Strengthening Young Inuit Male Identity
Becky Tootoo ᓯᒪᐃᓚᑦ
Baker Lake, NU
This research paper focuses on young Inuit male identity and how it is formed, shaped and sustained among Nunavummiut. The research was conducted in Baker Lake, Nunavut in 2013 by holding kitchen table talks with three different groups. The first group included three male Elders and one man in his fifties. This group provided names of young men they deemed to be successful in the community. The second group included the parents of the three young men who agreed to participate in the research. The last group included the three young men who ranged in age from 17 to 26. The discussions with the three groups identified people, projects and supports that enabled the young men to become successful, healthy contributors in our society. The key factors identified as promoting success were relationships with family, friends and other members of the community and wider society. A second factor related to hands-on activities that can be culturally relevant but reinforce and strengthen identity. The final factor was education, either formal or informal. Only one of the young men identified by the Elders holds a high school diploma. Contrary to western conceptions that often identify successful young people because of their formal education, the amount of money they make or even material possessions, the Elders saw that encouraging the potential of the young men to contribute to their families and community as being the first and foremost sign of their success.
Key Words: Inuit, young men, parents, Elders, success, identity, relationships, hand-on activities, education.
ᓴᙵᑎᑉᐸᓪᓕᐊᓂᖏᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐊᖑᑎᖏᑦ ᑭᓇᐅᓂᕐᒥᒍᑦ
ᐱᐊᑭ ᓯᒪᐃᓚᒃ ᑐᑐ
ᑖᒃᑯᓇᓂ ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᑯᑦ ᑐᕌᖓᓪᓗᐊᑕᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐊᖑᑏᑦ ᑭᓇᐅᓂᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐅᔾᔨᕆᓯᒪᔭᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᓄᕐᓗ ᐱᐅᓯᖅᑖᐸᓪᓕᐊᕙᖕᒪᖔᑕ ᐱᕈᖅᓴᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᐋᖅᑭᒃᓱᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓲᖑᓂᖏᑦ ᐊᓐᓇᐅᒪᒻᒪᖔᓪᓗ ᐱᕈᖅᓴᐃᔾᔪᓰᑦ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓂ. ᖃᐅᔨᓴᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᖃᒪᓂ’ᑐᐊᒥ, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ 2013ᖑᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᐃᑦᓯᕙᖃᑎᒌᑎᑕᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᖓᓲᓕᖓᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᑕᐅᑦᓯᒥ ᑲᑎᙵᔪᑦ ᖃᓄᖅᑑᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᕐᖓᑕ. ᑖᒃᑯᓇᓂ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᖓᔪᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐊᖑᑎᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᒥᓐᓂ ᒪᑭᑕᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᕆᔭᐅᔪᑉᓗᑎᒃ. ᐊᐃᑉᐸᖏᓐᓂ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᖓᔪᑦ ᐱᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᔪᖅᑳᖏᑦ ᐱᖓᓱᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖑᑏᑦ ᐱᖃᑕᐅᔪᒪᓐᓂᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐊᐱᕆᔭᐅᒐᒥᒃ. ᑭᖑᓪᓕᖅᐹᑦ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᖓᔪᑦ ᐱᖓᓲᑉᓗᑎᒃ ᐊᖑᑏᑦ ᒪᒃᑯᒃᑐᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᑦᑐᓪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᓖᑦ 17ᓂᒃ 26ᓄᑦ. ᐅᖃᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᖓᓲᓕᖓᔪᑦ ᐃᓛᒃᑰᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓄᒃᑕᖏᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᑉᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᐱᔭᒃᓴᕆᕙᒃᑕᖏᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑎᒋᕙᒃᑕᖏᓪᓗ ᒪᑭᑦᓯᐊᕈᑎᒋᓯᒪᔭᖏᓐᓂᒃ, ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓯᒪᓪᓚᕆᒃᑐᑦ ᒪᑭᑦᓯᐊᕈᑎᒃᓴᓂᒃ ᐱᐅᔪᒧᑦ. ᐱᓪᓗᐊᑕᐅᓂᖏᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑕᐅᑉᓗᓂ ᒪᑭᒪᑦᓯᐊᕈᑏᑦ ᐃᓚᒌᓐᓂᖅ, ᐱᖃᓐᓇᕆᔭᑦ ᐊᓯᖏᓪᓗ ᓄᓇᖅᑲᑎᖏᑦ ᐃᓅᖃᑎᒌᓕᒫᓪᓗ ᑐᑭᓕᕇᒃᑐᑦ. ᐊᐃᑉᐹᓗ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᒡᒐᒧᑦ ᐊᔪᕆᖅᓯᐅᔾᔭᐅᑉᓗᓂ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᕐᒧᑦ ᐊᑑᑎᖃᓪᓚᕆᖕᓂᖓ ᐊᒻᒪ ᓴᙵᑎᑉᐹᓪᓕᕈᑕᐅᖕᒪᑦ ᒪᑭᑉᐹᓪᓕᕈᑕᐅᑉᓗᓂᓗ ᑭᓇᐅᓂᑉᑎᓐᓂᒃ. ᑭᖑᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᑉᓗᓂ ᐱᔾᔪᑎᖓᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᓕᕆᓂᖅ, ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᓯᓚᑖᓂᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᓇᑐᒥᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅ. ᐊᑕᐅᓯᑯᓗᒃ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᖅ ᐊᖑᑎᓂ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᑕᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᓐᓇᒻᒪᕆᖕᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᐊᓗᖕᒥ ᐱᔭᕇᖅᓯᒪᓂᖓᓄᑦ ᐸᐃᑉᐹᖁᑎᓕᒃ. ᐃᓪᓗᐊᓄᖔᑦᓯᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᖃᑉᓗᓈᑎᑐᑦ ᐅᔾᔨᕆᔭᖏᑎᒍᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒃᑯᑕᐅᒐᔪᒃᑐᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᑲᔪᓯᑦᓯᐊᖅᓯᒪᓂᕋᖅᑕᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᐱᔭᕇᖅᓯᓯᒪᔪᓂᒃ, ᖃᓄᑎᒋ ᑮᓇᐅᔭᓕᐅᕐᒪᖔᑕ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᖃᓄᑎᒋ ᐱᖁᑎᖃᕐᒪᖔᑕ, ᐃᓐᓇᒻᒪᕇᑦ ᑲᔪᖏᒃᑲᓐᓂᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖑᑏᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᖏᑦ ᐃᓚᒥᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᖅᑲᑎᒥᓂᓪᓗ ᐅᔾᔨᕐᓇᓛᖑᒻᒪᑦ ᓯᕗᓪᓕᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᖅᑭᔮᓛᖑᓪᓗᓂᓗ ᒪᑭᑕᑦᓯᐊᕈᑕᐅᓂᖓ ᑲᔪᓯᑦᓯᐊᕐᓂᕋᖅᑕᐅᔪᑦ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᑉᓗᒋᑦ.
ᐅᖃᐅᓰᑦ ᓇᓂᓯᔾᔪᑏᑦ: ᐃᓄᐃᑦ, ᐃᓅᓱᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖑᑏᑦ, ᐊᖏᔪᖅᑳᕆᔭᐅᔪᑦ, ᐃᓐᓇᒻᒪᕇᑦ, ᑲᔪᓯᑦᓯᐊᕐᓂᖅ, ᑭᓇᐅᓂᖅ, ᐃᓚᒌᖕᓂᖅ, ᐊᒡᒐᒧᑦ ᑕᑯᓐᓇᕐᓗᓂ ᖃᓄᐃᓕᐅᖅᑎᑕᐅᓂᖅ, ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᓂᓕᕆᓂᖅ.
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