC meeting.

Maintaining the Alaskan bowhead quota is a political imperative for the US, which is why it volunteered to be this year's host and hold the meeting as close to the Inupiat communities as possible.

"It's the way of life for the Native Eskimos," says US whaling commissioner Bill Hogarth.

"They use [the whales] for everything, for their whole livelihood, and they share the meat between the villages. We feel it's extremely important for them, and so long as it meets its scientific criteria, this quota should be granted."

That is not to say that everyone is happy with the US policy of supporting subsistence hunting as it currently exists, but blocking and condemning all other whaling.

"The US is an anti-whaling whaling nation - it hunts whales and is against whaling elsewhere," fumes Rune Frovik from the High North Alliance, which campaigns for the rights of whalers and sealers in northern latitudes.

"This is at the outset an irreconcilable and contradictive policy, and has made the US worthy of accusations of double standards and hypocrisy."

Similar sentiments exist in the Japanese camp, which has constantly asked that four of its coastal communities, with whaling traditions dating back hundreds if not thousands of years, also be granted quotas.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:31:45 am



               (http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/07/sci_nat_enl_1180362228/img/1.jpg)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:33:29 am
Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    Re: Cultural claim to whale hunting
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 09:40:11 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








Killing me softly



Opponents argue that the Japanese coastal communities are basically modern towns. Some are involved in Japan's current scientific whaling programme, where they hunt using modern boats and modern harpoons.

 


Guide to the Great Whales
But Greenland's indigenous hunters, unlike the Inupiat, also use modern boats and modern harpoons. They also sell some of the meat.

On the economic front, Barrow, for all its traditional lifestyle, has a per-capita income higher than the Alaskan average.

The whalemeat is not sold, but trinkets and artwork made from bone and baleen are. At the shop inside the Anchorage hotel which hosts the IWC meeting, you can pick up a statue carved from Alaskan whalebone costing $12,000 (£6,000).

A big whaling issue in recent years has been killing methods, with animal rights groups pressing for techniques which cause death as quickly as possible.

Killing methods have improved in all types of whaling. But documents submitted to IWC show that fin whales caught by Greenlandic hunters take about 20 minutes to die - 10 times longer than minkes harpooned in Norway's commercial hunting programme.

Yet most animal rights groups protest against Norway's activities, and refrain from tackling the Greenlandic hunt.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:35:51 am
Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    Re: Cultural claim to whale hunting
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 09:40:58 pm » Quote 

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Unquiet waters



Patrick Ramage, head of the whaling campaign at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw), denies any charges of political expediency.





                                            ANNUAL SUBSISTENCE QUOTAS 2002-2007



Alaska/Chukotka: 56 bowheads

Chukotka: 124 grays

Greenland: 187 minkes, 19 fins

Makah (Washington state, US): 5 grays

Bequia (St Vincent and the Grenadines): 4 humpbacks





"Ifaw is able to distinguish between legitimate subsistence whaling for subsistence needs in Native communities, and misleading attempts to resuscitate commercial whaling in the 21st Century," he says.

"We are profoundly concerned with the interests of people as well as the interests of the creatures we campaign on, and we continue to work for practices and policies that advance the interests of both."

But behind the scenes there is considerable disquiet within welfare organisations and traditionally supportive governments, including the US.

It was stimulated here by representatives of the Greenland and Chukotka hunts, who arrived in Anchorage asking for substantially bigger quotas and, in the case of Greenland, to extend their programme to new species, the bowhead and the humpback.

Private disquiet does not often turn into public opposition, except in the case of the other indigenous US hunt, by the Makah tribe based near Seattle, whose whaling has been delayed by a long-running legal case.

But it is there, which perhaps suggests that the acceptance of subsistence whaling is not as widespread nor as guaranteed as some would suggest.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:37:38 am
Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    Re: Cultural claim to whale hunting
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2007, 09:41:38 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







Culture of resilience



In Barrow - Utquiagvik, in the Inupiaq tongue - the reality of subsistence whaling perhaps comes closest to meeting its image; though the Bequians of St Vincent and the Grenadines, whose hunting methods until recently involved jumping on the back of the humpback whale to stab it with a handheld harpoon, might contest the claim.

The VHF wavebands crackle with messages between whaling teams out on the ice and the support system back in town.

A whale has been landed. The crew predicts how long it will take them to finish processing the meat, a group of scientists heads out to take samples, and congratulations are offered.

Perhaps, eventually, things will change here. Perhaps climate warming will redirect the bowhead migration route, or the younger Inupiat will grow tired of the traditional lifestyle and opt for a more mainstream US existence.

But the culture has proved remarkably resilient. And for now, the meat and the muktuk - a blend of skin and blubber, usually eaten raw - will continue to pass around the community, and make a special appearance on festival days here in the majestic white expanse of the Arctic.




Richard.Black-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6698501.stm


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:41:04 am
Abedabun
Full Member

Posts: 65



    Whalebone mask may rewrite Aleut history
« on: July 31, 2007, 04:16:36 am » Quote 

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                                     Whalebone mask may rewrite Aleut history






By ALEX deMARBAN
ademarban@adn.com
July 28, 2007

Archaeologists unearthing an ancient village from an Unalaska hillside believe they've found the remains of the oldest-known Aleut whalebone mask.

Much of the mask is missing -- it's mostly intact above where the cheekbones would sit -- but archaeologists are pretty sure it's about 3,000 years old, said Mike Yarborough, lead archaeologist at the dig.

Stained brown by soil, cracked in two at the left temple, the discovery made early this month by a member of Yarborough's team is about 2,000 years older than any known Aleut mask, he said.

It was created around the time Mayan civilization began, around the time Homer was producing the Iliad and Odyssey.

The Earth had suddenly cooled then, and ice surrounded the Aleutian Islands nearly year-round, said Rick Knecht, an archaeologist and University of Alaska Fairbanks professor.

People at the ancient site -- a sprawling village marked by unprecedented stone houses and delicate ivory carvings -- ate polar bears, ice seals that no longer visit the island, and a whale that's never been documented in North American waters, said Knecht. He led a dig at the village in 2003 but wasn't part of the mask discovery.

Perhaps six inches wide once, the mask could have been worn and broken at a funeral, Yarborough said. Cultural anthropologist Lydia Black, who died earlier this year, wrote that members of ancient Aleut burial parties wore and shattered tiny masks during funerals.

"It's speculation to say what happened 3,000 years ago, but it was broken when we found it," Yarborough said. "It very well could have been (a funeral mask)."

People occupied the village sometime between 2,400 and 3,400 years ago, but materials found near the mask indicate it's 3,000 years old, he said.

It's generally similar in appearance to its next oldest cousin, a 1,000-year-old mask found at Izembek Lagoon on the Alaska Peninsula, he said. That one, also a half mask, is on display at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

Denise Rankin, vice president of the tribal government in Unalaska and an employee with the Native corporation, said features such as the round head, almond-shaped eyes and slender nose remind her of people she sees today.

"They look just like an Aleut face," she said.

Knecht, e-mailed a picture of the mask, said the giant eyebrows evoke ancient images of faces pecked into granite boulders at Cape Alitak on Kodiak Island. The petroglyphs, made with hammer stones more than 500 miles east of Unalaska, were created more than 2,000 years ago, he said. "It's a great find," he said of the mask.

The ancient village where the mask came from has yielded several important discoveries, including the remains of dozens of homes, Knecht said. They had stone walls and sub-floor heating ducts to spread heat through the homes, he said.

Archaeologists have also found well-preserved human remains from ceremonial burials and elaborate jewelry such as an ivory hair pin with decorative faces carved on both sides.

The state has spent about $1.65 million on the excavation so it could replace a wobbly, wood-surfaced bridge built in 1979. A $28 million, 700-foot concrete bridge is scheduled to rise alongside it within two years, said Michael Hall, design project manager.

The state has budgeted $950,000 for the dig Yarborough started last year, Hall said. His effort touched off a controversy because he agreed to excavate with backhoes and truck the dirt to a fenced area, where Hall said it would later be sifted.

The heavy machinery was meant to speed the excavation so the bridge could be built more quickly, Hall said. The dig was originally supposed to take only a month last spring and cost $250,000, but the village has turned out to be much larger than anyone expected. The state extended the deadline to Aug. 15, Hall said.

Opponents, including some Aleut residents, grumbled that the excavator would smash clues to the past and shatter ancestors' bones as it punched through earth.

The tribal government, which called the old bridge unsafe and voted to support the quick excavation along with the local Native corporation, hailed the mask as one sign that archaeologists are working carefully.

They seem to be doing detail work with shovels and hand tools a lot more than they're using heavy equipment, said Rankin, with the tribal government.

"They're doing an excellent job," she said.

Archaeologists have trucked about 2,700 cubic yards of dirt to the fenced area and seeded it so grass will grow, Yarborough said. Some people have talked about letting students sift through the dirt as part of a class, he said. Discovered artifacts have gone to a lab for storage and later will be sent to the local museum. But the mask went directly to the museum to be placed in a climate-controlled area and watched by a curator.

The heavy equipment didn't break the mask -- there are no lighter colors indicating fresh cracks, he said.

"It was broken sometime in antiquity," he said.

Knecht, who opposed the backhoe excavation, said a more traditional dig with archaeologists sifting dirt through screens might have found the rest of the mask. Those pieces are likely buried in the big pile behind the fence, he said.

"I shudder to think what's been damaged or lost," he said. "I know they're being as careful as they can given the limitations of digging with heavy equipment. But inevitably there's a price to be paid in history and culture by taking that shortcut."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Find Alex deMarban online at adn.com/contact/ademarban or call 257-4310.

http://www.adn.com/front/picture_inset/story/9171022p-9086365c.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:45:25 am
Davita
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    Russian-American research team examines origins of whaling culture
« on: April 07, 2008, 12:59:48 am » Quote 

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                         Russian-American research team examines origins of whaling culture






Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: 907-474-6941
04/02/08

Photos by Sarah Meitl
Un'en'en archaeological site on the Chutkotka Peninsula.
Download photo
Detail on the ivory carving excavated during the summer 2007 field season.
Download photo



Recent findings by a Russian-American research team suggest that prehistoric cultures were hunting whales at least 3,000 years ago, 1,000 years earlier than was previously known.

