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Inuit Man from Nunavut Please Call Us Inuits

My name is Tagak. I live in a small town in the Nunavut Territory of northern Canada. "Nunavut" means "our land" in Inuktitut, which is the language I speak. Most of the people who live in the Nunavut Territory are Inuit Native Canadians. In the past, Native Canadians in our area were called "Eskimos," but we prefer to be known as "Inuit." Inuit means "people" in our language. The Inuit are related to the northern peoples of Siberia, Alaska, and Greenland. Our people came to North America by sea about 4,000 years ago.

Many people think that we live in igloos and travel by dog sleds. Today most Inuits live in houses and use automobiles and snowmobiles to travel.

If you met an Inuit boy or girl from Nunavut, you would call him or her an Inuk. We are very proud of our heritage and treasure our traditional music and stories. My favorite story is about the Qallupilluq, an imaginary creature who looks like a troll and lives in Hudson Bay. My grandfather tells me that this monster wears a woman's parka made out of loon feathers. The legend says that the Qallupilluq grabs children when they come too near cracks in the ice.

I'm not sure if I believe the story...

However, the Inuit spend a lot of time fishing on the sea ice. I think adults made up the story to keep children away from dangerous cracks in the ice. Just in case, I'll be careful. I don't want to meet that crazy troll wearing a winter coat made of bird feathers!

Story by Deborah Kozdras

Map of Nanavut Territory. Iqaluit is the Capital

Map of Nanavut Territory. Iqaluit is the Capital

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