Edmund (Ned) Searles


Contemporary Nunavut Inuit perceive their identity to be a combination of inherited substances as well as knowledge, skills, and values that one must learn in order to be considered authentically Inuit. Inuit understand the latter part of their identity as examples of inuktitut, which is learning how to act in the Inuit way. Equally important for the expression of Inuit identity is knowledge of qallunaatitut, the way of “white people.” This is why Inuit identity is best understood as an ethnic identity that influences how Inuit perceive themselves, their culture, and their relations to non-Inuit. The dominant discourse of Inuit identity rests on a reified notion of culture as well as a logic that equates the boundary between Inuit culture and Qallunaat culture as primordial and permanent. As such, Inuit identity is experienced as a set of primordial ties to specific places and persons and as a way of life that must be protected from the incursion of non-Inuit culture. Ethnic identity, Nunavut Inuit, Canadian Arctic


Ethnic identity, Nunavut Inuit, Canadian Arctic

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