University of Alaska Museum of the North archaeology curator Daniel Odess presented the team's findings at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia last week.

"The importance of whaling in arctic prehistory is clear. Prehistoric settlements were situated and defended so that people could hunt whales," says Odess. "Yet, as important as whaling is, we know very little about how, where and when it began."

The research focuses on the Un'en'en site near the modern whaling village of Nunligran on the Chukotka Peninsula. Researchers believe the site, discovered in 2005, was representative of the Old Whaling culture. The only other previously known Old Whaling culture site is on Cape Krusenstern, north of Kotzebue in northwestern Alaska.

Odess spent three weeks at the site last summer along with colleagues from Richard Stockton College (New Jersey), the University of Alaska Southeast, the Kunstkamera Museum in St. Petersburg and the Institute for Heritage in Moscow. The team also included several Chukotka residents; UAF graduate student Sarah Meitl and Tim Williams, a Fairbanks high school student and volunteer in Odess' research lab.

"Before we arrived in Russia, I asked Tim what we might find that would tell us for certain whether people were whaling," says Odess. "As though it were the most obvious thing in the world, he said we should look for a picture."

They found that picture on one of the last days of the excavation: an ivory carving, approximately 50 cm long, with detailed carvings of animals and humans, including scenes of men in umiaks harpooning whales. The carving was found within or beneath the wooden roof of the structure the team excavated. Radiocarbon dating of wood samples in direct contact with the ivory carving confirm its age as 3,000 years old.

"The images on the carving combined with all the other evidence - a site ideally situated for hunting whales and walruses, the remains of those animals in the site, and the appropriate tools for hunting and butchering - all suggest that 3,000 years ago, people on the southern coast of the Chukotka Peninsula were hunting whales and walruses in much the same way that Eskimos were at the time of contact," says Odess. "It's about as close to a smoking gun as you get in archaeology."

The 2007 field work was the first joint Russian-American archeological project in Chukotka and was supported by funding from the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation. Researchers continue to examine the artifacts, which are housed at the Institute for Heritage in Moscow.







CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.

Note to editors: Daniel Odess is on a leave of absence from the museum and can be reached at 202-354-2128 or via email at daniel.odess@gmail.com.
 
Photo/Video Policy     

Contact newsroom@uaf.edu for more information.

http://www.uaf.edu/news/news/20080402153648.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:48:50 am
Golethia Pennington
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    3,000-year-old ivory carving depicts whaling scene
« on: April 02, 2008, 03:07:24 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                  3,000-year-old ivory carving depicts whaling scene






From ANI
London, April 1:

Archaeologists working in the Russian Arctic have unearthed a remarkably detailed 3,000-year-old
ivory carving that depicts groups of hunters engaged in whaling, which pushes back direct evidence
for whaling by about 1,000 years. 
 
 
According to a report in Nature News, the ancient picture implies that northern hunters may have been killing whales 3,000 years ago and commemorating their bravery with pictures carved in ivory.

Among the picture which depicts hunters sticking harpoons into whales, the site also yielded heavy stone blades that had been broken as if by some mighty impact, and remains from a number of dead whales.

"All of this adds up to the probability that the site, called Un'en'en, holds the earliest straightforward evidence of the practice of whaling," said Daniel Odess, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska's Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"It pushes back direct evidence for whaling by about 1,000 years," he added.

Researchers have long wondered when the practice of whaling got started.

Whaling requires a community to work together to build boats, hunt and then share out the resources from the dead animal. But pinning down the origins of whaling has proven to be remarkably difficult.

There are some dramatic rock carvings in southeastern Korea that show bands of hunters going after whales. But these are nearly impossible to pin down with an exact date, according to Odess.

In contrast, the newfound ivory carving was pegged as being 3,000 years old by nearly a dozen radiocarbon dates on the soil in which it was embedded.

The 50-centimetre-long ivory carving shows hunters in umiaqs, the traditional Eskimo boats, along with whales and harpoons.

"There's no question as to what these guys are up to," said Owen Mason, an Arctic archaeologist at GeoArch Alaska in Anchorage. It's showing the whole system is there. It's showing us social complexity," he added.




Copyright Asian News International

http://www.dailyindia.com/show/229543.php/3000-year-old-ivory-carving-depicts-whaling-scene


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:53:15 am
Luke Hodiak
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     Eskimo village sues over global warming
« on: February 27, 2008, 05:32:14 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






                                          Eskimo village sues over global warming






Story Highlights
A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Arctic Ocean sues two dozen companies

Claims global warming threatens the existence of the Inupiat Eskimo village

They allege melting sea ice is leaving the village exposed

Some of the world's largest oil, coal and power producers named in lawsuit



     
ANCHORAGE,
Alaska
(AP)

-- A tiny Alaska village eroding into the Arctic Ocean sued two dozen oil, power and coal companies Tuesday, claiming that the large amounts of greenhouse gases they emit contribute to global warming that threatens the community's existence.

 The city of Kivalina and a federally recognized tribe, the Alaska Native village of Kivalina, sued Exxon Mobil Corporation, eight other oil companies, 14 power companies and one coal company in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco.

Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village of about 390 people about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. It's built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River.

Sea ice traditionally protected the community, whose economy is based in part on salmon fishing plus subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus, and caribou. But sea ice that forms later and melts sooner because of higher temperatures has left the community unprotected from fall and winter storm waves and surges that lash coastal communities.

"We are seeing accelerated erosion because of the loss of sea ice," City Administrator Janet Mitchell said in a statement. "We normally have ice starting in October, but now we have open water even into December so our island is not protected from the storms."

Relocation costs have been estimated at $400 million or more.

A spokesman for Exxon Mobil, Gantt Walton, said the company was reviewing the lawsuit and had no immediate comment on it.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kivalina by two nonprofit legal organizations -- The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and the Native American Rights Fund -- plus six law firms.

Reached by phone in Boston, attorney Matt Pawa said other lawsuits have been filed seeking damages from global warming, but this is the first one that has a "discretely identifiable victim."

Damage to Kivalina from global warming has been documented in official government reports by the Army Corps of Engineers and the General Accounting Office, Pawa said.

The lawsuit invokes the federal common law of public nuisance, and every entity that contributes to the pollution problem harming Kivalina is liable, Pawa said. "You can sue them one at a time or some subset of them," he said.

The lawsuit also accuses some of the defendants of a conspiracy to mislead the public regarding the causes and consequences of global warming. The suit was filed in California because that's where many of the defendants are located or do business, Pawa said.

Without commenting on the lawsuit, Exxon Mobil's Walton said the company takes the issue of climate change seriously.

"Exxon Mobil is taking action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, supporting research into technology breakthroughs and participating in constructive dialogues on policy options with NGOs, industry and policy makers," he said.

The other oil companies named were BP PLC, BP American, BP Products North America, Chevron, Chevron USA, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Shell Oil.

Also named were Peabody Energy, a major coal producer, and power companies AES, American Electric Power, American Electric Power Services, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy Holdings, Edison International, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, Mirant Corp., NRG Energy, Pinnacle West Capital, Reliant Energy, The Southern Co. and Xcel Energy.




Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/02/26/us.warming.ap/index.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:57:08 am
Stacy Dohm
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Posts: 1147



     Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
« on: July 27, 2007, 09:13:44 pm » Quote 

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                                         Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice






By Ned Rozell
July 26, 2007

On a late summer evening a few years ago, a scrap of birch bark caught William Manley's eye as he walked along the edge of an ice field in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. The geologist yelled to nearby archaeologist Jim Dixon and Ruth Ann Warden of the Ahtna Heritage Foundation.

"When I pointed it out to Jim and Ruth Ann, they immediately saw that it was something special," said Manley, who works for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dixon and Warden noticed stitching holes in the bark fragment that lay among recently exposed rocks and moss. After later dating the birch-bark basket, they found an Alaskan had left it at the site about 650 years ago.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 07:58:27 am



              (http://www.sitnews.us/0707news/072607/1865_baskethigh.jpg)

The remains of a 650-year old birch bark basket complete with stitching holes, found at the base of an ice patch in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains.

Photo by
William Manley


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:18:26 am
Stacy Dohm
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Posts: 1147



     Re: Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 09:15:04 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






The basket is one of many artifacts scientists are finding on ice patches-dying fields of snow and ice that are too small to flow like glaciers. These ice patches, located in the mountains of Alaska and Canada, are shrinking to reveal at their edges arrow shafts, barbed antler points, and other items that usually decompose before archaeologists can find them.

In a five-year project in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, researchers are following the lead of colleagues in the Yukon by traveling to high-country ice patches to search for old tools, clothing, and other organic materials exposed by retreating ice and snow. Dixon, an anthropology professor at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has made several trips to the Wrangells during the project.

"We can take a very small amount of organic material-like the amount you'd get from drilling a tooth-and do radio-carbon dating and isotope analysis," Dixon said. "We can find out the age of the material and environmental conditions at the time. We're getting new insights into the technology people used in Alaska thousands of years ago."

Members of the team found several arrow shafts, dated at 370 to 850 years old, made of spruce wood split from the trunk of the tree rather than the branches.

"The shafts are made from split staves of white spruce-long, straight slivers that are rounded and tapered," Dixon said.

The Wrangells research team is concentrating on six ice patches in the largest national park in the United States. Dixon described the ice patches as "oasis-like features that attract caribou, sheep, and other animals that seek relief from heat and insects."


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:20:05 am



             (http://www.sitnews.us/0707news/072607/1865_arrowshafthigh.jpg)

A recently exposed arrow shaft at the base of a melting ice patch in the Wrangells.

