I told you about the girl high up in the vast, icy area called Arctic. And here we are. During the next days I would like to give you an impression how the Inuit live. You think you know it already? This thing with the igloo, the hunters, the whales?
Sorry, but I have to tell you something: “You know nothing at all”.
Be prepared, there will be some touching stories. But first of all, lets start with the basics. Susan is going to tell about the fundamentals of this blog series. Enjoy…
“Ok, let me tell you about Nunavik.
My village is called Puvirnituq. Yes, it is a part of Quebec’s province (Canada), but it’s still completely apart because no roads lead there. It’s a nearly 2000 inhabitants village, the biggest on the western coast. The other six villages of my coast are smaller, some as small as 500 inhabitants only.
In Puvirnituq, we have the only hospital of the western coast, with a tiny lab for blood test, a x-Ray machine, a tiny operation room… But it’s still a super tiny hospital! I can walk around it in less than five minutes.
Only one floor, around 20 beds, one emergency room, 3 beds for maternity and a small nursing section. I know everyone who’s working in it already including administration. It’s so small! But it’s a quite interesting proximity! There’s kind of a funny atmosphere at work because we all know each other. There’s no scan, no real surgery unit, no readaptation unit.. So when we have a more serious case, we have to transfer it down south to Montreal for tests or surgery or consultation with a specialist.
The other coast of Nunavik has it’s own system in another village called Kujuuaq, with its own little hospital, youth protection, police department and everything.
The Inuits speak Inuktitut, but since their third year of primary school, they are taught in English or French language (they choose). So at the hospital, we communicate in English. Elders speak only Inuktitut because it’s quite recent that Inuit people live in villages and that they are in contact with white people.. Around 50-60 years only. Before that, they were still living in a nomadic fashion in Igloos. So it’s been a tremendous change in their way of living in only a couple of decades. Imagine the clash there is between the generations!?
I go in the landscape, but only to bring the sickest patients by plane from the villages where there’s no hospitals to my bigger village where they can be hospitalized and taking cared of.”
That was the first impression for her and it´s the first impression for you. Hope it made you curious. I keep the stories short because I made the experiences that nowadays, people don´t have time to read anymore. But stay tuned, the next story will be published in two days, 06 am…