Photo by
William Manley


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:23:26 am
Stacy Dohm
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Posts: 1147



     Re: Tools of ancient Alaskans emerge from ice
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 09:16:57 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------







After a two-year GIS modeling project, the researchers chose the six ice patches they are studying after two years of flying around in late summer and looking for large bodies of ice and snow ringed with dark colors-often the pellets caribou dropped centuries ago. The ice patches are melting to reveal ground that hasn't seen the sun in hundreds, or thousands of years.

"As climate change continues, (the exposure of artifacts from melting ice patches) will go on for some time," Dixon said.

In addition to arrow shafts, a copper arrowhead, the birch basket, and an old caribou hide, the scientists and Park Service personnel also saw more modern things during their travels in the Wrangells, including the remains of a roadhouse built on a glacier on one of the gold rush routes from McCarthy to Chisana.

"It's a whole roadhouse that's flowing down the glacier," Dixon said.

Manley, the geologist who found the birch-bark basket, said looking for artifacts on the edge of ice patches is not only interesting science, it's great fun. The scientists usually have only a short window of time to search the base of an ice patch while a helicopter waits for them.

"Finding such a well-preserved artifact melting out of a glacier is something like winning when you're gambling," Manley said. "After going hours, or days without finding another one, you develop an urge to find more."




 



This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community.



Ned Rozell nrozell@gi.alaska.edu] is a science writer at the institute.


SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska


http://www.sitnews.us/0707news/072607/072607_ak_science.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:26:24 am
Chastity
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Posts: 222



    Shipwreck found off Alaskan coast
« on: October 10, 2007, 02:46:32 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                              Shipwreck found off Alaskan coast







By JEANNETTE J. LEE,
Associated Press Writer
Tue Oct 9, 2007
ANCHORAGE,
Alaska

- A private dive team has discovered the wreckage of an American ship that sank off the south-central Alaska coast 139 years ago. The Torrent sank in Cook Inlet in 1868 after tidal currents rammed it into a reef south of the Kenai Peninsula. Documents from the period show that all 155 people on board survived.

 
The U.S. had purchased Alaska from Russia less than a year earlier, and about 130 Army soldiers had come north on the Torrent to build the first U.S. military fort in south-central Alaska.

The shipwreck is the oldest American wreck ever found in Alaska.

"It's a very significant find because it's right after the purchase, during the transition from Russian to American authority," said Judy Bittner, a state historic preservation officer. "It's the very beginning of federal presence in Alaska and the establishment of order."

A four-man dive team led by Steve Lloyd, owner of Anchorage's largest independent book store, found remnants of the wreckage in July. They kept the discovery secret at the request of state officials, who wanted more time to document the site before any looters arrive. Its discovery was announced Monday.

An array of objects, from guns, cannons, shoes and plates, are hidden beneath the broad leaves of giant kelp beds or concealed in caverns and crevices among massive boulders, Lloyd said.

"It's like walking through a field of tall grass and undergrowth looking for a baseball that you've lost," Lloyd said.

Big finds include the two anchors, sections of hull and heavy bronze rudder hinges weighing about 100 lbs.

About 2,500 ships have wrecked off the Alaska coast since Russian explorers first arrived in 1741, according to Mike Burwell, a cultural anthropologist for the federal Minerals Management Service. A partial database on the service's Web site lists Japanese submarines and fishing trawlers, Liberian freighters and New England whaling ships, among others.

The Torrent is now being considered for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places. Bittner said state or federal archaeologists may study the wreck if they can secure enough funding.

___

On the Net:

Minerals Management Service shipwrecks data:
http://www.mms.gov/alaska/ref/ships/index.htm

Steve Lloyd's Alaska shipwrecks site:
http://lostshipwrecks.com/


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:30:35 am
Rorie LaFay
Full Member

Posts: 46



    Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years
« on: July 10, 2007, 02:48:49 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                 Dig hints Unalaska site may go back a thousand years


                HOUSES: Archaeologists have located three homes in 2nd year of excavations.






By MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
July 7, 2007
UNALASKA

-- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.


The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said head archaeologist Mike Yarborough.

"What's left was dug into the slope; everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for more recent dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information helpful to research on prehistoric Eastern Aleutian culture, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:34:31 am








SURPRISE IN SIZE



Last fall the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was that when they began the dig, the crew discovered the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to hope to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after the crew started, it rained for about the first two weeks.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:36:05 am








MAKING PROGRESS



Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

The crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the area.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

The same crew that worked last summer resumed on May 19. The backhoe operator, Joe Henning, was with the crew last summer.

"He's gotten used to us, so we're making good progress," said Yarborough.

Joan Dale, a representative from the state office of archaeology, was there, available in case human remains are found.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff, pirate treasure," joked Rogers at the end of a long day.

At a City Council meeting last month, Yarborough gave an update to the community on the progress of the crew and artifacts recovered.

Every month, Yarborough has a teleconference with the Ounalashka Corp., the Qawalangin tribe, the city, the state historical society and the other state organizations.



http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/rural/story/9112357p-9028572c.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:39:15 am








Trinity
Hero Member

Posts: 108



     Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site
« on: July 05, 2007, 12:46:00 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                              Crews resume excavation at Aleutian archaeological site



                          Artifacts of Unangam Aleuts may span 1,000 years, expert says






MONICA SOUTHWORTH
The Dutch Harbor Fisherman
UNALASKA

- In May, an archaeology crew that began work last summer resumed digging at the South Channel Bridge site on Bunker Hill.

The primary ruins being recovered are the walls of about three houses of Unangam Aleuts.

"It's really a nicely constructed wall, and there was sod in between the rocks," said Mike Yarborough, head archaeologist at the site.

"What's left was dug into the slope, everything else collapsed and fell down the slope," he added, pointing out the slope facing Henry Swanson Drive.

"We followed the natural soil horizon up the hillside," he said.

Currently, carbon dates on samples are in the same range as the ones taken in 2003 by Rick Knecht, the original archaeologist at the site, before he moved away from Unalaska. Yarborough said they haven't found anything older but are planning on testing for younger dates.

"We suspect we'll find samples pointing to about a 1,000-year occupation," Yarborough said.

In 2003, archaeologist Knecht from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Richard Davis from Bryn Mawr College directed a field crew that excavated about one-third of an ancient village site.

The artifacts discovered provided information pertinent to the research of prehistoric Eastern Aleutian cultural history, household archaeology, subsistence technology and adaptations to environmental changes, according to Knecht.

Last fall, the crew didn't begin work until late August. Two things prevented the digging crew from accomplishing a lot. The first was the weather, and the second was when beginning the dig, the crew discovered that the site was approximately double the size they expected.

In September, it began to rain, and Yarborough said it was too muddy in October to get anything accomplished. At that point, a second season was planned.

"The more we dug, the more there seemed to be," he said.

After recalculation and several tests, the crew determined the original estimate done by Rick Knecht in 2003 was under the actual volume.

The crew is funded by the state of Alaska for two months, until the end of July. The bridge construction crew is scheduled to begin work on Henry Swanson Drive on Aug. 15. A two-week buffer window was left in case something unexpected came up.

"Everything is basically the same as last year," Yarborough said. "The only difference is we went from digging on OC (Ounalashka Corp.) land to state land, but that doesn't affect anything we're doing."

When returning to the site in May, Yarborough said it had remained "pretty dry," but after beginning, it rained for about the first two weeks.

Despite a rough beginning because of the weather, the group didn't have the same startup lag experienced last August. Yarborough said it took about a week to get going and become accustomed with the site.

From Henry Swanson Drive, a backhoe has reached up as far as possible, and no more work on the North Face can be done. Now the crew is working on the top of the site.

Last week, the crew reached a milestone when the backhoe was able to get to the eastern edge of the site.

"We're still finding a lot of house features from the top. We're collecting artifacts and sending them to the lab," Yarborough said.

Local archaeologist Jason Rogers has been creating extensive maps of the site throughout the whole process.

"It's good stuff pirate treasure," Rogers joked at the end of a long day.



http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/070207/sta_crews001.shtml


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:42:21 am
Brooke
Administrator
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Posts: 1088



    Work starts on Arctic seed vault
« on: February 10, 2007, 01:33:58 am » Quote 

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                                              Work starts on Arctic seed vault






February 9, 2007
LONDON,
England
(Reuters)

-- Deep inside the Arctic Circle work is about to begin on a giant frozen Noah's Ark for food crops to provide a last bastion in the battle against global warming.

And within a year the first seeds of what will eventually be home for samples of all 1.5 million distinct varieties of agricultural crops worldwide will be tucked safely inside the vaults deep in a mountain on the archipelago of Svalbard.

There, at the end of a tunnel 120 meters into the side of a mountain, 80 meters above estimated sea levels even if all polar ice melts, and 18 degrees Celsius below freezing, they will stay like a bank security deposit.

"It will be the best freezer in the world by several orders of magnitude. The seeds will be safe there for decades," said Cary Fowler of the Food and Agricultural Organization's Global Crop Diversity Trust.

"Svalbard is a safety backup -- and we hope we never have to use it."

The Norwegian government is footing the $5 million construction bill and the Global Crop Diversity Trust is providing the estimated $125,000 a year running costs.

"We are going back to the older varieties because that is where you find the largest genetic diversity ... and diversity is protection," Fowler told Reuters in London.

Svalbard will not find and sort the seeds. That is being left to the various seed banks around the world in the front line of the battle to protect biodiversity.

The function of the Arctic Noah's Ark will be to hold samples of all the food crop varieties in case disaster strikes any of the banks -- like the typhoon that wiped out the Philippines agri crop gene bank in October.

It will also ensure a pristine source of research material for the world's botanists struggling to create crop varieties that will be able to withstand the massive changes in rainfall patterns and temperature that may come with global warming.

The scientists from around the world predict that global average temperatures will rise by between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Celsius this century due to human activities, putting millions at risk from rising sea levels, floods, famines and storms.

"Current crops are adapted to the current climate. Start changing that and you change everything," Fowler said. "Plant breeders will have to be designing totally new varieties."

"We already have a water crisis with agriculture and climate change will make it worse. It is not a simply matter of migrating crops northwards. Everything changes -- sunlight, temperature, insects, diseases, pollinators," he added.

He said the Svalbard seed collection would not include modern hybrid varieties because by and large they had genetic diversity bred out of them.

But it would also not rule out genetically modified organisms on the simple grounds that it would be virtually impossible to screen them out and in any case they would never amount to more than a tiny fraction of the total.

The vaults on the remote archipelago 1,500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle should have been dug and lined with meter-thick concrete by October ready for systems installation and a formal opening early in 2008.

Within two years they should be holding the vast majority of the world's food crop varieties in splendid, frozen and permanent isolation.



Copyright 2007 Reuters.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/02/09/climate.deep.freeze.reut/index.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:46:29 am
Monique Faulkner
Hero Member

Posts: 969



    'Doomsday' seed vault to open in Norway
« on: February 25, 2008, 12:22:53 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------








                                         'Doomsday' seed vault to open in Norway







Story Highlights



Ultimate safety net for the world's seed collections opens in Norway this week

Can hold up to 4.5M seed samples, will eventually house most types of key crops

Norwegian govt. paid to build vault in mountainside between Norway and North Pole

Similar to an existing seed bank in England that works with wild plants



 Read  VIDEO
     
LONGYEARBYEN,
Norway
(CNN)

-- A vast underground vault storing millions of seeds from around
the world is scheduled to open this week in a mountain on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean.


 Dubbed the "Doomsday Vault," the seed bank is considered the ultimate safety net for the world's
seed collections, protecting them from a wide range of threats including war, natural disasters, lack
of funding or simply poor agricultural management.

The Norwegian government paid to build the vault in a mountainside near Longyearbyen, in the remote Svalbard islands between Norway and the North Pole. Building began last year, and the vault is scheduled to open officially Tuesday.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, as it is officially known, can hold as many as 4.5 million seed samples and will eventually house almost every variety of most important food crops in the world, according to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is paying to collect and maintain the seeds.

The United Nations founded the trust in 2004 to support the long-term conservation of crop diversity, and countries and foundations provide the funding.

"The seed vault is the perfect place for keeping seeds safe for centuries," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the trust. "At these temperatures, seeds for important crops like wheat, barley and peas can last for up to 10,000 years."

The vault's location deep inside a mountain in the frozen north ensures the seeds can be stored safely no matter what happens outside.

"We believe the design of the facility will ensure that the seeds will stay well-preserved even if such forces as global warming raise temperatures outside the facility," said Magnus Bredeli Tveiten, project manager for the Norwegian government.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 15, 2009, 08:48:22 am









Don't Miss

Web site: 
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault



The vault sits at the end of a 120-meter (131-yard) tunnel blasted inside the mountain. Workers used a refrigeration system to bring the vault to -18 degrees Celsius (just below 0 degrees Fahrenheit), and a smaller refrigeration system plus the area's natural permafrost and the mountain's thick rock will keep the vault at least -4 C (25 F).

The vault at Svalbard is similar to an existing seed bank in Sussex, England, about an hour outside London. The British vault, called the Millennium Seed Bank, is part of an scientific project that works with wild plants, as opposed to the seeds of crops.

Paul Smith, the leader of the Millennium Seed Bank project, said preserving the seeds of wild plants is just as important as preserving the seeds of vital crops.

"We must give ourselves every option in the future to use the whole array of plant diversity that is available to us," Smith told CNN.

The idea for the Arctic seed bank dates to the 1980s but only became a possibility after the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources came into force in 2004, the Norwegian government said. The treaty provided an international framework for conserving and accessing crop diversity.


Svalbard is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections around the world.

The Norwegian government says it has paid 50 million Norwegian Kroner ($9.4 million) to build the seed vault.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/25/norway.seeds/index.html


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 08:52:53 pm
(http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080611/capt.fd5fe6fca874430fb9de519485389391.canada_indian_apology_otth104.jpg?x=400&y=304&sig=.KIl49UaafW2HSMll6yJiQ--)


Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine,right,
wearing headdress, watches as Canadian Prime
Minister Stephen Harper, left, officially apologizes
to native Canadians who were taken from their
families and forced to attend state-funded schools
aimed at assimilating them, at a ceremony in the

House of Commons on Parliament Hill
in Ottawa,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press,
Tom Hanson)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 08:54:14 pm









                                       Prime Minister Apologizes To Native Canadians





By ROB GILLIES,
Associated Press Writer
June 11, 2008
 
OTTAWA - In a historic speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized Wednesday to Canada's native peoples for the longtime government policy of forcing their children to attend state-funded schools aimed at assimilating them.
 
The treatment of children at the schools where they were often physically and sexually abused was a sad chapter in the country's history, he said from the House of Commons in an address carried live across Canada.

"Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm and has no place in our country," he said, as 11 aboriginal leaders looked on just feet away.

Indians packed into the public galleries and gathered on the lawn of Parliament Hill.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indian children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Hundreds of former students witnessed what native leaders call a pivotal moment for Canada's more than 1 million Indians, who remain the country's poorest and most disadvantaged group. There are more than 80,000 surviving students.

"The government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcibly remove children from their homes and we apologize," Harper said.

"We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, and that it created a void in many lives and communities and we apologize," Harper said.

Harper also apologized for failing to prevent the children from being physically and sexually abused at the schools.

Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and one of the leaders seated near Harper, wore a traditional native headdress and was allowed to speak from the floor after opposition parties demanded it.

"Finally, we heard Canada say it is sorry," Fontaine said.

"Never again will this House consider us an Indian problem for just being who we are," Fontaine said. "We heard the government of Canada take full responsibility."

He said the apology will go a long way toward repairing the relationship between aboriginals and the rest of Canada.

The federal government admitted 10 years ago that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant. Many students recall being beaten for speaking their native languages and losing touch with their parents and customs.

That legacy of abuse and isolation has been cited by Indian leaders as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.

Fontaine was one of the first to go public with his past experiences of physical and sexual abuse.

The apology comes months after Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a similar gesture to the so-called Stolen Generations — thousands of Aborigines forcibly taken from their families as children under assimilation policies that lasted from 1910 to 1970.

But Canada has gone a step farther, offering those who were taken from their families compensation for the years they attended the residential schools. The offer was part of a lawsuit settlement.

A truth and reconciliation commission will also examine government policy and take testimony from survivors. The goal is to give survivors a forum to tell their stories and educate Canadians about a grim period in the country's history.

___


VIDEO:


http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=8280064&ch=4226714&src=news 


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 08:56:31 pm








                                                Canadians argue for polar bear hunt





By H. JOSEF HEBERT,
Associated Press Writer
June 23,2008
 
WASHINGTON - Officials from northern Canada were in Washington on Monday to make an unpopular argument: Let U.S. hunters continue to kill polar bears for sport.
 
The politicians from Canada's Northwest Territory asked Interior Department officials to allow U.S. sportsmen to still bring back polar bear hides after their hunts in Canada's Arctic region, despite the increased protection now afforded the bear under the Endangered Species Act.

The United States bans sport hunting of polar bears, but Canada does not, although it restricts the hunting season to two months and limits the number of kills.

The recent decision to declared the polar bear threatened under the Endangered Species Act also means U.S. sportsmen may no longer bring home trophy skins — which is what hunting's high-rollers actually prize.

This "will effectively wipe out our sports hunting industry," Bob McLeod, the Northwest Territory's minister for energy, industry and tourism, said Monday in an interview. He said it will wipe out most of the income for people living in a handful of villages along the province's Arctic coast.

He said hunters, mostly from the United States, spend an estimate $1.6 million annually during the polar bear hunts, much of it going into the economies of the isolated villages where the hunts are organized and concentrated.

McLeod said people who live in the far north know about global warming and have seen the permafrost melting, the icepack shrinking and seasons changing. "We are experiencing the effects of climate change," said McLeod.

But while the polar bear may have become a symbol of global warming, McLeod insists continued hunting and protecting the species can go hand in hand. The hunts are closely controlled, with 40 permits — each for one bear — issued each season.

"The bottom line is that people rely on this. This is income for the whole year," said Jackie Jacobson, who represents the far northern area in the provincial legislature.

There are about 86 hunting guides and helpers directly involved in the polar bear hunts, he said. Villagers' livelihoods are tied to the annual trek of wealthy U.S. sportsmen seeking a bear skin trophy. Because there are few jobs in the far north, hunting season affects 3,500 people — including children — who live there, Jacobson said.

McLeod, Jacobson and several other Northwest Territory officials met with Ken Stansell, deputy director of the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service, and have scheduled meetings with a number of people in Congress later this week. Fish and Wildlife officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Along with the polar bear hunting issue, McLeod is also talking up a planned natural gas pipeline that would bring Canadian Arctic gas from the far north to the United States.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:01:18 pm







(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44359000/jpg/_44359320_inuit_ap_203b.jpg)

The census also details where
aboriginal people live





                                             

                                              Canadian indigenous numbers soar 
 




BBCNews

Census figures in Canada show a big increase in the number of Canadians who describe themselves as belonging to one of the country's indigenous peoples.

Data from the 2006 census shows there are now almost 1.2 million aboriginal people - 4% of the population and a 45% rise since the last census in 1996.

The survey also shows that more than half live in or near urban areas.

A record number of indigenous people took part in the 2006 census, but some populous reserves still shunned it.

There are three indigenous groups in Canada: North American Indian or First Nations people; Inuit who live in Canada's far north and Metis, who are descendants of early marriages between native people and European settlers.

The new statistics show a dramatic increase - 45% in 10 years - in those people who identify themselves as belonging to of one of those groups.

The information also reveals that 54% of the country's indigenous people now live in or near cities.

Officials at Statistics Canada, which carried out the census, say the growth and change in demographics can be attributed to a soaring birth rate driven by an unusually young population, and greater pride in aboriginal heritage.





'Not Canadians'



Canada's native peoples have a median age of 27 and almost half are under 25.

The census found that since 1996 there had been some improvement in overcrowded housing conditions in traditional communities.

But one in four people living there report that their homes are dilapidated and in need of significant repairs.

The number of aboriginal peoples refusing to take part in the census has declined, but some are still opposed to the survey.

"We are not Canadian citizens. We are North American Indians," Chief Clarence Simon of Kanesatake, a Mohawk community, was quoted as saying by Canadian media.

His reserve was among 22 not included in the census.

Census officials say that their reach has improved since previous surveys and they have rejected arguments that there has been a significant under-counting of aboriginal people.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:04:51 pm









                                   Raising vegetables under Canada's midnight sun







By Allan Dowd
Thu Sep 4, 2008
 

INUVIK, Northwest Territories
(Reuters) -


Amanda Joynt reached down and picked a fresh tomato from the vine. That's no small feat when you are living 200 km (120 miles) above the Arctic Circle in Canada's Far North.
 
Joynt, a resident of Inuvik is a member of the town's community greenhouse, a former ice hockey arena that has been converted into an oasis of vegetables and flowers on the permafrost.

The building, shaped like a half-pipe, is North America's northernmost commercial greenhouse, and all but a necessity for anyone interested in eating a fresh vegetable in Inuvik that has not been shipped in from a warmer climate -- at a startlingly high cost.

"The growing season is really short here. May is mud month, so June is when things begin to green-up, and by now everything is turning into fall," Joynt said.

Inuvik's annual mean temperature is minus 9.7 Celsius (14.5 Fahrenheit), according to local officials.

The facility's indoor growing season lasts only from mid-May to late September, but it protects the plants as they soak in the sunlight that for 56 days each summer keeps the town in daylight 24 hours a day.

"That's what makes things possible ... the constant light accelerates the growth. I think it either doubles or triples the growth," said Lucy Kuptana, who admits it can feel strange weeding a garden at 3 a.m. in full daylight.

The small plots are built on raised beds and host a wide range of vegetables, such as corn and squash. One garden was even adorned with a traditional scarecrow figure, and many also have a range of colorful flowers.

Part of the building is heated to allow the greenhouse to raise the starter-plants used by gardeners and to grow flowers that are sold to the town and local residents for the summer.

Inuvik, with a population of about 3,400 people, was created in the late 1950s as a center for government services, so many of the greenhouse's members are residents who moved north to work in the public sector or energy industry.

Kuptana admits that, like many people born in the Far North, she knew nothing of gardening until she began helping her stepmother -- who was one of the greenhouse's first members when the project was launched in 1998.

The greenhouse plays an educational role by teaching people about healthy foods they would normally only see in their canned or frozen form, according to Kuptana.

"A lot of people have never tried squash or zucchini. They don't know what that strange-looking vegetable is, so this is introducing new vegetables to the table," she said.

It also allows people to save money. Rising fuel costs make it expensive to transport food to the region. Many of the greenhouse gardeners are also canning the produce they do not eat during the summer.

"Food security is a huge issue in the north," Kuptana said.

Kuptana and Joynt also think the greenhouse also has potential as a tourist attraction, saying it is already become a popular stop for visitors who venture north in the summer in search of the midnight sun.




(Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson)


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:09:53 pm








                                Arctic Yields Fresh Evidence For Elizabethan Gold Swindle






ScienceDaily
(July 7, 2004) —

Canadian scientists say they've found conclusive proof that a tiny, barren Arctic island was the site of Canada's first, and perhaps greatest, mining fraud.

In 1577 and 1578, Kodlunarn Island, in what is now Frobisher Bay, was the site of British mariner Martin Frobisher's infamous Arctic Eldorado turned New World financial nightmare. Now two Laval University scientists say there's solid evidence that Frobisher and his chemists were in on a massive fraud that was an Elizabethan-era "prelude to Bre-X."

Since the scandal broke more than 400 years ago that the tons of black rock Frobisher brought back to London from the Canadian Arctic near present-day Iqaluit were worthless, there's been speculation about what happened. Was this a massive con job on Elizabeth I and her court, or did Frobisher's assayers mistakenly dupe themselves into believing they'd found gold?

One intriguing hypothesis, put forward by now retired University of Ottawa mineralogist Dr. Donald Hogarth, argued that Frobisher's assayers inadvertently contaminated their samples with gold from the lead used in the assay process.

Now, for the first time, lead samples from the assay workshops on Kondlunarn Island have been analyzed using a combination of age-old and high-tech methods in order to test the contamination hypothesis.

"We find there's not a trace of gold contamination in the lead used by Frobisher's assayers at the Kodlunarn Island site," says Dr. Georges Beaudoin, a geologist at Laval University. The results of his NSERC-funded research appear in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

The five, tarnished, grey beads of lead – the largest about the diameter of a toonie – were discovered and collected on Kodlunarn Island during an archeaological excavation of the site in 1993-4 led by Laval University archaeologist Dr. Réginald Auger.

"With these results we've now discarded the possibility that the lead was contaminated with precious metals," says Dr. Auger, co-author of the article. "So how is it that in 1578 Frobisher went so far as to load 12 ships with tons of black ore and sail it back to London? The chemists at the site must have known the ore was worthless. We have to conclude that there was a fraud."

Sixteenth century assayers knew that it was possible to contaminate their ore samples with gold and silver. The assay process, still used today, involves melting a small sample of ore in a ceramic bowl. Powdered lead is then sprinkled onto the molten rock. As the lead mixes and sinks to the bottom of the bowl it binds with other metals by a geochemical affinity. The lead bead, or button, that forms at the bottom of the ceramic bowl is then collected and any precious metals chemically separated from the lead.

However, the same geochemical affinity that causes the precious metals to bind with the lead in the assay process means that the lead being used can already be naturally contaminated with these metals.   


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:10:56 pm









"European lead was notorious for containing silver," says Dr. Auger, whose research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Quebec's Fond de recherche sur la société et la culture.

Using lead isotope analysis, Dr. Beaudoin determined that there were two sources of the lead used at the Kodlunarn Island site. Through electron probe and mass spectrometry analysis, Dr. Beaudoin determined that neither of the lead types had detectable levels of gold.

Frobisher's Kodlunarn Island site was re-discovered in 1860 by the American journalist and Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall, who was searching for the missing Franklin expedition.

In the early 1990s, the University of Ottawa's Dr. Hogarth used modern analytical techniques to determine that there were only minute traces of gold in the black rocks that so many in the court of Elizabeth I believed were a New World treasure trove.

At least six assays performed on the rocks in London in 1577 and 1578 reported levels of gold concentration more than 100,000 times that actually in the rock.

"We can only conclude that the gold was added by the assayers in London," write Drs. Beaudoin and Auger.

This is the first time Beaudoin has applied his geochemical savvy to an archaeological mystery. He says there are remarkable similarities between this 426-year-old mining swindle and the Bre-X scandal of the 1990s. In that case a junior Canadian mining company claimed to have found a gigantic gold deposit in an Indonesian jungle. The news sent the company's penny stock skyrocketing to $280, only to collapse when it was revealed that the ore samples had been tampered with.

Beaudoin estimates that it took only about two ounces of gold, costing about $800 at today's prices, to "salt" the Frobisher samples and launch an investment frenzy.

Says Beaudoin, "In Bre-X they were probably using the same low-level of sophistication in the salting of the ore. It was fascinating to see how the story repeated itself."







###



The article "Implications of the mineralogy and chemical composition of lead beads from Frobisher's assay site, Kodlunarn Island, Canada: prelude to BRE-X?" in the June issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences is available on-line for free download @ http://cjes.nrc.ca

The NSERC Newsbureau Bulletin is a window on the latest developments in Canadian science and engineering.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Adapted from materials provided by Natural Sciences And Engineering Research Council.
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Natural Sciences And Engineering Research Council (2004, July 7). Arctic Yields Fresh Evidence For Elizabethan Gold Swindle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 7, 2008, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2004/07/040706080233.htm


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:13:06 pm
(http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2009/02/090204112237-large.jpg)

Dog sled trail in Canada's Arctic.

Inuit trails are more than merely means to get from A to B. In reality, they represent a complex social network spanning the Canadian Arctic and are a distinctive aspect of the Inuit cultural identity.

(Credit:
iStockphoto
/Ryerson Clark)






                            Inuit Trails Represent Complex Social Network Spanning Canadian Arctic






ScienceDaily
(Feb. 4, 2009)

— Inuit trails are more than merely means to get from A to B. In reality, they represent a complex social network spanning the Canadian Arctic and are a distinctive aspect of the Inuit cultural identity.

And what is remarkable is that the Inuit’s vast geographic knowledge has been passed through many generations by oral means, without the use of maps or any other written documentation. These findings are by Dr. Claudio Aporta from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Using a combination of historical documents, ethnographic research, geographic tools including GPS, GIS and Google Earth, as well as a recent journey following Inuit along a traditional trail, Dr. Aporta shows the geographic extent of the Inuit’s sophisticated network of routes.  He describes how the Inuit have made use of the Arctic environment and how their trails represent significant channels of communication and exchange across the territory.  To the Inuit, the Arctic is a network of trails, connecting communities to their distant neighbors, and to fishing lakes and hunting grounds in between.

What is remarkable is that although the trails are not permanent features of the landscape, their locations are remembered and transmitted orally and through the experience of travel.  They do not use maps to travel or to represent geographic information.  Rather the journey along the trail, or the story of the journey, becomes one of the main instruments for transmitting the information.

The memory of the trail is intertwined with individual and collective memories of previous trips, as well as with relevant environmental information - the conditions of the snow and ice, the shape of snowdrifts, the direction of winds - and place names in the Inuktitut language.  The trails are not permanent, but disappear when the sled tracks get covered after a blizzard and as the snow and ice melt at the end of each spring.  Nevertheless, the spatial itinerary remains in people’s memory and comes to life again when individuals make the next trip.  The trails are ‘lived’ rather than simply travelled.

By mapping the trails with modern geographic tools, Dr. Aporta is able to show that complex and intricate knowledge can be precisely and accurately transmitted from generation to generation orally for centuries.  He comments that “oral history should not be a priori dismissed as unreliable and inaccurate.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Journal reference:

Aporta et al. The Trail as Home: Inuit and Their Pan-Arctic Network of Routes. Human Ecology, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s10745-009-9213-x
Adapted from materials provided by Springer.
Email or share this story:   
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA Springer (2009, February 4). Inuit Trails Represent Complex Social Network Spanning Canadian Arctic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 5, 2009, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204112237.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090204112237.htm


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:17:02 pm








                                                ALEUT & ALUTIIQ





Who We Are



The Aleut and Alutiiq peoples are south and southwest Alaska, maritime peoples. The water is our living, whether it’s the creeks and rivers near villages, the shore outside or the vast waters of the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Knowledge of these resources and skill in harvesting them define the cycle of life in a village. The intensity of the weather that travels through our islands governs activities more than any other factor.

The Aleut and Alutiiq cultures were heavily influenced by the Russians, beginning in the 18th century. The Orthodox Church is prominent in every village, Russian dishes are made using local subsistence food, and Russian words are part of common vocabulary although two languages, Unangax and Sugcestun, are the indigenous languages.





Main Groups



The territory of the Aleut and Alutiiq stretches from Prince William Sound to the end of the Aleutian Islands. There are also over 300 Aleuts in Nikolskoye on Bering Island, Russia. Linguists estimate that the Aleut language separated from the earlier Eskimo languages 4,000 years ago. Anthropologists have classified the Alutiiq people into three basic groups,

Chugachmiut or Chugach of the Prince William Sound area,

Unegkurmiut of the lower Kenai Peninsula, and

Koniagmiut or Koniag of the Kodiak Island and Alaska Peninsula.

The suffix "-miut" is added to names signifying “the people of” a certain place. Thus, each village has a name for its people and each regional area has a name for its people. The people of Kodiak Island, for example, were called Qikertarmiut meaning “people of the large island.”






House Types and Settlements



The Aleut and Alutiiq people lived in numerous coastal villages as well as a few inland villages located on rivers and lakes. Each settlement had defined territories for harvesting resources such as seals, sea lions, halibut, cod, birds, plants and driftwood.

The traditional houses of both cultures were semi-subterranean. The Alutiiq houses, called ciqlluaq, provided efficient protection from harsh weather conditions. For thousands of years, the house style consisted of a single room. The ulax, the basic Unangax Aleut house, is an oblong pit dwelling with wooden or whale bone frames and rafters covered by grass and sod. These dwellings were often hard to distinguish from the surrounding terrain. They were entered by means of a pole ladder through the ceiling.





Traditional Tools and Technology



The kayaks of the Aleut and Alutiiqs called, respectivley, iqyax and qayaq, were distinguished from other sea craft by the split bow, which increased the seaworthiness and speed of the craft. Aleut and Alutiiq hunters wore distinctive bentwood visors with sea lion whiskers. These visors provided protection from glare as well as a visual symbol of the status of the hunter. The number of sea lion whiskers attached showed the successes in hunting.

The Aleut and Alutiiq used various portions of sea mammals for clothing and other utensils. The skins of seal, sea lion, sea otter, bear, birds, squirrels, and marmots were all used for clothing items. Hats and baskets were woven from spruce roots and grass. Baskets were woven with geometric patterns, considered among the finest in the world with up to 2500 stitches per square inch. Women wove other goods: cords, cables and fish line from plant fibers and animal tissue.





Social Organization



Still important in Aleut and Alutiiq society are kinship and family relationships. These connections persist throughout the regions and are important in the management of the village, as well as decision-making related to everyday life. Today, many Elders reminisce about the past, mentioning the strong value of sharing and helping one another in the villages of their youth. Village members would punish those who violated the rules of conduct of the village. The most serious form of punishment was banishment.





Clothing



Due to the wet maritime climate, it was crucial to have waterproof clothing. Therefore, the garments made of skin and gut were sewn with incredible precision making them very effective against the wet weather. Clothing was decorated with colorful natural dyes, feathers and puffin beaks, and in some cases elaborately carved ivory, bone or wooden figurines.





Transportation



Aleuts and Alutiit are known for their skill in building the iqyax/qayaq [baidarka]. They also used the igilax/angyaq [baidar], a large open skin boat, for travel and trade. Traveling was most often done by sea in these skin boats. However, people also walked long distances. For example, on Kodiak Island, remnants of the trails used by Alutiiq people to cross the island remain visible today.





Trade



The Aleut and Alutiiq people traded among themselves as well as with others such as the Yup’ik of Bristol Bay, Dena’ina Athabascans of the Cook Inlet area, the Ahtna Athabascans of the Copper River, the Eyak and Tlingit. This trade enabled them to balance their diet as well as take advantage of foreign technology.





Subsistence Patterns



The Aleut and Alutiiq peoples are maritime people obtaining most of their food and livelihood from the sea. Historically, sea mammal hunters went to sea, sometimes traveled long distances in their skin covered iqyax/qayaq or ‘bairdarka’, as they became known in Russian. For larger groups, people traveled in a large skin covered boat called an angyaq or ‘baidar’ in Russian.

Historically, villages were usually located at the mouths of streams to take advantage of fresh water and abundant salmon runs as they are today. Besides nets, traps and weirs for fishing, people used wooden hooks and kelp or sinew lines. Today, salmon, halibut, octopus, shellfish, seal, sea lion, caribou (on the Alaska Peninsula) and deer remain important components of the Aleut and Alutiiq subsistence diet.





Ceremonial



In Aleut and Alutiiq cultures, the winter was a time for elaborate celebrations and ceremonies. Singing, dancing and feasting took  place as part of these rituals. The festivals usually began in late fall after all the necessary food for the winter had been gathered and stored. The festivals and ceremonies were held in large communal houses, called the qasgiq, and generally fell into two types. First were those of a spiritual nature, which were necessary to guarantee continued good hunting and fishing, and second, social celebrations, such as those for marriages and other events.






Regalia



During ceremonies, performers often wore elaborate costumes, some specific to certain ceremonies. Carved wooden masks, some with complex attachments were used. People had tattoos and also wore body paints and other decorative items.



http://www.alaskanative.net/2.asp


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:19:56 pm









         Discovery Of Fossil Mollusks In Alaska Links Histories Of Arctic Ocean And Isthmus Of Panama






ScienceDaily
(June 12, 2000)

— Finding two fossil mollusks in a California collection led a researcher funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to undertake field work in Alaska that he says links the formation of the Isthmus of Panama approximately 3.6 million years ago to a reversal of water flow through the Bering Strait.

Louie Marincovich, of the California Academy of Sciences, is the first to produce fossil evidence that the flow of water through the strait, which separates Russia and Alaska, was reversed from southward to northward by the uplifting of the Isthmus. He also is the first to date the flow shift.

Marincovich's findings also validate computer models of Northern Hemisphere oceanography for that time period, at least as they affected the Arctic Ocean.

"This discovery was only possible because someone picked up two fossils in Alaska in the 1970's, not knowing what they were and donated them to the California Academy of Sciences, where I recognized them 25 years later," Marincovich said. "I was going through the collections with another topic in mind when I saw them and had my 'Eureka moment,' when I knew they were the first datable evidence of the Bering Strait's being open."

Astarte, the fossil mollusk, lived only in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans until prior to the opening of the strait.

The discovery of an Astarte in southern Alaska in rocks almost 5.5 million years old led Marincovich to conclude that the Bering Strait must have first opened at that time. In order to be found in southern Alaska, Astarte must have migrated southward through Bering Strait.

What was puzzling about his find is that nearly two million years passed before mollusks from the Pacific began migrating northward through the open Bering Strait to the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Pacific mollusks first appear in the fossil record there only 3.6 million years ago.

Marincovich's research on fossil mollusks in the North Pacific, Arctic and North Atlantic oceans led him to conclude that the direction of seawater flow through the Bering Strait gateway must have changed from a southerly flow to a northerly one around 3.6 million years ago. This reversal in flow direction had been theorized by computer models of past ocean flow, and was thought to have been caused by formation of the Isthmus of Panama as a land barrier where a broad tropical seaway between North and South America had existed for millions of years.

The formation of this tropical isthmus caused drastic shifts in Northern Hemisphere ocean currents, and initiated the flow of the Gulf Stream. However, just when these changes took place and affected the Arctic Ocean was a mystery not predicted by the computer models.

Marincovich's work was funded by the Arctic natural sciences section of NSF's Office of Polar Programs. An article about his findings may be found in the June issue of Geology, a publication of the Geological Society of America.

Editors: For a PDF file of the research article, see: ftp://204.144.241.6/pub/geology/28-551.pdf.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:25:28 pm
(http://media.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2008/may/hair/hair_540.jpg)

What Thomas Gilbert calls a "Coke can-size" hair sample has provided the first
genetic insight into Greenland's ancient Eskimos.

Courtesy Bjarne Grønnow


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:26:52 pm








                                   Ancient Hair Reveals Greenland Eskimos' Roots


 
NPR
Morning Edition,
May 30, 2008 ·

A 3,000-year-old clump of human hair found frozen in Greenland may have solved a scientific mystery: Where did
all the ancient Eskimos come from?

The ancient clump of hair looks like something you'd sweep off a barbershop floor. "It's kind of brown, got a bit
of dirt in it, a bit of twigs, but ... it looks [in] remarkably good condition," says biologist Thomas Gilbert of the University of Copenhagen.

University of Copenhagen researchers had spent months in Greenland trying to find human remains, with no success. They then learned of this hair sample, which was discovered in the 1980s in Disko Bay, in western Greenland, and was being kept in a museum collection.

And the hair yielded something extremely rare — the DNA of some of the earliest humans to live in the Arctic. By studying that DNA, researchers say they've been able to answer a longstanding question: Are modern Eskimos descended from ancient Native Americans, or did they come from somewhere else?

The answer, according to a new study published in the current issue of the journal Science, is somewhere else — probably eastern Asia.

Gilbert says researchers have found almost no ancient human remains in Greenland and the northern reaches of North America. Other artifacts dating back thousands of years have been discovered — but the hair is the first to contain usable DNA.

Past discoveries of hunting and fishing tools at archaeological sites proved that ancient Eskimos lived in Greenland, Gilbert says. But the sites didn't contain much biological evidence — like teeth, bones or hair — that could provide DNA samples.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:28:50 pm









Where in the World?

Now, with DNA from the hair, Gilbert's team has been able to compare ancient DNA with existing populations around the Arctic. The closest matches, he says, "came from the Bering Sea region." Some current residents of the southern Aleutian Islands and the Chutchi Peninsula of Siberia carry similar DNA, he says.

However, Gilbert says, this doesn't prove that the ancient Eskimos migrated from the Bering Sea area. But it is evidence of a pretty specific geographical link.

Since they aren't ancestors of Greenland's current Eskimos, Gilbert speculates, these ancient people may have later migrated from the Arctic due to climate changes that made survival difficult.



A Hair Fascination

As a researcher, Gilbert admits to having a bit of a hair fascination — he has studied the locks of mammoths, woolly rhinos and mummies — but those, he says, are "actually quite common" compared to this clump of human hair.

And it's the most interesting hair he's worked with, he says.

"Because these human remains from this period are so rare," he says, "we were really stuck not being able to do any genetic work until this one came along. It really opened up a horizon for us."

 



Related NPR Stories

Aug. 11, 2007



Tracing Human Migration Through DNASep. 28, 2007

Scientists Glean Clues from Ancient Mammoth HairJuly 29, 2007

Is Ancient People's End a Warning for the Future?


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90960697


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 16, 2009, 09:34:09 pm
Kara Sundstrom
Hero Member

Posts: 380



    Inukpasuit, Inuit and Viking contact in ancient times
« on: February 16, 2009, 11:59:45 pm » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inukpasuit, Inuit and Viking contact in ancient times
RONALD BROWER

February 12, 2009 at 10:44AM AKST

There are many stories of ‘Qavlunaat,’ white-skinned strangers who were encountered in Inuit-occupied lands in times of old. Stories of contact between these foreign people and Inuit were passed down the generations and used mostly to scare children to behave “or the Qavlunaat will get them.” 

This sparked my curiosity to explore both sides of the encounters from written records and Inuit oral legends to see if some of these events can be correlated. One must recall that these legends were passed down orally in the Inupiaq language.

Inuit myths and legends of contact with other people were passed from one generation to the next through story telling traditions. Many people have heard Pete Sovalik, a well-known Inupiaq story-teller tell this shortened version of a story relating to Qavlunaat and other races.

Taimaniqpaa_ruk - In Times of Old – Qavlunaat were one of the children of an Inuk woman who refused to marry; a Ui_uaqtaq. Her name was Sedragina, also known as Sedna in other Inuit regions. In her youth she was just an ordinary person – A young Inuk girl (agnaiyaaq) who grew up disliking men because of abuse committed to her as a child.

Having grown into a beautiful marriageable maiden, niviaq_siaq, men from many lands sought to marry her but she rebuked all men.

One time she was courted by a rich shaman’s son to no avail. Angered by her reluctance, the rich shaman called upon other equally strong shamuses to punish her. Together they cast a great spell upon her father’s lead dog that was transformed into a handsome young man by night but by day, he was just an ordinary lead dog.

Every evening he relentlessly pursued her for sexual favors until she was worn and tired for lack of sleep wherein she, in a weakened state, gave way to his wishes. In due time, she bore a litter of human and dog-like children having a variety of skin colors as many litters often do. These became the other races of man.

As they grew, she decided to send her children away toward the East, for they became a menace to the surrounding communities because of their wild behavior. Her father had also decided to end her miserable existence - to be rid of her and the shame she brought to his house.

In Inupiat legends her story is seen as the beginning of all other human races and of the sea animals. Hence modern Qavlunaat now know her as the Mother of the Sea, a Goddess deity, but in reality Inuit do not have gods. They believe that the visible world is pervaded by Anirniit, the powers, invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living.

The story teller weaves in a passage of time when the children of Sedragina would return to their kin the Inuit. Their return would mark a time of change for the Inuit but the story tellers would not say what kind of change was to follow.

As hundreds of centuries passed, vague stories were heard of the return of these people now known as Qavlunaat but they slowly faded from legends passed down over the generations.

During the time when we lived in our little village of Iviksuk, our great uncle Owen Kiiriq would also tell tales during the dark months of winter in our little dwelling. Recalling a time that Inuit encountered another kind of race who already lived in our lands.

Kiiriq recalled that elders would call them Tunnit or Inukpasuit, the giants. They were treated as fearsome coastal dwellers and were considered enemies of Inuit. They spoke an Inuit language of an archaic type understandable to our ancestors.

Kiiriq would continue his tale and describe how Inupasuit were viewed as unkempt and unclean by Inuit standards. They were considered a danger to Inuit because they at times waylaid and captured unwary hunters.

Being smaller then them, our ancestors were considered a delectable prey. Once captured, they would be cooked and eaten with relish. Thus Inuit feared these giant beings and would attempt to wipe them out if they could. They were considered slow of thought but clever in their means of pursuit of game.  Inuit were ever moving eastward and the Inupasuit soon fell into the lot of myths and legends in our great grandparents’ time.

My research led me to Farley Mowat, author of Westviking, who includes descriptive appendices called “The Vanished Dorset”.

Mowat provides a description by the Norse who encountered the Dorset (Tunnit) around A.D.1000 as being swarthy and ill looking with remarkable eyes.

Mowat refers to another encounter of the Tuniit in the Floamanna Saga where the Viking Thorgisl Orrabeinsfostri shipwrecked in Baffin Island around 997. There, he and his men encountered a giant people, describing the Tunnit.

The Tunnit had lived in the Arctic for a long period of time before contact with either Inuit or Vikings. They developed a culture based on seal hunting and wherever their sod houses are found they show a long period of occupancy as noted by their middens of mostly seal remains.

As climate changed, seals moved further north following the sea ice. Mowat suggest that as seals shifted their range, so did the Tunnit following their primary food source. This may be why Erik the Red did not encounter Inuit or Tunnit when he explored the Greenland coast around 981.

Inuit myths and legends have passed through generations of story tellers. Many have changed but a little over time. A number of Inuit legends are being studied by scholars to see if they can be historically correlated to evidence found in archeological sites in several locations.

Look for an interesting conclusion of this exposition in part two.

Ronald Brower is an Inupiaq language professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.



http://www.thearcticsounder.com/news/show/4882


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on March 20, 2009, 07:41:13 am








                                        Arctic indigenous people cling to polar bear hunt
     





TROMSOE,
Norway
March 20, 2009
(AFP)

– Hunting polar bears has been banned since 1973 but the Arctic's indigenous peoples are exempt out of respect for their ancestral traditions, despite scientists' objections over how the quotas are divided.

"When I was a child, it was forbidden to speak our language, to do things like dancing because missionaries said we were worshipping the devils," said Charles Johnson, an Inuit from the small town of Nome, Alaska.

"We need to keep our traditions alive. That includes regaining our language, regaining our culture and polar bear hunting is part of that," he said on the sidelines of a follow-up meeting in the Norwegian town of Tromsoe on a 1973 polar bear conservation agreement.

Signed by the five Arctic states that have polar bears -- Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russia and the United States -- the pact bans the hunt except in rare cases.

Article 3 of the agreement stipulates that "any contracting party may allow the taking of polar bears when such taking is carried out ... by local people using traditional methods in the exercise of their traditional rights."

Indigenous people consider the practice essential to their survival even though the bear accounts for only a small part of their diet and despite the fact that the species is under threat from climate change.

In Canada, which is home to two-thirds of the world's polar bears, part of the hunting quotas go to sports hunting by wealthy tourists.

"Subsistence is not just about nutrition. It is also about economic subsistence for the community," said Virginia Poter, the director general of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

A 10-day hunting expedition with a guide can bring in up to 30,000 Canadian dollars (24,400 US dollars, 18,000 euros) to the local population, or 1.87 million Canadian dollars annually.

"And the meat and fat usually remain in the country," she said.

The situation in Alaska is very different, where sports hunting is not allowed.

"There's no money involved, it's all about sharing," said Taqulik Hepa, an Inuit from Barrow in northern Alaska.

"When a polar bear is harvested, an announcement is made in the community and people come to the hunter's house to share the meat. It goes in no time," she said.

Each year, some 700 bears are killed in Canada, Greenland and Alaska out of a total population of 20,000 to 25,000 -- a level that scientists generally deem sustainable.

But a bone of contention is how the quotas are divvied up between different polar bear populations.

In the winter of 2004, authorities in the Canadian territory of Nunavut sharply increased quotas in Baffin Bay located between Canada and Greenland, from 64 to 105 animals.

The decision was based on Inuit accounts of increasingly frequent bear sightings.

"Raising quotas was a mistake," said Canadian polar bear expert Ian Stirling.

"People reported seeing more polar bears and the interpretation was that there were more polar bears. But the truth is that it was probably linked to the melting of sea ice, which forced bears onto land," he told AFP.

Added to the Greenland Inuits' taking of about 100 bears from the same population, the Nunavut decision has endangered the survival of the species in the area, according to scientists who said a sustainable quota to be shared by the two countries was 93.

"The population I'm most concerned about is the one in Baffin Bay," Stirling said.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on May 27, 2009, 07:07:48 am









                                 Canada's governor shows solidarity with Inuit seal hunt






           
YAHOO NEWS
 Michel Comte
Wed May 27, 2009
OTTAWA (AFP)

– Canada's governor general gutted a seal slaughtered for her during an official Arctic trip and ate
a piece of its heart raw to show solidarity with embattled Inuit seal hunters.

Hundreds of Inuit gathered for a community feast in Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, the first stop on Governor General Michaelle Jean's trip to nine remote northern communities this week as Canada's head of state and representative of Queen Elizabeth II.

Jean knelt over the carcass of a freshly slaughtered seal and used a traditional ulu blade to cut through the flesh and slice off some meat. She then asked one of her hosts: "Could I try the heart?"

Jean said it was "absolutely delicious" and tasted "like sushi," according to images broadcast by CTV.

"And it's very rich in protein," she added.

As she wiped the blood off her fingers with a tissue, Jean explained her support for Canada's traditional Inuit seal hunt and trade, which some fear will be devastated by a European ban on seal products.

The European Parliament recently voted to endorse an EU ban on seal products in protest against commercial hunting methods.

Northern aboriginals are exempt from the ban, but they worry it will inevitably affect their livelihoods too when it takes effect in 2010.

Inuit leader Mary Simon applauded Jean for her support of the hunt.

"Once you destroy a market for one group, it is destroyed for all," Simon said in a statement.

Defense Minister Peter MacKay, who hails from Atlantic Canada, said ahead of a trip to monitor annual Arctic military exercises that he looked forward to some "delicious seal."

"I would encourage all Canadians to try some," he said.

Animal rights groups, however, were critical of Jean for appearing to also support Canada's commercial hunt.

The Canadian government maintains that the 350-year-old commercial hunt is crucial for some 6,000 North Atlantic fishermen who rely on it for up to 35 percent of their total annual income.

Animal rights groups, however, say it is barbaric and have waged an aggressive campaign in recent years to stop the annual hunt.

"I was deeply disappointed," said Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society. "I felt that (Jean's) actions were inappropriate given the controversy over commercial seal hunting.

"It's my hope that the governor general will clarify her actions and tell Canadians that her intent truly was to show solidarity with Inuit seal hunters and not with the commercial side of the industry.

"Nobody opposes subsistence hunting by Inuit people. We're opposed to the industrial-scale slaughter of seals," said Aldworth, echoed by Sheryl Fink, spokeswoman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Ottawa authorized the kill of 338,000 seals this year, insisting the hunt does not threaten the species.

But a slump in pelt prices has meant fewer hunters on ice floes off Canada's Atlantic coast. Fewer than 65,000 seals were expected to be killed, generating a mere 7,5 million Canadian dollars (6.4 million US) for sealers, a fisheries spokesman told AFP.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on May 28, 2009, 09:12:23 pm










                                               Dignitary defends eating raw seal 
 

                                      Ms Jean helped gut the seal before eating a slice






BBC NEWS
May 28, 2009


(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45839000/jpg/_45839090_-21.jpg) Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean has strongly defended her decision to eat raw seal heart as a show of support to seal hunters.

She ate the slice of heart on Monday at an Inuit community feast during which a seal was carved up and pieces of it were passed around.

"This activity is part of life... for thousands in the Arctic. It is vital for them," said Ms Jean.

Animal rights groups have criticised her support of a "cruel practice".

Ms Jean used a traditional Inuit knife to help gut the animal, before eating some a festival at Rankin Inlet with hundreds of Inuit.

Her action was praised by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and commercial seal hunters.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on June 01, 2009, 03:19:55 pm
(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44359000/jpg/_44359320_inuit_ap_203b.jpg)

The census also details where
aboriginal people live





                                             

                                              Canadian indigenous numbers soar 
 




BBCNews

Census figures in Canada show a big increase in the number of Canadians who describe themselves as belonging to one of the country's indigenous peoples.

Data from the 2006 census shows there are now almost 1.2 million aboriginal people - 4% of the population and a 45% rise since the last census in 1996.

The survey also shows that more than half live in or near urban areas.

A record number of indigenous people took part in the 2006 census, but some populous reserves still shunned it.

There are three indigenous groups in Canada: North American Indian or First Nations people; Inuit who live in Canada's far north and Metis, who are descendants of early marriages between native people and European settlers.

The new statistics show a dramatic increase - 45% in 10 years - in those people who identify themselves as belonging to of one of those groups.

The information also reveals that 54% of the country's indigenous people now live in or near cities.

Officials at Statistics Canada, which carried out the census, say the growth and change in demographics can be attributed to a soaring birth rate driven by an unusually young population, and greater pride in aboriginal heritage.





'Not Canadians'



Canada's native peoples have a median age of 27 and almost half are under 25.

The census found that since 1996 there had been some improvement in overcrowded housing conditions in traditional communities.

But one in four people living there report that their homes are dilapidated and in need of significant repairs.

The number of aboriginal peoples refusing to take part in the census has declined, but some are still opposed to the survey.

"We are not Canadian citizens. We are North American Indians," Chief Clarence Simon of Kanesatake, a Mohawk community, was quoted as saying by Canadian media.

His reserve was among 22 not included in the census.

Census officials say that their reach has improved since previous surveys and they have rejected arguments that there has been a significant under-counting of aboriginal people.


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on June 01, 2009, 03:22:22 pm








SEE ALSO:



Canada signs Inuit autonomy plan
06 Dec 07 |  Americas

Native Canadians win hunting case
23 Dec 06 |  Americas
 
Inuit sue US over climate policy
08 Dec 05 |  Science/Nature

Canada outlines native cash deal
26 Nov 05 |  Americas

Inuit language finds home on net
03 Nov 04 |  Technology




RELATED INTERNET LINKS

Statistics Canada


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7191398.stm


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on June 01, 2009, 03:23:46 pm










                                                     Hypocrisy hard to swallow



                     Choose an EU nation and there's almost certainly a bloody stain on its flag






By MICHAEL PLATT
Calgary Sun
31st May 2009

As disgusting as it was to watch, Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean's snack of raw-and-bloody seal ventricle was a heart-warming moment for those of us sick and tired of European hypocrisy over Canada's seal hunt.

Any foreign politician slamming Canada's traditional seal harvest as barbaric, while approving the consumption of roast beef and foie gras by the bucketful, is either woefully ignorant or a two-faced fraud looking for votes.

Our heroic Governor General, by eating raw seal heart, did more to support a traditional source of food and income for Canada's northern communities than a thousand angry speeches could ever manage.

Not that the critics will listen.

The European Parliament, which earlier this month voted to ban the import of seal products from Canada, is filled with politicians willing to point fingers, while ignoring the cruelty under their own upturned noses.

Choose a European nation, and there's almost certainly a bloody stain on its flag, often worse than a hunt that's no more barbaric than what takes place in countless European slaughterhouses on a daily basis.

Behold, the hypocrisy of the European Union.

Let's start with France, and that fois gras their gourmands are so proud of, despite the hideous method used to produce it.

The French slurp back more than 19,000 tonnes of what translates to "fat liver" every year -- it's a pasty meat produced by force-feeding birds through a tube until their internal organs are bloated.

Cruel describes what the French do to geese and ducks, but it barely touches the savage blood sports enjoyed by European countries like Spain and Portugal, which also condemn Canada's seal hunt.

There, in front of leering audiences, bullfighting takes place -- if you can consider the slow and sadistic blood-letting of a frightened animal a fight, instead of a slaughter.

Perhaps Canada should hold the seal hunt inside a stadium, call it a sport and sell tickets.

Claiming the kill as a game would be sure to impress EU countries like Ireland, France and Italy, where fun pursuits like fox hunting and hare coursing take place.

In each case, the terrified target animal is chased by dogs, until it caught and torn to pieces.

Canada, take note.

Let dogs run down and rip apart the seals, instead of the traditional swift dispatch with a club: apparently, it's not cruel to kill animals when a pedigreed hound is involved.

Or Canada could call the seal-slaughter a "trophy hunt," thereby getting the Teutonic European countries on side with the fur harvest.

Austria, last year, boasted 1,053,000 animals stalked and shot, including deer, birds and wild boars, while German hunters continue to flock to Canada with rifles and skinning knives, all in the name of recreation.

Bulgaria might be applauded for finally banning dancing bears, but that country's animal cruelty laws are non-existent.

They oppose clubbing seals, but shrug over the brutal abuse of dogs and cats at home.

Greece, at least, ends the suffering of its domestic strays with mass poisoning, or so it's been reported by animal rights activists who've watched cats dying by the dozen.

Great Britain, having banned the fox hunt, is still no utopia of righteousness when it comes to animals.

The Royal Guard, including the soldiers outside of Buckingham Palace, still wear bearskin hats, each requiring the death of a Canadian black bear.

Norway must be mentioned for the annual harpooning of more than a thousand mike whales, which suffer painful and fear-ridden deaths at the end of a barbed spear.

Saving the most gruesome example for last, we have Denmark, a truly rotten place when it comes to cruelty.

Every year, Denmark's Faroe Islanders use motorboats to herd nearly 2,000 dolphins into a shallow bay.

There, hunters wade out and attack the animals with metal hooks, while using knives to skin the still-living dolphins, which thrash about the blood-red bay in dying terror.

Add in the meat-consuming culture which dominates Europe, and what you have is a group of countries soaked in blood and ignorance.

Canada's Governor General won't change a thing by nibbling raw seal heart as a symbol of support, but she will make such sanctimonious hypocrisy a little easier for Canadians to stomach.



MICHAEL.PLATT@SUNMEDIA.CA 


Title: Re: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska
Post by: Bianca on June 01, 2009, 03:25:08 pm






There's a simple, and scientific, way to determine which animals are hunted and killed:



If it's cute, then leave it alone.

If it's ugly, Bon Appétit.



Seals, dolphins, and bunnies? No.

Cows, pigs, and fish? Yes.